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Immortal prophecy, p.12

Immortal Prophecy, page 12

 

Immortal Prophecy
 


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  Damian needed some time alone to reflect on what had happened. He would be of little use to anyone if he didn’t get his head straight. He walked along a path through the forest a few metres from the edge of the village. Surrounded by trees that seemed as tall as the sky, the forest path worn from years of people walking along it to the clearing that lay ahead. He stopped and leaned against a tree looking out to the mountains that encircled his homeland. It was a place of unspoiled beauty. Until tonight.

  The stream to his left trickled along its course. The sound of running water and the surrounding beauty revived him. Damian turned to go back when he caught the smell of evil. Whirling around, he came face to face with Vincent.

  “So nice of you to stop by, Damian,” he said, his lips smirking with victory.

  “So nice of you to kill half my people,” Damian shot back.

  “My pleasure,” he drawled. “I couldn’t help myself. You immortals think you’re so undefeatable. It was too hard to resist showing you all that you, well, aren’t,” he said laughing. “Drinking the blood of an immortal was so simple, I cannot believe I didn’t think of it before. And dissolving into mist, well that’s a neat little trick now, isn’t it?”

  “Indeed. And just how did you learn that ‘trick’?”

  “Another one of the benefits of drinking the immortal blood.”

  Damian had heard enough. He flew into a rage and threw a fireball straight at Vincent’s heart, but the evil creature moved at the last second, and it hit his arm.

  “Really?” Vincent tsked. “I’m disappointed. That was such a predictable move.”

  Damian glared at him, but Vincent just laughed again.

  “Oh, if looks could kill, my boy. I believe I shall have fun with you.”

  What did that mean?

  Before Damian understood what was happening, two vampires jumped at him, one from either side, and held him down.

  “James, help me. Clearing. Vincent.”

  “Brother I’m coming. Help is on the way.”

  There was no time to reply, a blast of sunlight exploded behind his eyes, and the darkness engulfed him.

  “Let’s go. We got what we came for,” Vincent said to his minions.

  The two vampires picked up Damian’s limp body and ran faster than a blur. It was only a matter of time before help showed up for the fallen warrior, and they needed to get far away before that happened.

  Mere moments after the trio of vampires left, James arrived in the clearing. It was too late. There was no-one to be seen for miles.

  An eerie voice floated on the breeze towards him.

  “You’re too late, James. Your beloved brother is dead, at my hands.”

  James fell to his knees devastated by the loss of his beloved brother. Tonight had been difficult for anyone to handle but this as well was just too much to bear. His world had shattered into a thousand tiny pieces, and he would never be whole again.

  “Damian. Damian, answer me damn it. Please tell me he is lying.”

  There was no answer. If Damian was alive, he would’ve answered. James stayed there on his knees, consumed with grief, wondering how this could have happened.

  Ally awoke again. How long have I been asleep? She wondered.

  The rain was still sheeting down, the thunder roared and the lightning continued with its dazzling show, only now it was closer and a lot darker.

  Someone had been in while Ally was sleeping and lit candles all around her, creating a soft warm glow, so she wouldn’t wake in darkness. She sat up and rubbed her eyes, there was something important that she needed to remember. “What was it?” she muttered.

  Then it hit her. The dreams.

  Were they real? They felt real.

  She jumped and went in search of Adele and James. They could tell her if it was just a dream or if it was something more.

  She found them both sitting in the lounge.

  “Did you find your calm place?” James asked as she sat next to him.

  “I did.” She hesitated, and they both noticed. James laid his hand on hers and gifted her with a smile.

  “What’s wrong?” Adele asked.

  “I had a dream, but it didn’t feel like a dream.”

  “The ancients will talk to you in your sleep.” Adele explained. “When we’re awake our minds are so busy that it’s harder for them to get through at first. That’s what I’ve been told, anyway.”

  Ally furrowed her brow. “And the ancients would be?”

  James answered. “The ancients are the oldest and most gifted of our people. Gabriel the Seer who predicted your prophecy was one of them.”

  “So, they’re the dead guys you mentioned on the plane.”

  “I’m certain I didn’t refer to them as ‘dead guys’,” Adele said. “But they are no longer walking the earth if that’s what you mean?”

  “Yeah, them.” Ally sat up straighter. “But why would they be wanting to talk to me?”

  “Who knows,” Adele said with a wave of her hand. “But you are their prophecy girl, so I’m not surprised. What was the dream?”

  “It was a long time ago,” she said and then looked at James. “You were in it.”

  James quirked an eyebrow. “Really?”

  “Yeah, it’s strange because I don’t think you have one, but you were helping your brother, Damian.”

  James stiffened and Adele gasped, dropping the cup she was holding. The resounding crash made Ally jump. She rushed to Adele’s side. “Gran?”

  Adele put her hand on Ally’s arm. “I’m sorry darling. I’m alright, you just surprised me.”

  Ally turned to James. He was frozen in place, sightless eyes stared at nothing.

  “Can someone tell me what’s going on?” Ally’s voice was higher than normal. “You’re both scaring me.”

  They came back to themselves. Ally sat beside Adele and James gave her a nod to say he was okay. “Gran, are you sure you’re alright?”

  She nodded. “Tell us about your dream?”

  Ally told them all she remembered.

  “Is it true?” she asked James. “Was Damian your brother?”

  “Aye, he is or rather, was, my brother. He was lost to us fifty years ago.” James’ shoulders slumped, and he closed his eyes.

  “Gran? Did you know him too?”

  Adele wiped the tears from her cheeks and nodded.

  “The girl.” Ally gasped. “You’re the girl from the dream!”

  A dreamy expression clouded Adele’s face. “He was my soulmate, Ally.”

  Ally’s jaw went slack.

  “Is it that shocking to discover I was young once and had a soulmate too?”

  “It’s not that,” she paused not wanting to say the wrong thing. “I guess I assumed you hadn’t found yours, or that grandpa was your soulmate.”

  “Ally, I loved your grandpa very much. He was a wonderful man, husband, and father. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to share my life with. But he wasn’t Damian.”

  “Oh, Gran, I’m so sorry.” She embraced her. “This was fifty years ago?”

  Adele nodded and waited for Ally to do the math. “Mum was...” The truth hit her like a train. “Mum, she wasn’t. She was Damian’s daughter?”

  “She was.”

  “Did he know?” Ally asked still shocked from the revelation. It wasn’t just her beloved deceased mother who would have been affected by this, but her as well. Her grandfather wasn’t Jonathon. Damian was her grandfather. That meant she was now destined to be with her late grandfather’s brother. Her face twisted in horror and her gaze collided with James’.

  “No, it’s not like that,” James blurted. “He isn’t my brother by blood.”

  “So, we’re not related in any way, shape, or form?” She had to be sure.

  “No relation of any sort.”

  Thank god! No matter how much she wanted him, that would’ve been a deal breaker. “Wait. How are you brothers but not by blood?”

  James relate
d the story from long ago. “When I was a baby, Damian’s parents took me in, loved me as their own, and gave me their name. The Carlisle’s were a strong ancient bloodline among the immortals. Everyone looked to them for guidance and direction. As a people, we’ve never had an official ruler among us. There hadn’t been a need for it but if there had been, the Carlisle’s would’ve ruled.”

  Ally leaned forward. “What happened to your parents?”

  Adele shrugged and answered for him. “Nobody knows. He was a baby when they found him, abandoned on their land with nothing but the blanket he was wrapped in, and the basket that carried him containing a prophecy.”

  Knowing James had never known his parents made her think about her own parents. Even though she had been unfortunate enough to lose hers when she was young, Ally had at least been old enough to remember them and knew without a doubt they loved her. James didn’t even have that.

  “What prophecy?” she asked.

  “Your prophecy, sweetie,” Adele answered. “There was a note written on the back of the parchment that James would be the prophecy girl’s soulmate. That’s how we discovered you two were soulmates.”

  Something occurred to her that she’d never thought to ask Adele before. “How did you figure out I was the prophecy girl?”

  “The eclipsed moon birthmark on your lower back and the circumstances under which you were born.”

  Ally nodded, still running the thought over in her mind, while considering the information before her. It appeared that everyone was right. She really was the prophecy girl and James had known his destiny had been with her his whole life.

  “Ally, stop analysing. It is what it is,” Adele said, as she placed her hand lovingly on Ally’s. “You asked if Jonathon knew. He did. I was with child when I met him, and he loved Vivian as if she were his own. He loved you too, sweetheart.”

  “And Mum?” Ally asked, concerned how her mum would’ve taken the news if she was still alive, or if she’d already found out before she passed away.

  “She worked it out as she got older, and she was told about the immortals. Vivian was a full immortal and knowing Jonathon wasn’t, she put it together.”

  “Wow. She was ok with it all?”

  “At first no, but she eventually understood that Jonathon knew, and that he loved her regardless of who her father was.”

  She shook her head unable to do anything else. There was so much she was just discovering, but she had the unnerving feeling there was still so much to come. “So, why are they sending me information about past events? It doesn’t seem to make any sense or be of any use to us now.”

  “The ancient immortals don’t do anything lightly.” James answered. “There will be a reason for it, but the reason might remain elusive for a while. You don’t get fast answers from them.”

  “Of course not,” Ally said, rolling her eyes.

  Adele chimed in and added her part. “They knew this day was coming, so they’ve waited and watched for you, and now the messages begin.”

  “Not begin exactly.” She had never told anyone about her dreams before, they hadn’t seemed important, but maybe they were.

  Adele tilted her head and studied Ally. “What do you mean ‘not begin exactly’?”

  Ally looked down at her feet as if she was five and had done something naughty. The image made Adele smile. “Ally.”

  “I’ve been having dreams for a while, but they weren’t as spectacular as this one. They were about this place; the country and the wilderness, like a lonely planet documentary. But every time I woke up I was left with the impression it was my home and my destiny somehow. I had no idea it was Scotland, or that it was messages being sent to me,” Ally said with a shrug. “It’s weird.”

  “Not weird. Not to me or James.” Adele smiled at her. “And you weren’t to know it was more than just dreams. That was my fault for not telling you everything to begin with.”

  “Our fault,” James corrected.

  “I’m going to go upstairs for a while.” Adele stood up. “I’ll see you at dinner.”

  James watched her leave with a heavy heart. She’d put on a brave show for Ally but she couldn’t fool him. The loss of Damian still haunted her to this day. The loss of a soulmate wasn’t something many recovered from. He was proud of her, not that he told her. She’d shrug him off and it would only be a painful reminder. He didn’t mention him in her presence when possible. At the time, when they’d finally accepted that he was gone, she’d handled things better than he did.

  The other immortals had thought she was running away when she left Scotland, but he knew better. She wasn’t running, she was surviving.

  And her way of doing that was moving to a place that wouldn’t be a constant reminder of her loss. James, on the other hand, had not dealt with things as well. He’d gone through a dark time, and if Ally hadn’t been born and found, he shuddered to think where he would be now. She’d saved him that night.

  No-one else knew, but the night she was born he’d known his soulmate had entered the world. His heart and soul had swelled and robbed him of his breath. Then the ancients had appeared before him, Gabriel the Seer and Rafael the Guardian of all.

  He’d buried himself in rage, but the combination of feeling his soulmate’s arrival in the world and the sight of them before him was enough to knock him out of it, if only for a moment. But that moment was all they’d needed. They’d stood before him, looking as solid as they would’ve been in life. Gabriel told him again of the prophecy and that he was her assigned guardian and soulmate as the parchment had said. Rafael had told him what it was to be a guardian and how he was the only one that would stand a chance of keeping her alive.

  He’d stood speechless as the words rushed over him, and the weight of his and her fate settled on his shoulders.

  “If you weren’t capable of this, James, you would never have been chosen.” Gabriel said. “Nor would she.”

  “You ask too much,” James said. “Surely there is another way?”

  Gabriel shook his head. “Do you think I would send a young girl to her potential death without being absolutely certain?”

  James begrudgingly shook his head.

  Rafael laid his hand on James shoulder. “Be strong for her. She will need you more than you could ever realise.”

  “As you are now, you will never be of use to her.” Gabriel told him. “Grieve for your brother and for your loss, but don’t let it consume you until nothing but hate remains.”

  “This is the only warning you shall receive. Without you, she dies.” Rafael stared intently at James until he was satisfied his words had been heeded.

  “I will protect her,” James decreed. “You have my vow.”

  Rafael and Gabriel disappeared.

  James shook his head and lay down to stare up at the ceiling.

  “James?”

  He shook his head and turned to see Ally now sat beside him gazing at him with concern. “Sorry,” he said. “I was somewhere else.”

  She laid a hand on his and gave it a squeeze. “Where did you go?”

  He would not tell her. “Just somewhere a long time ago.”

  “I’m sorry about your brother.”

  He nodded and changed the topic. His brother was long gone and all the talking in the world wouldn’t bring him back. “Do I detect a slight change in attitude since you found your calm place?”

  “A little.”

  This would either make or break, but he figured what the hell. “Does this mean you’re coming to accept your destiny?”

  She snorted and leaned back into him. “I wouldn’t go that far. But after seeing firsthand what they did and the evil that Vincent is capable of. Well, I’ve never been one to walk away from an injustice.”

  He wrapped his arm around her and she snuggled deeper into his arms. “My little crusader.”

  She laughed, and it was so good to do that with him. She was softening more than she’d realised. “I don’t know about crusader,
but I hate it when bad deeds go unpunished.”

  “Remind me not to get on your bad side,” he whispered into her ear. “So, about our talk. Should we try again?”

  “Yes. But let’s try just talking this time.”

  He chuckled. “I think you enjoyed not talking.”

  She slapped his hard chest. “Be serious.”

  “I am being serious,” he retorted.

  She rolled her eyes. “You wanted to compromise, so how about this? I will take your concerns for my safety seriously and attempt to go along with them.”

  “Attempt?” he questioned and furrowed his brow.

  “I’m not agreeing to do as I’m told all the time if I don’t think it’s necessary.”

  “Ally,” he growled and ran a hand over his face.

  “No growling. And in return for that, you’ll give me privacy and stay out of my head.”

  He debated. “I think I can live with that. But, if you’re shouting thoughts at me again then I can’t be held responsible for that.”

  She held out her hand and he took it. “Wouldn’t it be nicer to seal the deal with a kiss, rather than a handshake?”

  “Kisses get me in to all kinds of trouble with you,” she replied saucily. “A handshake will do just fine.”

  “Fine,” he grumbled.

  Over a scrumptious roast beef dinner that night, Ally got to know Sophie and Henry more. She learned they had two children, Logan and Mackenzie. She hadn’t met either one yet. Logan had gone out with James to follow a lead concerning Vincent, and Mackenzie would return from a week in London tomorrow.

  Listening to Sophie and Henry speak of their children she could tell they were devoted parents who adored their children. It made her heart cry out for her own beloved parents, but at least she had Adele.

  After much conversation, tasty food, and exquisite red wine, the dinner ended, and Ally found herself comfortably situated in a large cream armchair, reading a novel in the lounge room, whilst a light rain pitter-pattered against the windows of the french doors that lead out into the terrace.

  A bright flash of lightning, followed by a deafening crack of thunder caught her attention. Pulling her nose out of the book, she saw it was midnight. She sighed and dragged herself up the stairs and into her room. Once inside, she changed into her sleeping attire and crawled deep under the covers. Her thoughts drifted to James and all she’d learnt about him; the devastating loss Adele had suffered and how much destruction Vincent had caused that night. The damage inflicted that night still haunted the immortals to this day. She understood why they had gone into hiding, but she could help them turn things around.

 
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