Eden awoke and realized she had fallen asleep in the greenhouse. She rested on a small couch with a blanket draped over her.
The high hanging sun signified that it was around midday.
She arose from the plush couch and sleepily looked around.
“Malcolm?” She croaked out.
The memories from the previous night came crashing down on her.
There was no reply.
“Malcolm?” She called again.
Eden got up and walked along the far edge of the greenhouse. She had never been to this section before.
She noticed there was a large door that was against the wall. It was practically begging her to look inside.
Eden briefly noted that she had done quite a bit of nosing around lately.
When she opened the door she realized it was somewhat of a private office. The room smelled of old books and dust yet looked impeccably tidy. There was a small desk with a simple chair. Papers scattered the surfaces of the room and the bookshelves sagged with books.
She walked around. All the books looked practically ancient.
A picture frame was on the desk. Not a speck of dust rested on the small wooden structure. Eden’s curiosity peaked, and she picked it up to see what was in the frame.
Her fingers began to tremble. A rush of cold slowly settled on the surface of her skin.
The picture was of her and Malcolm.
The photograph was black and white and had a distinct vintage look to it. The picture showed the couple at a party of some sort Eden sitting in Malcolm’s lap. With her arms around his neck and an absolutely buoyant smile stretched across her face.
They were both dressed up. Her legs were elevated in the air as if she were falling back. The two looking adoringly at eachother.
Her heart began to hammer. She took the picture out of the frame and inspected it under a frantic gaze.
The girl was her. There was no mistaking that. She flipped the photograph over.
“Mal and Rose, 1925”
Eden placed the picture face down onto the table. She couldn’t even look at it again.
The door in front of her opened.
Malcolm’s sentence halted mid syllable.
She looked up at him.
“What the hell is going on?” She whispered.
Malcolm’s eyes drifted to the picture on the table. Then back up to her.
“You always do tend to get quite upset when you find out,” he said.
“When I find out? What are you talking about? Who is that girl and why does she look exactly like me?”
A small smile settled its way onto his face.
“Ecaterina,” he whispered. He said the name in a heavy accent.
He approached her.
“No please don’t come any closer,” she said outstretching a shaking hand.
He didn’t listen. Instead, he took the hand within his own and held her palm against his heart.
“In the past you never did react well when I tried to explain verbally. May I show you instead?” He asked.
He was calm. Incredibly calm. A sense of happiness seemed to be lurking in his sea green eyes.
“I don’t care. Do what you have to make me understand. I’m scared, Malcolm,” she whispered.
Without saying a word he used his free hand to wrap his arm around her waist and pull her into him. She gasped as his forehead rested against hers.
His eyes closed.
“What are you-?”
Her vision went black.
She gasped and opened her eyes blinking rapidly. The world around her had changed entirely. She was standing in a grove of trees. Sunlight glimmering down through the canopy above her.
“Malcolm!” She cried out. Her voice sounded like it was underwater. It echoed quietly back to her.
Eden heard a movement and looked behind her.
She saw herself. Her hair was piled atop her head. A golden chord weaved within the strands. She was wearing a white dress of sorts.
It draped over her like a sheet. The skirt ending at her mid thigh. She had a bow in her hand and a quiver slung over her shoulder.
“What in the actual fuck,” she whispered.
“Hello!” She called out. She waved her arms around and started walking toward herself. Suddenly her surroundings began to fade and blur together. Her eyes closed and when she opened them she was in the same setting but this time Malcolm was there.
Except he looked like he had the night before. His entire body radiated with light. He was wearing the same type of white sheet as her.
Is this what acid is like? She thought.
She couldn’t tear her eyes away from the two. She watched Malcolm reached out and lightly ran his fingertips down the other Eden’s cheek.
“Ecaterina,” he whispered adoringly.
“Ecaterina’s” eyes fluttered shut.
Eden’s vision swam again and suddenly she was inside what looked like a temple.
“You haven’t taken a lover have you?”
Eden spun around. She saw herself once again. A woman in long robes and dark black hair was questioning her.
“Of course not, Pythia. That would be against my vows,” her other self replied.
Pythia looked dissatisfied.
Once again the world around her shifted.
She was back in the woods again. She stood before a large spring nestled against a cliff. She saw herself and Malcolm again.
Only this time they were much closer to each other. And they both lacked clothing.
Eden’s cheeks burned and she immediately looked away.
She waited for the scene to change again.
Eden slowly looked up again. The two figures stood in the water. Luckily the water level came past both of their hips.
Her brow furrowed as she realized that this Ecaterina had the exact same birthmark she did. A small patch of darker colored skin just below her right breast.
Eden’s eyes drifted to Malcolm. His arms were wrapped around the girl like he was holding the entire universe within his grasp. His eyes literally glowed with what could only have been absolute love and adoration.
Malcolm whispered something in Greek to Eden’s other self.
Her vision fuzzed.
Eden gasped and opened her eyes. All around her there was nothing. It was dark and fog gathered on the ground. Glowing orbs hovered in the air.
“You have lain with one of my hunters?”
The woman’s voice echoed. And she sounded livid.
“You do not own them, sister. They are their own beings. Not puppets to carry out your bidding.”
“I should kill both of you for this treacherous sin,” she hissed.
Eden looked around. Trying to see where the voices were coming from.
Finally Malcolm came into view. But she could not see the woman.
“You so much as touch her and I swear I will destroy every single one of your horrific wolfish children,” Malcolm replied. His tone calm as ever.
It suddenly clicked in Eden’s head. This was the moon goddess. The mother of werewolves. And Malcolm’s sister.
The woman laughed cynically.
“I pity you, Apollo,” she said.
Malcolm abruptly cried out in pain. Eden clasped her hands over her mouth as he fell to the ground in agony. Doubling over in pain.
Then the snapping started.
She watched as the bones in his body snapped and cracked. It looked like he was dying.
“Malcolm!” She cried out again trying to run to him.
She ran toward him but didn’t grow any closer.
Eden began to cry. The amount of pain he was in made her want to tear the heart out of the moon goddess.
She looked up again. Malcolm was gone. And in his place stood an enormous flaming wolf. It’s eyes burning with hellfire.
His sister had turned him into a werewolf.
The scene changed.
“Pythia stop! I don’t want to go!”
She saw herself getting dragged by her hair across a marble floor of a temple.
“As a priestess of Apollo it is my duty to act in his interest. It’s your fault he is a wolf shifter now. This is for the best my love,“Pythia calmly explained.
Eden watched as Ecaterina spun around and kicked Pythia in the side.
Pythia doubled over and Ecaterina began to bolt away.
Pythia screamed in anger and reached out her hand. Her fingers twitching.
Ecaterina froze in place before her body fell in a limp heap on the ground.
Pythia walked over to Ecaterina’s unconscious form and knelt down. The priestess’s eyes seemed to simmer with ill intent.
“Don’t worry Ecaterina. I’m here to take care of you now,” she said gently.
Pythia extended her hand and began to stroke the unconscious girl’s face. Then her hand started down her neck. Groping the length of her body.
“Oh my god,” Eden whispered. She wanted to scream at herself to wake up.
The surrounding scene blurred.
“You are a disgrace to me and to this temple,” Malcolm seethed.
Eden realized she was still in he temple.
“You can’t love her like I can! She’s mine!” Pythia screamed.
Pythia was currently holding a blade pointing toward Ecaterina’s heart.
“Don’t come any closer,” Pythia warned.
Malcolm didn’t listen. Eden saw fire form in the palm of his hand.
Pythia hadn’t of been bluffing.
She drove the dagger into Ecaterina’s heart.
Eden let out a small scream and placed her hand over her own chest.
Malcolm let out the kind of scream of agony that Eden had never heard before.
Pythia let the body drop to the floor. Rich crimson pouring across the floor.
Eden’s eyes widened as the ground beneath her and the walls began to violently tremble.
Malcolm’s eyes had turned white.
The entire room was now on fire.
“I’ll be with her in death now. Even you can’t be with her now,” Pythia laughed.
Pythia smiled and closed her eyes as Malcolm’s inferno engulfed her entire body. It incinerated her almost instantly.
Suddenly the flames vanished. Leaving only scorched char behind. Malcolm rushed to Ecaterina’s lifeless form. Crumpling to his knees Malcolm held her head in his lap.
A sob escaped him.
A tremor of shock ran through Eden. She had hardly seen Malcolm lose his temper let alone cry.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry,” he choked out. His hands desperately stroking her hair.
It made her heart physically hurt. He had loved the girl dearly.
Malcolm’s entire body began to glow. More than before. Golden rays shining outward from him.
“You are my sun. My moon. And all my stars,” he said calmly. He seemed to of calmed down.
“Let the light guide your soul until we meet again,” he whispered. Placing a kiss against her forehead.
The beams of light began to bend and swirl. Wrapping around Ecaterina and enveloping her with light.
The light began to grow in brightness. It became so much that Eden had to shield her eyes away.
When the light faded and her eyes opened again she saw that the body was gone. Leaving only Malcolm. Sitting on his knees.
She realized he looked exactly as he did now. The supernatural radiance gone from his skin.
Various scenes began to flash before Eden’s eyes.
She saw her and Malcolm together throughout six different time periods.
She saw Malcolm steal a carriage to marry her in secret because her father had forbid it.
She saw Malcolm get on one knee and propose to her with a sparkling ring.
She saw him come home to her in a soldiers uniform. Tears on her cheeks as she welcomed him home.
She watched their relationship throughout six different time periods and lives.
Her heart pounded and when she opened her eyes again she was back in reality. Sitting in Malcolm’s office with their foreheads pressed against each other.
Eden realized there were tears in her eyes and spilling down her cheeks.
“Welcome back, love,” Malcolm said softly.G