For the next month he walked her to school every day and they talked and laughed and carried on. It was like a dream just to talk with him. To see his smile, was to see the Eiffel tower. In her mind, it was equivalent. Every weekend he took her out and stayed true to his courting her. He wanted to be with her more and more as time passed, and she could tell.
He pushed his limits only a little but enough to see what she would allow. It was almost like a dream. At school the name calling continued, but she didn’t care in the least. Lorraine’s opinion didn’t matter, and Raphael seemed to accept his defeat.
Walking home from school Alex grabbed her hand and intertwined their fingers.
“Tomorrow night is my ascension, school is out to commemorate the ceremony. Will you be my date?”
“I will have to check my schedule, I may be able to pencil you in.” she said laughingly.
“Oh, will you? You will, ‘Pencil’ me in?” He started tickling her as she ran, he chased after her. Before she realized it, she was in the middle of the woods and he was no longer behind her. She stopped running and looked around. She was walking backwards, and Alex grabbed her from behind.
She looked at him angrily, “Don’t do that!”
She wasn’t paying attention and tripped over a stump before she hit the ground, he caught her, and they fell together. She was laying on top of him and she pulled her face to his and kissed him. She looked up and noticed the spot they were in. It was the one from Raphael’s memory. This was the exact spot where they were intimate.
It was ironic that they laid in the same spot they had before and it kind of scared her a bit. She couldn’t allow herself to be afraid, not with Alex holding her as he was. She felt protected in his arms, and she wanted nothing more, than to be with him in the same way she had seen in Raphael’s memories. She pulled herself up to sit beside him.
“I want to show you something.”
“Okay, so show me.”
“Don’t get any ideas. That night Raphael was at my house, he showed me something that happened prior to what we see in our dream.”
“Okay, is this going to upset me?”
“No, I don’t think so.” She felt flushed and knew she was turning red from embarrassment.
“Okay, show me.”
She placed her hand on his head and said, “Memorus Vel Duram”.
She closed her eyes to experience the memory again with him. She pulled them from the vision and sat watching his reaction.
“Can you…can you show me that again?”
She pushed him back and he laughed. “So that explains why I can feel you. I told you, who we were then, are big parts of who we are now.”
“That’s why I wanted to show you. We had just talked about it the night before he showed me.”
“But seriously, I don’t think I saw it clearly, show me again.” Laughing he pulled himself up and reached down for her hand. “I think it is time we get you home.”
“You have a big day tomorrow, are you ready?”
“I ascend the throne, but it will not fully be mine until my twenty first birthday. It is kind of like an apprenticeship.”
“Well that’s good right?”
“Not really, it is more of an aggravation than anything. I will be king in name only, for two more years. Unlike your coven, when you ascend the throne in two short years, it is yours to do with what you please.”
“Well maybe that means your family takes the ascension more seriously than my family.”
Before she knew it, they were at her door. It was strange how fast time passed when she was with him. It was almost unfair, as if there wasn’t enough time in the day for her to enjoy him as she wanted.
“Until tomorrow, Princess.” He stepped toward her and kissed her as he held her in his arms. She felt her knees grow weak and almost dropped to the ground, if it weren’t for him holding her, she would have.
She walked over to her bed and couldn’t wait to go to sleep. It had been a long day and she could finally sleep in on a school night, because there was no school.
“Thank you, Alex.” She said aloud to herself as she threw herself on the bed. She looked down to see her amulet glowing bright green. She wondered what it could mean. She looked over to the black door. She hadn’t been in there but one time, and she wondered what she could find in there if she went plundering.
As she stood up, she was lifted into the air. ‘Here we go again’, she thought to herself. She knew another vision was coming as her head pulled backwards.
Suddenly, she was in the school. It was clearly before it was a school. Her family’s castle was more extravagant back then. Candles were lit down the hallway all the way down. The curtains were beautifully made with the G symbol. She knew it stood for Gratu. She wondered what the Gratu family was like. She hadn’t even heard anything of that side of her family. She realized she had never even heard anything of her biological father. If this man was her fathers’ great grandfather its odd that no one, including Vee, had mentioned anything about him.
Were they good people? If her fathers’ side was where all the power, she had that was supposed to be so great, came from, then where did it originate from? It all seemed so weird that no one had even mentioned her father. Maybe he was dead. He had to be, after all, she had yet to see him. Wouldn’t he be there if he were alive?
She was interrupted in thought, when she heard a woman shouting. It didn’t take her long to realize it was her own voice.
“How dare you! You think you have some right to MY powers?”
“Baby, I was just doing it for protection, you are so much stronger than your sister and I.”
“Don’t baby me! You will give me back what you have taken! It isn’t yours to take or share or whatever you are doing with it.”
“You regenerate new power every day, it isn’t like I am taking from a regular witch, I am taking only what I know you will get back tomorrow.”
“That is exactly why my powers haven’t grown, you won’t allow them to do so! I am taking it back and if you ever do that again I will take every bit of your ‘regular’ witch powers as you like to call it.”
“Vendium de Morsque.” She heard herself say as her eyes glowed green and her amulet lifted, pulling, what seemed like, a life force from her mother. She was taking back power that her mom had stolen from her. Just as she realized what was happening, she also realized that her mother was doing the same thing that she had done then.
Vee was taking her power because she knew she would regenerate it the next day. She pulled herself from the vision and sat on the edge of her bed. She had to talk to Vee about this. It made sense if that is why she had been feeling drained every day. If that was the case though, Vee had a lot of explaining to do. She laid down on her bed and let her mind go blank. Closing her eyes, she fell into a deep sleep.
The next day she was woken by the sound of Vee banging on her door.
“Katerina! Wake up!”
What a good time to take back the power her quote unquote ‘mother’ had been taking from her. She already wasn’t a very happy person when she woke up. She spelled the door open and Vee came in.
“You aren’t even dressed for the ceremony? You are part of it, how can you not be ready!?”
“How am I part of the ceremony? It’s Alex’s Ascension, not mine.”
“Well you are the one who decided you have to be with him…never you mind, just get dressed.”
“Before I do, I have a few questions I need you to answer.”
“Okay, go ahead.”
“When were you going to tell me that you were draining my power every day so that you can build yours?”
“What? Why would you…How do you…”
“Save it, I am taking it all back. How do you think that taking my power is okay? It is mine to use and wield as I choose but it is not for you to take from me!”
“How would you know anything about that? Taking power, or taking it back is a form of dark magic. They don’t teach it in school.”
“Vendium de Morsque.” She said as her amulet lifted like in her vision. She could see it pulling the power from Vee also like in her vision. She felt a burst of energy hit her as she pulled the power into herself. She felt more powerful than she had before.
“Why do you think that is okay? Just so you don’t get any more ideas, I will be spelling my magic so that you nor anyone else can touch it ever again.”
“I…I am sorry, just like in your past life, I was only doing it for protection. Your magic grows each and every day and will continue to do so until your twenty first birthday. Magic like mine and your sisters, we are born with. It doesn’t grow, and it doesn’t enhance.”
“This conversation never happened and will never be brought up again.”
“Okay.” Vee hung her head down as she walked out of the door.
‘What could they possibly need protection from?’ She wondered. She looked in her closet and found a dress that she didn’t remember having. It was solid red with no back and a slit as long as her legs on the right side. She didn’t have anything else formal to wear.
“Seems fitting for such an occasion.” She laughed to herself as she donned the dress. Walking out her door she spelled herself to Vortigen castle and stood in awe at its magnificence. The Duncan family castle had nothing on the Vortigen family castle. It was made of solid black stone and was just as intimidating as Alex’s grandfather.
Everyone was walking into the doorway, it seemed the entire town had come to see the ascension.
“Well, don’t you look absolutely beautiful.” Alex said as he walked up behind her.
“You’re not so bad yourself there handsome.”
“Miss, you better not say that too loudly, my girlfriend might get jealous.”
“Girlfriend? Where? I never agreed to be your girlfriend Mr. Vortigen.”
“I can dream.” He said laughingly as he grabbed her hand twirling her around as if they were dancing. “You look absolutely stunning.”
“You better not say that too loud, my boyfriend might get jealous.”
“So, I AM your boyfriend.”
“I haven’t decided yet, maybe.” She said playfully.
“I will take what I can get. This way, you get a front row view.” He motioned for her to stand by the staircase as he walked up the winding stairs. Looking up she saw a woman that looked no older than she did, standing beside Alex. She was a beautiful woman. She had jet black hair and startling blue eyes. She was just as tan skinned as Alex, and all but his eyes were identical to him.
She realized that was his mother. She didn’t look a day older than 25, at the oldest. Well at least she knew where he got his good looks from. Just as the thought came to mind, she looked to the right of Alex and saw a man that favored the headmaster. He looked a lot younger, as the woman did. He had the jet-black hair and dark colored eyes as Alex did and realized he was his father. They were all so beautiful. “Good genes.” She said aloud.
“Agreed.” She heard a familiar voice say. Turning around she saw it was Narcissa.
“Hey, I haven’t seen you around much, here lately.”
“I have been around I just didn’t want to intrude on your Love connection.”
“Ha-ha very funny.”
“Thank you all for coming. Tonight, my son takes the throne of Vortigen, as is his birth right. We are all pleased so many came to witness the Ascension. First and foremost, as is tradition, he must choose his betrothed, and one who is to ascend the throne with him when he fully takes the throne on his twenty first birthday.”
He had to choose a woman? She suddenly felt slightly faint and like she had been set up. Looking over she noticed Lorraine glaring at her in distain. Not only was Lorraine looking at her but everyone else was as well. They all knew who he was going to pick, and it wasn’t going to be Lorraine. She looked up to Alex and he was smiling down at her. He was about to embarrass her, and she knew it. As if she didn’t stand out enough in her cherry red dress.
“Thank you all for coming tonight to witness my ascension. It really means a lot that so many of you chose to be here rather than be at home enjoying your day off. As many of you know, I have all but voiced who my betrothed will be. In this day and age, though, she has a right to reject my proposal. Katerina, will you come up here and join me?”
She looked around at all the eyes that were watching her and felt glued in place. She looked up to Alex and her embarrassment left altogether. She made her way up the staircase never losing eye contact with Alex. Standing beside him he continued with his speech and she couldn’t help but notice the looks of distain that Vee was giving her from below.
“So, Katerina, do you accept my proposal to be my betrothed and to one day rule by my side?”
She couldn’t say no in front of all of these people. Shaking her head as she answered him, “I do.”
He grabbed her and pulled her close to him briefly kissing her. “Isn’t she beautiful?” He grabbed her hand and twirled her around. Everyone clapped in agreement, even if they didn’t agree. She never had been one to enjoy a crowd’s attention but, in that moment, she felt proud to be by his side.
Of all the people that were there, she only saw Alex, and the smile he had on his face as he admired her. She had never felt more beautiful than when he was looking at her. It was as if he saw her fully, all the way through, inside and out. As the ceremony continued and his crown was donned, she stood aside and watched in admiration.
“Right this way, Miss Duncan.” His father, Rayven Vortigen, was beside her motioning for her to sit by Alex’s side. She sat beside him and they donned a crown on her head as well. All at once the crowd started chanting, “Alessandro Vortigen, long live the king. Katerina Vortigen, all praise the Queen.”
It was like a dream, a fairytale of sorts. They were chanting their names because they were the future royals of their people. She was in a different land, she was a witch with a vampire lover, she was a princess, and not only the future queen of her coven, but of the vampires as well. What could this mean for their people. Maybe this would be a reconciliation of sorts for them all. ‘Could they coexist with one another?’ She wondered. The Ceremony was beautiful, and everything went well she thought.
“Let me walk you home, my queen.”
“That sounds so weird, so this means I am dating the King.”
“I guess it does. Now it is set in stone, I am sorry for not telling you of my intentions. I wanted to surprise you.”
“I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I don’t plan on getting married any time soon.”
“Of course not, I don’t have to be married until my full ascension to the throne. I did, however, need a future queen prospect by my side for the ceremony to be completed.”
“Ah, a prospect, so you can change your mind if you wanted.” She didn’t like that idea, he could get bored with her and then choose someone else like Lorraine.
“Yeah, I mean, if I decided someone else would be more up for the task, I could choose them instead. Like Lorraine, for instance.”
“I can’t believe you said that!” She said as she pushed him playfully.
“I can’t believe you would think for a moment, that I would ever change my mind about you.”
“Yeah well, it’s possible, I am not that interesting. You could get bored.”
“You ARE pretty boring.” He said as he wrapped his arms around her. “I am kidding, don’t be silly. You are everything to me, and one day, you will be my queen.”
They reached her house and she didn’t want her night with him to end. “It’s pretty late, would you like to come in…and stay?” She felt her heart racing and saw him smile as he heard it.
“I thought you would never ask.”
As they walked in, she said, “Don’t get any ideas, that was not an invitation to my bed.”
Before she could do anything, he was behind her with his arms around her waist kissing her neck. She turned to stop him but could barely manage to tell him so.
“We…um…we should get some rest. It has been a long day.” She was walking backward until she came to a wall.
“Do you really want me to stop?” He asked as he was breathing heavily, his lips inches from hers. How could she refuse him while he was this close to her? She was a virgin still, but everything inside her yearned for him in every possible way.
“No.” As she spoke, he kissed her, picking her up and walking over to her bed. He laid her down and she realized this was it. She was going to give herself to him fully and she didn’t feel the least bit nervous about it. “I have never been with anyone before.”
“You’re a virgin?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Are you sure this is what you want?”
“I am sure.” She bit her lip as she looked into his eyes.
He picked her up and turned her around unzipping her dress. He laid on top of her, kissing her so gently, but with such passion, it awoken something inside of her. She felt as though this was as good as it could possibly be. His kiss, his smell, his touch, and the way he felt, was perfect. She wondered how she would feel in the morning. She wondered if she would regret it and instantly knew she wouldn’t.
Waking up she was staring at the ceiling. She thought about the night before and smiled. It was as if it were a dream, and it wasn’t until she looked over to Alex laying in her bed that she realized it wasn’t. He looked so peaceful laying there with the sun peeking through the window. She almost didn’t want to disturb him. Brushing his hair from his face, she leaned over kissing his cheek.
“Wake up Alex. It’s time to get ready for school.”
“Good morning princess.”
He looked over to the clock to see what time it was and immediately laid his head back down. He obviously didn’t want to get up, but she definitely had to. Today she would learn about her great, great grandfather. She had been wanting to learn more of her father’s family and she wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to do so.
“You can stay here if you want, but I have to go.”
Grabbing her hand and pulling her back into the bed he said, “It is my senior year, I am more than able to miss a day or two and get away with it.”
“Well, that may be true for you, but it is just my sophomore year, and today we are learning about my great, great grandfather. I can’t miss today.”
He rolled over looking at her. The way he looked at her was as if he were looking inside of her. She still didn’t understand how he could look at her with such passion and keep his composure.
“Very well, I will stay here a little while longer and then I will leave. I may be in later tonight.”
“Okay, sleep well.”
She went to walk out the door when he appeared behind her turning her around.
“Forgetting something?” He said as he bent down to kiss her.
Closing the door behind her, she leaned up against it and took a minute to appreciate the moment. She had never been happier or felt more whole. Even as happy as she felt, she couldn’t help but to wonder if it weren’t for their past lives and the emotions associated with them, if she would be as happy with him. She didn’t like the idea that she felt as if she had no control over her emotions for him. She hardly knew anything about him, and yet, she would look in his eyes and knew everything she needed to know.
Using the spell referred to as blinking, she blinked herself to school. Everyone was staring at her as she walked up to the school entrance. Their hushed whispers and glares made her feel like she would never belong there. Some of them feared her, some hated her, and some despised the fact that she was with Alex. She didn’t know how much more she would be able to handle. She was always a strong, outspoken person, but there she felt as if she were being attacked constantly.
Walking into class she took her seat and waited for the lecture on her great, great grandfather to begin. She really had never been so excited or looked forward to any type of class more than she did for this particular day. Vee was barely around anymore after their fight about her magic and her sister was nowhere to be found half of the time.
As she was lost in thought the teacher walked in. “Alright class, today we learn about Dorian Gratu. He is considered the one true king of both witch covens and the single most powerful witch of all time. Everyone knows the basics of who he was and what he did. Not a lot of people know what I am going to tell you in today’s class. I will be telling the fact and fiction as well as some rumors that have spread over the years that we have no way of knowing for sure if they are true or not.”
As she spoke, she looked at Katerina with concern before she continued. “Today we don’t teach, nor do we practice dark magic of any sort. Dorian was the single most powerful witch of his time. The cold hard truth is he wasn’t the hero or the great person everyone wants to believe him to have been. He practiced solely in the dark arts as did his father and his father’s father. He came from a long line of powerful dark magic witches.”
As if she didn’t see it coming, low-life Lorraine yelled out, ‘Evil Queen’. She didn’t even want to give her the satisfaction of responding or reacting to Lorraine’s snide comment. She thought about all the dark magic trinkets and books she had in her secret room. She practiced the dark arts in her past life and realized that her powerful magic that she can barely control was because it came from her dark magic practicing great, great grandfather and her stomach turned a little.
“In the Gratu family that are generally male born, their magic is so powerful because of the darkness that their magic comes from. Most witches have a choice in which magic they decide to partake in. The thing about the Gratu magic, it is said to derive from the devil himself. This is, of course, one of the rumors that have been passed over the centuries. There is no actual proof that the devil even exists, let along gives his power to a single family.
“The Gratu Family were revered as powerful Warlocks. With each and every generation born to this family, their power is said to enhance each time, tenfold. There was said to be a prophecy of a female witch to be born from this family. This Witch is to be the single most powerful of any who came before her. They say that she is to be the one to bring destruction and turmoil to all.”
She could feel everyone staring at her. Looking around she saw and felt their fear. Looking to Lorraine she could see the skeptical look she had on her face. She either doubted that Katerina had these powers or doubted that Katerina was the one from the prophecy. Everyone else clearly believed it. She realized she had gotten lost in thought and wasn’t paying attention at all.
“The Prophecy had two outcomes as most prophecies do. One was that she would be the downfall of everything and the one to bring back ‘The bringer of freedom’ as he is referred to as. The other prophecy was that she would be the only one who would be able to stop the evil from which her very own powers derive from. Some say it means ‘The end of times’ as the mortals call it. Others believe it also refers to Dorian.
If he were to ever return it would mean the end for us all. As most of you know, and as some of you don’t know, Dorian got too powerful and could not be controlled. He had found a way to live forever, and to take power from another leaving them powerless and thus lifeless. He had gotten beside himself and the witches council found a way to contain him throughout the centuries.
It is unknown the location where they sealed him away at. They say it is somewhere in the woods along the forbidden path where statues of the past lay in ruin. Others say they sent him to hell to be with his father, ‘the Devil’. None of this is known fact, but instead, mere speculation. The only thing that is for sure is that he was, in fact, born of a dark magic bloodline, a very ancient bloodline at that. ”
After class she walked up to her teacher. “Could I speak with you for a moment?”
“Of course, I hope I had not offended you in any way.”
“No, not at all. I just wanted to know, if I am to be this prophesied witch, does that make me evil?”
“It most certainly doesn’t. A witch’s magic and how it is used comes from the mind and the heart of the witch or warlock wielding it. I will say not a whole lot is known of your family’s magic. Nonetheless, in my experience, a witches magic is her own.”
“Thank you for that. I really needed to hear that.” She had questioned her goodness since she found out she was a witch and who she actually was. She thought of asking about Dorian and where he was contained. The statue flashed into her mind. She had been to the ‘forbidden path’ as they called it and remembered the statue of Dorian. It stood while all others had fallen and broken.
She wondered if it were possible that the witch council had instead turned Dorian to stone instead of putting him in something to be found, they hid him in plain sight. Shaking the thought from her head she realized she was staring blankly into space while she was supposed to be having a conversation with her teacher.
“Thank you, you have been so helpful. No one has mentioned my father’s family since I have gotten here.”
“Not a problem. I am always here if you need anything, even just someone to talk to.”