In my sleep I found that I was still very much aware of my surroundings. It honestly felt like someone had turned on a light bulb in my brain that would not be turned off; I knew in part this had something to do with me having some of Vincent’s blood still floating through my veins but I felt like it was more than that-- it was like my whole system had been overwritten and maybe even rebooted. There had been something in the pictures from Vincent’s brain-- the Fairlands? I think that was what it was; the place where Vincent said I was from; that I wasn’t human but Fae? Yes-- that had to be it. It felt like the humanity was slipping from me and I was becoming one of them-- not a Vampire, but a Fae. Thoughts tumbled in my head, who was Genevieve? I was, or was I someone else who had been waiting to be awoken? There were things in the back of my mind-- buzzing; telling me I had abilities I wasn’t even yet aware of. Not humanly possible, but completely possible if you weren’t from this universe… and I was not from this universe. As minutes ticked by in my unconsciousness, I was suddenly aware that I had been moved, or something had moved me and yet I was still lying in the same position as before-- but it felt strange, off somehow. Whether or not it was my mind that moved me or it was another person I could not quite tell because one moment I had been sleeping on a sofa and the next I was sleeping in a bed with covers pulled up to my chin.
I sat up. It was still dark out, very early morning yet with my newer defined eyesight I could tell that this room was definitely not in Vincent’s flat. No, this room reminded me of the room I had woken up in the day before; except this room had a different feel to it-- by feel I mean the person who lived here-- she must be exceedingly prim and pampered. I stood off the bed and walked around in the dark exploring. I pulled open the wardrobe closet-- it was full of long dresses, peach corsets and white pantaloons. I frowned and made a face, closing the wardrobe closet and turning away finding my face reflecting in the mirror on the wardrobe door. I could just see my outline in the pale light moonlight. The white nightgown made me look like I was a little lost child, my creamy skin hidden in shadow and from this angle in the dark my eyes looked black as my hair. I blinked and so did the girl in the mirror. I turned away, from the pale girl in the mirror and went to the window. I tugged the curtains open and peeked out; I stared into the empty courtyard below-- and was surprised it didn’t strike me as odd there was a courtyard below me.
My examination of the room proved for lack of better words; interesting-- and gave me a certain knowledge that if I stayed here long enough I would be forced to wear these dresses and those corsets. I knew I had to leave, but to where? I walked back to the closet and uncovered a black cape-- I was actually surprised this girl who lived here owned anything black. I pulled the cape off its hook and put it around my shoulders, clasping the ornate clasp around my neck and then staring at the door. I supposed that the caliber of girl who lived here might be under guard and key, but it was very late-- and I highly doubted anyone would be awake at this time of night to stop me. Banking on my hopeful thoughts I pulled open the wooden door to the room.
Asleep on either side of the door were two knights. I was suddenly so grateful for intuition-- for that had been what had just happened right? I stepped out of the room tiptoeing soundlessly past the sleeping knights and leaving the door to the room wide open; there would be no point to closing it-- besides it would make too much noise and wake the slumbering knights. The hallway here was curved and heading downwards-- seeing as there were no doors here I continued down the hallway pausing only when I did reach a door--I could hear noises from the room of what sounded like the clinking of glasses and clanging of plates, so I headed further down the staircase and back into the dark shadows.
I moved slowly-- stealthily, my eyes picking up even minute details; like the stonework in the wall and the threads in the runner on the ground. I made my way towards air that felt cooler on my skin and ended up pushing open the main castle door to the courtyard and the beautifully fresh outdoors. I paused there, not sure where to go next; until saw a light flickering in what looked like a small Cathedral just off the courtyard and for some reason I felt drawn to it. I crept along the wall and then slid into the church, shutting the door firmly behind me. The church was what I had expected it would be; stone work on the inside with wooden pews lining the floor right to the front of the small room where there was a raised podium in the ground. It was at the front of the church I saw the Priest lighting candles on short tables on either side of the stone podium. I made my way to him slowly, not wanting to frighten him; but he heard me approaching and turned around. I expected his face to show shock or confusion but I saw none of that there, only deep peace on the old man’s face. For he was an old man, his face was slightly round as if he had eaten too many doughnuts; but his cheeks were bright and his eyes kind, and his white hair circled his head like a halo.
“Father.” I said respectfully to the priest and inclined my head slightly to show his rank.
The Priest reached out and put his hand on the top of my head. “My fair Princess.” He replied. “So, you have awakened.”
I did not pretend to understand him; it was probably better that way.
“I must admit-- I was expecting you earlier.” He continued and patting my head once more he then turned around and continued lighting candles.
“There is so much I do not understand Father.” I whispered.
He nodded and lit the last of the candles then shuffled off to the side of the room where he put away his tools for lighting the candles, then he turned to look at me. “Indeed no one really can fully understand anything in this day.” He waited for me to respond, and I felt frustration rise up inside me.
“Who am I?” I tried to say calmly, when quite frankly I wanted to scream. “And what is happening to me?”
The Priest sighed and went and sat on the front pew, and patted the space beside him. I went and sat. For a moment we sat very quietly in the glow of the candles, I trying to stay seated, to stay composed, he pondering.
“Everyone eventually asks who they are and where they are going… it is not always an easy question to ask, nor is it always correct to give a complete answer for many are unworthy to hear it.” He paused. “There has always been a King and Queen in these Fairlands. We are the Fae or Fair Folk. People have always strayed here whether through a gate that was open when the veil between worlds grew thin-- or in their dreams. Some have come and stayed-- others come and gone. Those who live here are granted by their goodness an ability to certain talents-- like in all stories of heroes renowned. You my girl, Princess were born with such powers as never existed-- It is not known how but perhaps even when you were in the womb the fair earth sensed it and the door between worlds was open, and all sorts of people strayed through, some that even possessed Fae like traits, they worked among us for a time until they found that they could only advance so far in this realm and that ultimate power sat with the King here in the Castle. It was into this you were born-- and then stolen away.”
“What am I? Am I Fae?”
“Yes-- I wasn’t sure when you returned here before-- your powers were slumbering, indeed I even questioned myself that I had only dreamed of your powers.”
“Princess Genevieve, you are the gem of us all. And to think that I almost married you to that thick headed Prince Charles-- but I suppose you don’t remember that anymore.”
“No-- but how did you know someone had stolen my memories?”
“Stolen? No-- everything was due to be erased when you awoke-- but you were to awake here-- where your family could explain.”
“So even if someone hadn’t stolen my memories-- they would have been erased anyways?”
“Yes, but much has happened… the King and Queen are slumbering now. Their spirits have been sent to your world.”
“They are slumbering in their alternate selves, your adoptive parents.”
“The war has started anew-- the doors were open at your return very much as when you were born.” He coughed and looked at me. “I can see it in your blood now; just as clearly as when I blessed you as a babe--” He sighed. “Forgive me.” He mumbled patting my arm, and he stood and faced me. “I am an old rambler.” I blinked. “You have not come here for me to give you your history or explain how things were-- you are here for the now-- for the present.”
I also stood. “You are wrong. I do not know why I am here.” I said softly.
He laughed. “You are here for me.” He said, “I am Father Ezekiel. I am to be the Priest to marry you.”
I frowned, so did he. “Not to Prince Charles either, forgive me for that momentary slip in my judgment my dear Princess. I didn’t see what I now see, I had forgotten so much.. so many a prophecy that I--”
I had no memory of a Prince so I shook my head.
“Right. Well, you don’t remember any of this and some it’s too early to reveal. You are to wed one of them-- a Vampire. You are the tipping point of ancient proportions.”
I stared at him, how did he know that?
“Now come. We will go together. Let us start this avalanche together.”
I remained frozen in place pondering what he had said.
“Unless you would like to stay here? Wed the Prince and deny your destiny?” Father Ezekiel questioned me.
I cleared my throat and followed him into a side hall and then up a winding staircase that led into a very dusty room in a turret of the old church. I sneezed a few times and blinked in the grainy air, it looked for all appearances as if no one had set foot in this room for years. In the middle of the round room Father Ezekiel was pulling a large canvas sheet off some wooden structure. As the sheet fell there was a cloud of dust and sparkles that flew to the ground. Underneath the sheet was a wooden frame but there was nothing in it, at least that I could see. I walked closer and that’s when I saw it-- the air looked alive-- it was sparkling and bubbling in the middle of the wooden frame.
I turned to look at Father Ezekiel. “What is this?” I asked him.
“The portal between worlds, this is the only one that has remained open all these years.”
I darted a look at him. “But you just said…” I trailed off.
“Yes.” Father Ezekiel bemoaned. “I was able to capture the portal door and hide it-- I told no one-- and perhaps I should have; but then we would not be standing here right now and you would quite possibly have had a much different life than the one you are called to. Every other portal was closed after you were stolen away-- but this one although captured and hemmed in will only work with great power.”
I watched him shove his hand through-- sparks flew but his hand passed through to the other side; I could still see it.
Curious I walked to where Father Ezekiel stood and put out my hand; the closer I brought it to the mirror the more sparks flew off it’s surface; and when my finger touched it-- I felt an icy pain stab at my fingers, and when I shoved my fingertips into the shimmering and flowing air, they disappeared. I yanked my hand out.
“Do you know what lies on the other side of this portal?” I asked slowly.
Father Ezekiel sighed. “It stands to reason that if we are in a church on this end, that we would end up in a church on that end; but it is only a theory and right now nothing more.”
He held out his hand, I looked down at it and was concerned-- “You realize we go to a place that is very different from this place; and that you might never again come back here.” I said slowly. “We are going into the unknown.”
He nodded and I hesitantly took his hand.
“What you say is true-- and yet I find myself intrigued at worlds of existence beyond this one and am very much ready to explore something new.” He smiled at me reassuringly. “Shall we go Princess?” He asked much more bravely than I would have thought for an old man.
I nodded and threw one arm through the framed air-- pain ran through every fibre of my being; then I leaped through and dragged Father Ezekiel with me. I shut my eyes and held my breath. When I finally opened my eyes and the pain had stopped I found myself pulling myself up to my feet on old polished marble in what appeared to be an abandoned church. Father Ezekiel was coughing but other then that he looked alright-- once he had stopped coughing he stood up; blinking in the darkness and looking around. I also looked around, this church looked familiar for some reason; and that made me afraid-- I must have been here before, but not knowing why was a dangerous place to be in.
“We should leave this place.” I whispered.
Father Ezekiel who was looking at everything surrounding us nodded. “It’s such a pity this would happen to a church, a place of God, a place of faith.”
I looked around myself, pillars of stone had been pulled over; the wooden pews had been scratched with what looked like claws, the podium at the front was broken in half and the marble floor was cracked and in some cases bend down as if something too heavy for it had dragged itself across the floor.
“A great battle finished here. Oh at least three hundred years ago. Maybe longer. There was great evil here. And they killed in the sacred place.” There was a haunted look on Father Ezekiel’s face.
“How do you know that?” I asked.
He shrugged. “It is in the air, can you smell it?”
I closed my eyes and shut out the sound of breathing and my own fear and I took a deep breath, and held it in. Nothing happened at first but then I could see pictures flashing through my head-- pictures of the Nephilim, Shape shifters, Vampires and Werewolves… There was something they were fighting over. It must have been of great importance. Then the picture was gone, and my eyes flew open-- I stared at Father Ezekiel.
“What was that? How can I see that?”
He sighed. “I have told you Princess- you have been born with great powers; you are Fae-- and since you have been awakened there is no telling what else you might be able to do. All I know is that in the old and undisturbed places of power or great events that are this old; a picture like a residue is always left behind on the place where that event or power was, like a name signed onto a piece of parchment. That is what you have seen. I do not see pictures-- I just know I can feel it in my bones… But you are right; we should go from this place.”
I swallowed and nodded and we went out into the night and found ourselves in the middle of a graveyard.
Father Ezekiel frowned. “It is not good to have so many souls at unrest buried in the same place.”
I tried not to think about what that might mean as we left the church behind us. We walked in silence for a while, the priest taking in every new sight and sound, my own head buzzing with thoughts.
“When you say I am Fae and my powers are awakened what does that mean again?”
Father Ezekiel smiled at me, and took my hands. “It means you have the ability of a shape shifter, the stealth of an assassin and the long life of The Fallen; the Nephilim, but I know not what else you can do-- when powers such as the ones born to you are given and not tested or studied by learned scholars then there is no telling what skills you may hold in your hand. But I do know you can for example create light in the palm of your hand, just by the thought of your mind. We are all made of light, you my Princess most of all. Come, try it now.”
His hands squeezed mine gently and then released my fingers. I stared down into my cupped hands. The Fae were supposed to represent light-- I guess. I imagined that I was holding the light like a mini sun; when there was a burst of light in my hand, but I didn’t focus enough and because I was so shocked-- it sputtered and died right away. So I tried again and was this time successful.
“Good, good.” Father Ezekiel clapped his hands. “Remember though-- not to reveal your powers to everyone.”
I nodded as I played with this new found power sending the ball of light along my fingertips and then throwing it in the air and catching it; by now we had reached the edge of the graveyard and had come to a stop under a streetlight. I let the light in my hand evaporate, and looked out at the road. I had no clue which direction we needed to go. Thoughts and pictures flooded my brain when I suddenly had an idea; I grabbed Father Ezekiel’s hand.
“Hold on.” I remembered something Vincent had told me-- he and I were connected. I wondered if I focused on being with him strong enough that I could teleport us to him. For a moment nothing happened, I clamped my eyes shut and kept trying, and then suddenly it was like the air had been knocked out of my chest. When I opened my eyes we were standing before the couch in Vincent’s living room, and his door was flying open.
“Genevieve?” Vincent threw himself into the room, and spotting me tugged me into his arms. It was only then he realized I wasn’t alone. Vincent looked from me to Father Ezekiel who looked in all manner of speaking to be a traditional Priest; complete with robes and the telltale wisp of white hair circling his balding scalp. “How-- who...” Vincent sputtered.
I shook my head. “Father Ezekiel and I don’t know how.”
“I have been summoned through space and time to here and now-- I am to marry you two of course.” Father Ezekiel said.
There was a banging of the apartment door and Marissa came into the room. “I looked for her everywhere.” Marissa was saying as she flounced into the room; but froze mid-step and sentence as she spotted me and the Priest. “What in heaven’s name is going on?”
Father Ezekiel cleared his throat; and looked at me. It made sense really, Marissa had shown me her arm-- the people who were my parents, who actually were my parents seeing as my biological parents’ spirits were slumbering in my adoptive parents bodies and who at this point I could not remember-- would not be able to understand or witness the real wedding ceremony, even Marissa had said as much. The only people I really needed to witness my actual wedding where here; Vincent-- my husband to be and Marissa who was Vincent’s sister. Clearing my throat I said as calmly as I could;
“You said yourself Marissa; we needed a particular Priest to perform the marriage vows, well-- I have brought one back with me; Father Ezekiel. He is one who is able to perform such a ceremony, and then we can have a proper human wedding to appease my parents and make everything official in that way at another point in time-- like after we graduate.”
Marissa pouted and crossed her arms over her chest in the dim room. “Fine.” She snapped. “But I still get to plan you a normal wedding?” Her request sounded like a threat.
I shrugged. “Sure.”
She nodded then and we all turned towards Father Ezekiel.
“Yes, yes. Well, shall we begin?” He asked slowly looking at each of us. “My child-- Marissa, if you would?”
Marissa nodded and disappeared into the kitchen and returned with a silver bowl, small knife and a bottle of red wine. She rearranged the furniture in the room and pulled a small side table out from the wall and put it in front of Father Ezekiel, then moved Vincent to one side of the table and me to the other, and then she stood at the empty space so that the table was surrounded on all sides. I was slightly afraid, but curious at the same time.
Father Ezekiel nodded and smiled at Marissa.
“Thank you my child. I am glad to know that you know the binding ceremony. It is becoming a lost art-- only in happening the secrecy, of darkend mansions and cold houses-- but it was always meant to be witnessed by friends and family.”
I looked around-- this was my family now.
Marissa nodded respectfully at him and then smiled at me-- no, correction-- she grinned. Vincent looked puzzled, just as confused as I was I guess. Then Father Ezekiel pulled from his robe four candles; he passed one to Marissa, who passed it to me; and so on until all four of us held the unlit candle.
“We call to the earth- for it gives us life.” Father Ezekiel struck his candle on the table and it burst to flame, he tipped it at Marissa’s candle and continued. “To the air which gives us breath,” He turned to Vincent. “To the water which sustains,” And then he reached across to me. “To the fire which consumes;” Then he pulled a stump of wax from his sleeve, a fat purple candle. “And to the spirit which none can know.” He lit the purple candle in the centre of the table. “By thus the wheel of life is turned and the circle complete.”
A soft glow filled the room.
“Standing here united this night we bring this man and this woman; water and fire to become one in matrimony.”
I looked over my candle flame at Vincent-- he was staring at me, looking so serious, and sure we were doing the right thing-- it was calming to see his confidence.
Father Ezekiel took the wine and poured some into the silver bowl. “Wine represents both bitter and sweet-- let it be a memory to you and a vow that you shall stay together through thick and thin, right and wrong-- you shall not be parted for as the wine is both yet one so shall you both be separate and yet one.” He picked up the knife, and motioned that I should hold forth my hand which I did, grasping the candle tightly with my other hand. Father Ezekiel made a small cut in my finger, and some blood dripped into the bowl of wine. “By your blood will this vow stand, for blood is life and to give your life to one another in unity of matrimony; so swear by the thing which keeps you alive so it shall not be broken.” He took Vincent’s hand and motioned to the bowl, for his knife could not cut the skin of a Vampire-- so Vincent ran a fingernail over his palm and only then his blood dripped into the bowl. “I ask that the witness would speak up to testify to all she has seen and heard knowing that these two have pledged their lives and love together to live from henceforth as man and wife.”
Marissa put out her free hand over the bowl. “I swear it Father.” Some of her blood dropped in the bowl.
I had not being paying attention to the contents of the bowl but now as I watched Marissa’s blood drip down I saw that the wine laced with blood was boiling, and had turned a golden hue, clear and sparkling.
“In unity of love and as confirmed by this witness I pronounce you man and wife.” So saying he picked up the bowl and handed it to Vincent, who drank some of the liquid and then passed it across the table to me. I took it and drank the remainder of the liquid. It was warm and made my head buzz. I can not define its taste-- for to me it tasted of vanilla, cinnamon and caramel-- and yes I could taste each different flavour individually.
I was vaguely aware that Father Ezekiel was thanking the spirit, fire, air, water and earth and sending them away, but my hand and left arm was on fire. The candle I had been holding was extinguished so I placed it on the table and looked down at the skin on my arm. There was a swirling line barely visible to my eyes, but none the less still there, from my elbow all the way down my wrist and then snaking all the way around my ring finger on my left hand.
Marissa who was standing closer to me then Vincent grabbed my arm and grinned. “I wish you could see it clearly as I see it.” She mumbled, “It is intricate and pure gold, its ivy and small blossoms. It’s so gorgeous.”
I looked across the table at Vincent; he was staring at the mark on his arm when he looked up at me with a look of pure joy on his face. “Now you really are mine.” He whispered.
It was all I could do to not fly across the room and into his arms, but then I was aware that we still had guests. Father Ezekiel was putting the candles away and Marissa still watching us with a smirk on her face. I picked up the empty bowl and knife and passed it to Marissa.
“Put this away, please.” Then not waiting to see if she had listened to me I picked up the side table well the side of it at least-- Vincent grabbed the other side and then we pushed it back into place together. Father Ezekiel had meandered into the kitchen and was speaking to Marissa who nodded looking serious and solemn. I suppose I could have listened in to their conversation but I was much too distracted. Father Ezekiel pulled Marissa in for a hug, then turned and he smiled a sad smile and from where I was standing I could see him let himself out the door.
“You know where to find me when it is time.” I heard him whisper as the door shut.
Marissa walked toward us her face twisted in many emotions but when she stopped in the doorframe the other emotions were gone and she was grinning at me like an idiot.
“Finally I have a sister who I can actually have a conversation with and not have to worry about you spying on me and telling dad what I am up to!”
Vincent flashed her a grin, I tried to smile back at her but what I really wanted was for Marissa to leave so I could be alone with Vincent.
“Right then.” She said abruptly and stalked into the room. “You.” She said stabbing a finger at Vincent. “Into your room.” Then she looked at me. “I know you’re probably going to hate me-- but I can’t let you stay here Gen.”
My jaw dropped.
“See, father already hates me and ignores me-- so if I have you stay at my place it’s no biggie-- but if you stay here and they find him well-- then they’ll kill him and you.”
I growled. So did Vincent.
“Look, let’s just do this until you both are graduated and we can have that human wedding and Vincent turns you-- speaking of which you should tell your parents Gen, your happy news.”
I wanted to scream and run at Marissa and hit her or something; instead I calmly looked up at Vincent and took his hand--
“Ready to walk into the lion’s den?” I muttered rolling my eyes.
A part of me knew that what Marissa was saying was right but the other part of me was thinking that this was all unnecessary since I couldn’t even remember the people who raised me, if I didn’t remember them being my parents what was the big deal? Though I guess it was kind of a big deal since my biological parents spirits were slumbering in my adoptive parents bodies. I sighed and swung my bags over my shoulder and bit my lip; my hand clasped tightly in my husband’s. I grinned like a goof. I had a husband. A sexy hot, vampire husband. Oh. My. Gawd. I giggled as we walked out of the apartment hand in hand with my man.
Sighing Marissa led us down into her green Mercedes Benz. Vincent and I sat in the back seat, while Marissa slid into the driver’s seat throwing on huge shades even though it was quite dark out. As we drove into the night, Marissa looked over her shoulder and grinned at me.
“Remember to tell your mom and dad that you want to experience life on your own for a bit before you get married; that will be your excuse to move into my place.”
I sighed again, and Vincent wrapped his arms around me looking annoyed. I was actually surprised he was keeping his mouth shut. I pulled him tighter around me and buried my face in his chest and breathed in his scent.
“Well, there’s no turning back now.” He muttered flatly.
“Let’s do this.” I finished for him.