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Immortal prophecy, p.10

Immortal Prophecy, page 10

 

Immortal Prophecy
 


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  “I couldn’t deny it, even if I wanted too,” she admitted, a faint blush on her cheeks. “What I don’t understand is, if I was that important to you, why did you walk away from me?”

  He leaned closer and grazed the side of her face with his hand. “I never once left you. I told you last night, remember? I was always there. You just never knew.”

  Ally contemplated what he was saying. And yes, she had eventually realised last night that he had been guarding her, but that was as a guardian. This soulmate thing made her question everything he’d told her last night. And how he could have been there without her knowledge was something she couldn’t grasp. She would’ve seen or felt him, wouldn’t she?

  “How could I have known that? And why didn’t I at least feel someone following me?” she asked, fighting the trembling sensation that wanted to take hold of her. “You say for five years you guarded me, but never once approached me? How is it even possible to keep your distance from something or someone so important?”

  “It wasn’t the right time,” his voice filled with regret. “You have no idea how much I wanted to. How being so close to you, but never being able to reach out and touch you or talk to you tormented me. It was a living hell.”

  Ally searched his eyes. Regret, sadness, and heartbreak stared back at her.

  “I watched and guarded you for twenty-one years. The moment you were born, I knew you were my soulmate, but your parents wanted you to have a normal life for as long as possible, and when they died I continued protecting you and watching over you from the shadows. After what happened, Adele and I decided it wasn’t right to thrust the immortals, the prophecy, and even me onto you at that point. And then time kept ticking past, and it just never seemed right, then of course you met Vincent and that changed everything.”

  She angled her body closer to his and reached out to touch his face. “Thank you for being honest with me, James, and for keeping me safe all these years.”

  As he laid his hand over hers, the electrical charge ran through her again like last night. Her heart and body reached for him, but her mind was still uncertain. It was all happening so fast and she wanted to pull back, but his gaze held her immobile.

  James leaned forward, hesitating, giving her time to move away from him, but she didn’t. He closed the small gap between them and kissed her. Ally’s heart stuttered and a breathy sound fell from her lips. The desire between them sprang to life, and if he didn’t stop now, the inferno would engulf them both. He savoured the sensations a moment longer before ending the kiss.

  Ally’s eyes were dazed, and he held back a satisfied smirk. “We should land soon. Think about everything you’ve been told. If you listen to your heart, it will all make sense.”

  Still in a daze, Ally said, “Like I could think about anything else.”

  Despite getting a glimpse of the feelings he had for her, she wasn’t ready to leap into a relationship or the soulmate equivalent just yet. She needed time to process things and decide what she wanted and how she wanted to do this.

  Destiny played a significant role in her life, that couldn’t be denied. However, there was still some control she could take back. Knowing it would be difficult to hold James back until she was ready, and the fact that she couldn’t seem to control herself when she was close to him, cemented her decision to put some distance between them. Considering she was staying at his house, it would be a challenging task.

  Nevertheless, Ally was always one who knew what she needed. A few days of normality were at the top of her list, followed by getting to know James, slowly.

  Despite everything he’d said, she was still a little hurt he hadn’t moved heaven and earth to be with her. According to him, it wasn’t possible, but she didn’t entirely believe that. Then again, was she was being too hard on him? Her emotions were in tatters and her state of mind wasn’t much better. Even more reason to get some distance. She knew he might get hurt, and that was the last thing she wanted to do, but in her heart, this was the best choice for her. If she was going to be with James, then it would be because she wanted to be, not because she was destined to be.

  At that moment, Adele came wandering back to her seat. She sat down and looked from Ally to James and smiled at them with happiness.

  “Give her time, James. It appears Ally is coming around.”

  James looked over to Adele and sighed internally at the dilemma he could feel was coming. Ally needed time, but that was something they had in limited supply. “I can give her anything but that. We’ve already wasted too much as it is.”

  Adele sighed with frustration and resignation. She knew his words were true, but that didn’t mean she had to like it.

  11. SCOTLAND

  Relief flooded James’ body as he stepped off the jet into a light summer rain. He stopped and took a moment to appreciate the incomparable beauty and magic he’d sorely missed. Off in the distance lay the ethereal Glen Coe, all lush green emerald grass in the valley, nestled between two imposing mountain peaks, blanketed in the same soft green carpet. Tall bushy trees sparsely dotted the landscape. Out of sight, the river Coe ran through the valley, flowing alongside the village of Glencoe and the nearby villages.

  In the opposite direction, lay Rannoch Moor. Fifty square miles of countless blue lochs, peat bogs, and babbling streams, all of which were surrounded by mountains that appeared to rise and kiss the sky. On the moor’s plateau, glorious purple heather carpeted the grey cloud-shrouded landscape, giving it an other-worldly feel. Nestled in amongst the moor within the wooded mountain range lay his home, Carlisle Manor.

  The mountainous terrain was the perfect place for hiking, and thousands flocked to the region every year. The remoteness of the area also made it a hunting playground for the vampires, and more than a few unfortunate hikers and campers had lost their lives over the years. James saved them as often as possible, but he’d been away for five years. A shudder ran through him at the thought of how many people had been killed by them in his absence.

  Fluffy grey clouds gathered force in the distant darkening sky. It looked calm enough for the moment, but they’d have to take cover from a severe storm soon. The weather was unforgiving and unpredictable. It was a wild untamed country he called home. No other place on earth was like it, and it suited him perfectly.

  He turned around and saw Adele step off the plane, followed by Ally with Coco in her arms.

  Ally sighed with delight as she looked around at the vast wild landscape before her. “It’s breathtaking,” she marvelled.

  “Ruff,” Coco barked and looked around, her doe eyes sparkling.

  “It’s magical, isn’t it Coco?” Ally said and gave her a pat.

  James agreed, but they had to keep moving. Waiting for them was another shiny black Mercedes with a local man leaning against it, a big grin on his weathered face.

  “Henry, how’ve you been?” James greeted him with a man hug and wide smile.

  Ally saw the warmth and affection between these two men.

  “Things have been good, lad, but very dull since you left. Sophie keeps complaining about having no-one to cook her biscuits for,” he said.

  “Why not cook them for you?” James asked.

  Henry waved his hand about. “According to Sophie I need to cut down on my cookie intake.” He patted his stomach. “You should’ve seen her face light up when I told her you were coming back home, and with Ally too. She thinks of you as another son.”

  James laughed. “An ancient son.”

  He turned to Adele and Ally motioning them forward. “Adele, Ally, this is Henry Muir. He is my chauffeur, head gardener, butler, and everything in between. His wife Sophie is my cook, housekeeper, and self-appointed mother figure, as you heard.”

  Ally smiled at Henry and he smiled in return. “Welcome, lass.”

  “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Henry,” Adele said. “I assume we’ll meet your wife back at the house?”

  “Oh yes ma’am. She’s baking James’ favour
ite cookies as we speak.”

  “That sounds delightful,” Adele said. “I’d love some tea and biscuits after the long flight.”

  James turned to the pup encased in Ally’s arms and scratched her behind the ears. “And this special pooch here is Coco, Ally’s devoted dog and partner in crime.”

  “Ruff,” Coco barked to Henry.

  “Nice to meet you, Coco.” Henry held out his hand for her to sniff. After a quick smell, Coco gave him a lick of approval on his cheek. “Oh, now aren’t you a sweet wee girl, Coco.” Henry gazed at her already charmed. “I shall get my wife to make you some special dog cookies.”

  “Ruff,” Coco barked again.

  They all laughed. Ally said, “I think she likes that idea.”

  “Shall we get home?” Henry asked.

  “Aye, looks like a storm is headed this way.”

  Ally and James got in the backseat of the car while Coco sat up the front with Adele, and her new best friend, Henry.

  The drive home was quick and easy. Sitting upon a hilltop in the mountain range, nestled in among the trees, was the most beautiful piece of architecture Ally had ever seen.

  The driveway leading to the house was lined with middling bushy green trees, and the path was made of a primitive sandy gravel that suited the setting perfectly.

  As they approached, the tall wrought iron gates opened, and behind them sat Carlisle Manor.

  The imposing off-white structure was five stories high with a charcoal tiled roof. Two wide terraces rested on the lower ground floors with elegant white french doors doubling as windows. A small tower appeared from the side with a balcony attached. The gardens were simple but sophisticated. Nothing compared to the natural backdrop that lay all around them, and whoever oversaw the garden design cleverly realised that. The collective effect of the house and landscape made it breathtaking and resembling something that belonged in an enchanted fairytale.

  James regarded Ally, secretly enjoying her expression. Her eyes were wide and captivated while her mouth gaped open. A dazzling smile formed on his mouth as he examined her over his black sunglasses. “Welcome to our home, Ally.”

  Heat crept through her from her toes all the way to her face. “Would you stop looking at me like that?”

  How she’d keep her distance from him and take things slow was beyond her.

  “Like what?” He angled his firm body closer to hers.

  “You know what,” she muttered and determinedly looked out the window.

  James shrugged, feigning ignorance. “What do you think of our house?”

  “For a start, it’s your house, not our house,” she corrected, and turned to look at him. “It’s a stretch to call it a house though, don’t you think? Mansion doesn’t even do it justice. Castle is more accurate.”

  He laughed at her point of view. Ally was right, it wasn’t your everyday house, but that was part of what made it so special. The house held a place in his heart. “You’re beautiful even when you’re scolding me, little one,” James murmured to her.

  She groaned. “And you’re impossible.”

  She was amusing, spirited, and delighted James in a way he’d not expected. God how he longed for her in ways she couldn’t yet fully understand. Ally was still only half immortal. When the conversion took place, she’d understand what he was willing to endure for her.

  Human emotions were strong, but the feelings and desires of an immortal were much stronger. They were deeply connected to their own energies; thus, everything was magnified. James could’ve seduced her and claimed her as his, the desire to do just that was overwhelming, but she deserved better than that. They deserved better than that.

  James wanted her to need him, to love him, to choose him freely. He wasn’t above pushing things to his advantage, but the decision would always be hers.

  At least Ally was safe from Vincent for the time being. He’d come for her, but it wouldn’t be for a while yet.

  The car pulled to a stop in front of the white marble steps leading to the front doors.

  “Come inside. I’ll introduce you to Sophie then she can show you to your rooms. I’m sure you could both use some time to yourselves,” James said.

  “Thank you,” Adele replied.

  They hustled up the steps and through the door as Sophie came charging towards them. “James, you’re home.” She threw her arms around him in a loving embrace.

  “Hello, Sophie.” He hugged her back affectionately and introduced the women. “Ally, Adele, this is my dear old Sophie.”

  Sophie narrowed her eyes and gave a light slap on the shoulder. “What’s this ‘old’ business?”

  He winked at her. “Just a term of endearment.”

  Throughout the interaction Ally studied Sophie. She was an older woman well into her sixties with greying hair pulled back in a loose knot. Her demeanour was kind, gentle, and open. Ally liked her at once but didn’t want to. It was just another thing that made her want James’ and this life.

  The group made their way through the entrance hall, and into the lounge room to partake in afternoon tea. Everyone took a seat on the comfortable cream sofas and matching wing chairs around the spacious elegantly appointed room. During her inspection, Ally saw the dining room off to the left which appeared equally glamorous.

  Focussed on the black grand piano in the corner, she became lost in her own thoughts. So much for hating the country, the house, and the servants, Ally sighed inwardly. After only half an hour in it, she’d fallen in love with this wild and gorgeous place. Not to mention the house, and Sophie and Henry were so welcoming and kind and worst of all, her attraction to James was increasing by the minute. It seemed the harder she fought against it all, the more she wanted it.

  James watched her from across the room, his emerald eyes sparkling, his expression intent.

  Why couldn’t he have been horrible? Everything is a mess!

  “Ally, it only seems that way. I’m honoured you love my house, friends and country.”

  “What the hell?” she muttered, and stared accusingly at James with a burning question in her eyes.

  Was she really hearing voices in her head, or was this the telepathy that immortals were capable of?

  “This is a discussion for another time,” he murmured as he appeared next to her on the sofa.

  “Get out of my head, James,” she whispered, but the anger was obvious.

  It was an invasion of privacy that Ally wasn’t used to or even comfortable with yet, and she wanted to make that clear to James. However, she didn’t want to cause a scene in front of his friends. Ally just needed an hour of normalcy and to have personal thoughts without him listening in. Surely that wasn’t asking too much.

  Unfortunately, Sophie was a perceptive woman. Looking toward the couple, Sophie heard what Ally had said and understood what had happened. “It takes a while to get used to hearing them in your mind.” She focussed her attention on James, her eyes narrowing. “Stay out of the poor girl’s head. I think she has enough to deal with, don’t you?”

  He had the decency to look a little sheepish. Sophie made a humph sound and went to sit next to Ally, shooing James from his seat. He grumbled, then stood up and stormed out of the room.

  Ally watched him leave and regretted her words to him. “Should I go talk to him?”

  “Not yet. You have a right to your private thoughts, and he needs to respect that.”

  “Yeah, but...”

  Sophie put her arm around Ally. “I’ve known him for a long time, my dear. And although he is a good man, the dominating part of his personality takes control and he needs to be told. Not that he ever means any harm, mind you. But arrogance is an immortal male trait.”

  Ally dragged her gaze from the now empty door way. “Gran said the same thing.”

  Henry, who’d been quietly watching, spoke up. “Lass, we males can be idiotic when the women we love are in trouble. And if your situation isn’t trouble then I don’t know what is.” He scratched his
balding head. “The other thing you have to understand is telepathy is natural for immortal folk. He did it to us all the time when he was living here, and after a while you get used it to it. Like Sophie said, he doesn’t mean any harm.”

  Ally nodded. He hadn’t meant to upset her, and it was normal for the immortals to do things like that. But that was just the point, it wasn’t normal for her. And how was she supposed to deal with everything if she had to censor her thoughts. Having to worry if she’d hurt him with a stray thought was just adding to her problems.

  Adele jumped in to the conversation. “They’re right. It’s natural for us to do that, and half the time he isn’t even aware that he is. It’s like breathing in a way.”

  Ally tilted her head. “You’re an immortal and you never listened to my thoughts.”

  Adele opened her mouth to speak then closed it again.

  Ally raised her fingers to her temples and rubbed them. “Seriously? You as well, Gran?”

  “I didn’t do it all the time for heaven’s sake. I checked in every now and then when you were out on assignments, and only to make sure you were alright.”

  “And that makes it better?” Ally raised her brows and mumbled, “Interfering bloody immortals.”

  “We also have excellent hearing,” Adele quipped.

  “Ergh,” Ally grumbled.

  “The point is,” Adele said, as she kneeled before Ally, “is that he is doing his best to keep you safe, and sometimes that’ll feel like you’re being smothered and confined. When he starts to behave like this, you need to sit down and talk to him. Tempers will flare, and things will be said that you’ll regret as soon as they leave your mouth, but that’s relationships. And with time, you’ll both get better at it. But for now, set the boundaries so he knows what you’re comfortable with.”

  “Sage advice,” Sophie agreed, with a warm smile. “Why don’t you go find him and have a chat.”

  Ally nodded. “Any idea on where he might be?”

 
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