Past Life Concoction
LADY NILA POV
My hands were shaking, Sebastian’s digging into my arms as I stared down at the floor. I couldn’t look him in the eyes right now, too afraid to do so as he hissed out his anger towards me.
“I told you to stay away for now. You’re not listening very well, are you?” His fingers dug deeper into my skin, causing me to whimper out in pain.
“I didn’t know she was here,” I whispered out, tears filling my eyes. My love for Sebastian was dwindling quickly and there weren’t words to describe my hatred towards him at this moment.
He released me for a moment, running his hands over his face before he glared at me. “You might have just ruined everything!” His voice had risen, causing me to jump. “She saw you at the fair, no?” I nodded, still not able to look at him. “Then she knows you’re involved somehow. What the hell were you thinking coming here? I didn’t bring you back from Scotland just to screw this all up. Don’t make me send you back where I found you, Nila, you won’t like where that place is.”
Sebastian stepped towards me in an angry manner, causing me to cover my face and cower at his action. His hand came up, pushing through my arms, and gripped around my throat.
I began choking for air, my eyes now looking into his as they widened in fear. He was about to harm me, there wasn’t a question in my mind about it. Why is he so angry?
He brought his lips dangerously close to my ear, growling out, “If you come near her again, I’ll end your life faster than I brought you into it.”
Once he released me, I dropped to my knees, coughing out as I regained the breath in my lungs. My eyes were swimming in tears as I shook like a leaf on the floor.
“Why… are you so… upset?” I asked between breaths, afraid to look up at him again.
His deep chuckle scared me, making me cower away from him once more. I watched as he got down on one knee before he took my chin in his hand, forcing me to look up into his eyes. “Oh, I’m not upset, Nila. I’m furious.” He shoved my face away with such force that I felt the pressure of a snap in my neck.
I still didn’t understand why he was furious. None of this made sense and I don’t see why me being here had jeopardized his mission, whatever that was.
“You’re going to leave now Nila and not return until I call for you. Do I make myself clear?”
I nodded. “Crystal.”
He walked over to me once more, grabbing me so roughly from the floor that I yelped in surprise. His fingers dug into my arm once more as he forced me towards the door, whipping it open.
Emersyn was standing in the kitchen, pretending to mind her own business, but I knew she was trying to listen in on us. When I walked past her, I kept my eyes down, afraid that if I looked at her, Sebastian would lose his temper again.
“It was nice seeing you, Emersyn, but I must be going,” I kept my eyes glued to the kitchen tiles, making my way towards the front door.
Sebastian gripped me harder, pushing me a bit faster. “I’m going to follow her out and then I’ll be back,” he told Emersyn and she said nothing. Was she afraid of him as well? If she wasn’t, she should be.
Once we reached the front door, I was turned by Sebastian’s vice-like grip to face him. My eyes traveled behind him, finding Emersyn standing in the kitchen staring out the back window. But, what I didn’t expect to see was the face of a woman in the glass. And it wasn’t just any face. No, it was Emersyn herself, but the Emersyn I remember; the one from 1333 Scotland.
Wait, how did I know that?
A strange feeling of déjà vu swept through me and left me more confused than ever. I looked up at Sebastian then and wondered what was going on here. How do I remember a woman I didn’t remember only moments ago, to a woman from an entirely different time? None of this made sense.
“Keep hidden, Nila; I’ll come for you soon.”
Sebastian shoved me out of the front door and slammed it in my face.
The cool night air chilled my heated skin as I walked backward away from Sebastian’s house. I was no longer worried about Sebastian’s threat and more focused on the fact that I had a recollection of someone from the 14th century.
And there was only one person I can think of who could help me figure this mystery out.
As I walked down the familiar cobblestone streets of the French Quarter, I noticed all the wrought-iron balconies and hanging ferns. There was a magical feeling to the city that was indescribable and I felt at home here. It was probably another reason why I was heading here too. There was a woman that owned a metaphysical shop down one of these alleys and she had a reputation for being the best around. If anyone could help me, it would be her. But which alley is it?
My eyes scanned down several alleys, seeing nothing of interest at the ends of them until I stopped dead in my tracks and stared down one in particular. There was a magnetic force pulling me down this one and I couldn’t help but notice how comfortable I felt, knowing that whatever was at the end of this alley came from nothing but love. I allowed my feet to pull me along, passing a single vehicle parked on the side of the road. My hand instinctively stuck out and ran along the smooth paint job. It was as if I could feel a connection to the person who drove it, but that didn’t make sense. I didn’t really know anyone besides Sebastian.
When I reached the end of the alley, I saw the shop I was looking for. Most of the lights were out but I could still see the window displays. There was nothing but dried herbs and stones greeting me and I wanted to touch them, knowing I’d feel peace when I did so. It was the strangest thing, but I felt like I was supposed to be here and that whoever this woman was, I was meant to find her.
I tugged at the front door, only to find it locked when I looked in and felt my heart drop. The brothers I had seen with Emersyn at the fair were in there, talking with a beautiful black woman covered in jewelry of all shapes and sizes. They couldn’t see me but I could see them. And the strange thing was that I didn’t feel fear seeing them like I had the last time. No, this time felt different.
One of the brothers turned and looked right at me as I watched the corners of his eyes crinkle, a smile tugging at his lips. And then I noticed his lips say my name. The other brother and the woman turned to me then and I began to panic. Should I run? Should I stay? I had no idea.
They all started walking towards me, the woman smiling warmly at me as I watched her unlock the door and slowly opened it, looking concerned that I might run if she moved too quickly.
“Hello, child. Why don’t you come in?” She gave me a once-over, but not in a judgemental way.
“I came here hoping you could help me…” I breathed out, not entirely sure why I was telling her so much upon just meeting her.
Her smile widened at the same time the door did, her hand sweeping in an inviting manner. “We don’t bite.”
I stared between the three of them, watching the shorter brother stare at me with such confusion that it made me feel self-conscious. My feet carried me over the threshold of the door, no longer feeling fear as soon as I stepped inside.
The brothers continued to stare wordlessly at me as the woman shut and locked the door again, rounding in front of me before she took my hands.
It was strange, but I felt like I recognized all of them like I had recognized Emersyn. But I don’t know any of these people. And how come I hadn’t felt this at the fair when I first met them?
“I know you’re closed right now, I just didn’t know where else to go,” I whispered, staring intently into the black woman’s kind eyes, too mesmerized to look away.
She smiled, patting my hands. “I’m glad you came, Nila.”
My heart sank at the mention of my name. “How do you know my name?”
The woman chuckled, looking over at the shorter brother. “He told me.”
My eyes moved to him, studying his face as an overwhelming feeling of love consumed my chest.
“I know you,” I sighed out, but still not sure how.
He nodded. “And I know you.” When he stepped forward, I stepped back. It was instinct to keep my distance from those I didn’t know. Ever since I met Sebastian, I questioned everything and everyone, knowing that everything had its dangers.
“We’re not going to harm you, Nila,” the woman breathed out, gripping my hands tighter. “We want to help you. Can you let us do that?”
My eyes went back to the woman in front of me as I studied her face. She had such a kind soul and she glowed like the sun, making me feel all warm and cozy inside. I slowly nodded, knowing I could trust her, but not sure why I felt this way so suddenly.
“Come over here, child.” The woman led me away from the brothers, pulling out a hidden stool from beneath a table as I sat down. I intently watched her walk from table to table, grabbing several different herbs from each one before she tossed them into a goblet. She poured some water into the goblet next, swirling it around in her hands as I watched her tightly close her eyes and whisper something over it. Her words were not audible, but I could see her lips moving. What is she saying?
I uncomfortably shifted on the stool, looking back at the brothers as they watched the scene in front of them carefully, looking at me intently as well. Their gazes were enough to make my skin crawl, but I didn’t fear them anymore. It just felt strange being in their presence.
The woman held the goblet out to me. “Drink every last drop.”
Taking the goblet from her, I stared into the cup. The liquid was dark and some of the herbs were floating to the surface. Instantly, I didn’t want to drink it in fear that it would taste disgusting, but I have to trust that whatever this was, would help me. I brought the goblet up to my lips and took a small sip. This actually tastes fantastic!
I gulped it down in a few swallows, wiping my chin afterward as I felt some of the liquid dribble down. She took the goblet from me before her eyes studied me, clearly waiting for something to happen.
“What is this stuff supposed to do?” As soon as the words left my mouth, I felt a sharp pain from deep inside of me. The pain was much worse than any physical pain I had ever felt, it felt as if the pain came from my soul.
My hands began to shake and my skin became heated. I tried to stand up but quickly realized I had no strength to do so. I fell to the ground like a sack of potatoes, landing hard to the wood beneath me.
The woman quickly pulled me into her arms, rocking me back and forth as she said something to one of the brothers. I couldn’t comprehend what she had told them as the pain radiated through me, shocking me to the core.
“Why does…?” Okay, this was painful. I squeezed my eyes tightly shut, trying with all my might to push the pain away. However, it was when my eyes were closed that I began to see memories flash through my mind like an old movie reel.
I was a little girl, about ten or eleven in age, with long ratted brunette hair whipping in the wind. My attire consisted of what looked like a burlap material, tied around my waist was a rope. Looking down, I saw that my hands and feet were terribly dirty, but I didn’t seem to mind. I was running through green hills, laughing and smiling, while the ocean roared off in the distance. When I turned around to see who was running with me, I saw a little boy chasing me. He was laughing as well, but it was his eyes that I recognized. They were a shade of copper with gold flakes, sparkling in the sunlight. He wore similar style clothing, no shoes revealed dirty feet, and neither of us seemed to have a single care in the world.
He chased me for several paces when I tripped and he caught me. Holding me in his arms, he kissed my cheek, telling me that he liked me. The scene ended when the shooting pain tore through me again.
The scene changed to an older version of myself being married to the little boy with dirty feet, except he wasn’t a little boy anymore. He was the most handsome man I had ever laid eyes on and he was mine. The same green hills from before roamed for miles behind us while our family and friends smiled at our reunion and when I turned to see the family and friends in attendance, I felt my soul quiver from such deep sadness.
Familiar faces were looking back at me; Emersyn and the brothers, along with the woman from the shop. They all looked the exact same from that time, besides the obvious attire and grooming practices of the modern world, but the same nonetheless. And then it all hit me like a tidal wave. I remembered who they were and what they meant to me.
My body began to violently shake and I watched the memories start to cut in and out, replaced by tidbits of darkness. No, I’m not ready to leave yet!
“Tristan, quick! Grab me that necklace!” I heard the woman’s soft voice from deep within my memories, or was it real?
The feeling of cool metal touched the back of my neck and something heavy rested on my chest, immediately pulling me back from the darkness and back to the here and now. My eyes burned when I opened them, seeing that I was back in the shop on the floor. The brothers were staring down at me with concern on their faces and the woman still held me in her arms.
“There she is,” she beamed out.
I sat up, no longer feeling the pain, as I stared down at the necklace around my neck. There was a stone hanging there that I didn’t recognize and when I touched it, I felt a zap of electricity go through me, but it felt good.
“That was intense,” I whispered, looking back up at all of them. One by one, I remembered their names and who they were. It didn’t matter that I learned their names that night at the fair when I spied on them. Now I remember them for who they are. “Tristan,” I started, staring up into his eyes, “What’s going on?”
His eyes softened as he dropped to his knees. He pulled me into his arms and I willingly went, holding him so tightly I thought I’d squeeze the air from his lungs.
“I’ve been confused for so long.”
“I know, baby, but you’re back. You’re safe now.” Tristan sat back from me, framing my face in his hands as he stared intently into my eyes. “I thought I’d never see you again.”
I sobbed out, feeling my bottom lip quiver. “I don’t even know what happened.”
“Who brought you back, Nila?” Atticus asked, hovering over us.
I thought about his question, really feeling the impact of it all now. This was definitely not the 1300s anymore and I honestly don’t know what happened between then and now.
“I don’t remember much, to be honest. It was as if I was in a deep slumber and I was this beautiful ball of energy, completely happy and calm and then the next thing I know, I’m waking up in my body.” I stared down at my familiar hands, noting how they felt different. “How is this possible?”
“Necromancy,” Briar growled out, not looking happy at all. “You aren’t supposed to be here, Nila. I know that’s painful to hear now that you’re here and reconnected with Tristan, but you can’t stay.” She nodded at my necklace. “That will hold you here until it’s time to go back.”
“Go back?!” Tristan stood up, glaring down at Briar. “She can’t go back! Why can’t she stay?! Do that magic incantation shit, cut her hand, and give her a talisman!” He was pacing now. His words confused me. What is he talking about? Is this why he’s alive now? Memories from my first life flashed through my mind as I remembered a terrible sickness overtaking our people and then Tristan was gone. After that, I have no memory of seeing my husband ever again.
“Tristan,” Briar sighed, “you know I can’t do that.”
Tears filled Tristan’s eyes as he stopped pacing. “Why does Atticus have Emersyn but I’m left all alone?” The sadness in his voice broke my heart. I missed him, too.
No one said a word and I couldn’t help but agree with Tristan. However, I had no idea what he was talking about with the whole incantation, cutting my hand and giving me a talisman. None of that made sense at all and I’m starting to get annoyed with how little I know.
Briar turned to me then. “Nila, we need to know who brought you back. Do you know who it is?”
I stared between the brothers, nodding my head. “The only person I know in this world is Sebastian, so I’m assuming it’s him.”
“Sebastian,” Briar breathed out as I watched her eyes go to a faraway place. “Tell us everything you know about him.”
“I honestly don’t know too much. He keeps me in the dark. The only thing I remember in this life is from a year ago, before that, there’s nothing. I woke up in this body as I said, but I was in Sebastian’s house. He made me say some words and then it was as if everything made sense without me actually having to ask any questions. He helped me awaken my natural gifts, bringing me to a higher vibration and told me I need to help him find someone.”
“Who was this someone?” Atticus asked, stepping forward.
I shook my head. “I didn’t know at the time but he wanted me to find Emersyn. It all makes sense now,” I whispered, staring off into space as I remembered everything from the past year. Sebastian was an evil man who used me to get close to Emersyn. She was my friend and I was about to betray her.
“Don’t worry about that,” Briar stated, patting my hand. “You’ve done well.”
“Can I have my wife now? I mean, I’d like to be with her until you take her from me again.” Tristan’s voice had so much anger in it that it frightened me.
“We’re not done here,” Atticus growled out. “What else do you know, Nila? Do you know where Emersyn is right now?”
“Get off her back!” Tristan barked out. “She needs to rest.”
I stood to my feet when Tristan helped me up. He wrapped his arms protectively around me, pulling me tightly to his chest. The smell of him brought back so many memories and I wanted nothing more than to never leave him again, but Briar’s words reminded me that I couldn’t stay. Or, maybe I could.
“I saw her tonight. She’s with him.”
Their eyes all turned to me, a grave expression forming on Atticus’ face and I wanted to help him, I really did.
I gave them the address of Sebastian’s house and watched Atticus nearly run for the front door. I just hope he knows what he’s getting himself into. Sebastian’s a dangerous man and not someone to mess around with. Soon after Atticus disappeared from the shop, I watched Briar run after him, knowing that tonight was going to change everything.Before Briar left, she called out over her shoulder, “Tristan! Prepare the back room for Emersyn’s regression. Make haste, boy!” And then she was gone, creating a whole new slew of questions to fill my mind.