“I’m sorry that you had to witness that.” Leila chastised herself silently.
The mystic smiled crookedly at her, “That is quite alright, my child.”
Leila drew a blank as to what else to say. She had so many questions to ask her before, but for the life of her, she couldn’t think of even one thing to say at the moment. Instead she looked down at her hands clasped tightly in her lap and bit her lip, frustration creasing her forehead.
“Don’t be nervous, my dear. I know it’s a lot of information to take in. I have a few more things to tell you that are rather important, if you please.” Sharon’s soft, raspy voice caused her to raise her head up and look at her with wide eyes, like those of a bewildered child.
Leila abruptly stopped gnawing her lip and pressed them together, nodding once to show she understood. Leila leaned forward and rested her hands on the table, giving the old woman her undivided attention.
“Now. Like I was trying to explain before, the necklace connects you to Nikoli in a way that doesn’t seem to tie you to any other vampire. That is because the one who infected him was THE original vampire. I don’t believe he has knowledge of this. However, this does explain why you are so connected. As long as you wear the amulet, you will remain connected because it contains the blood of the first vampire, Enoch, who was cursed by your ancestor, Abagail.” Leila scrunched up her nose, confused by the statement about the necklace being the only thing keeping them tied together.
“Well… That doesn’t explain the dreams, though. I’ve been having them for over a year now. That was before I met him and also before I received my necklace from my dead grandmother…. Which also makes no sense to me. How does one receive a gift from a corpse, exactly?“ The seer looked just as puzzled as Leila at this new information.
“That is quite a reveal, one that I did not foresee. I need to consult my cards. My tarot cards, I mean. I that alright with you, my dear?” Leila nodded after a brief moment of hesitation, but hugged herself to help stop the shivers she was experiencing at that moment in time.
She’d never had her cards read. She didn’t know much about them. It was something she had always been curious about, but at the same time fearful enough to stay away from them. The atmosphere in the room changed once Sharon began to shuffle the cards. One by one she revealed them, placing each one in a particular spot. She called the spread the Celtic Cross. Leila could see how it got it’s name due to the way a cross formed when the cards were all laid in their proper spots. The old woman mulled over the reading before explaining it to Leila.
“It appears to me that you and Nikoli are meant to be, somehow, but that there are forces coming soon that will try to keep you apart. They are a group of very old, very respected vampires and they don’t play games. This card here tells me that they will give you a choice, a very difficult choice, but a choice nonetheless. You must choose wisely. This decision will change the course of your future with the man you have grown to love and who has grown to love you too. You are from different worlds and are going to be punished for remaining in your current forms unless you are not hasty in your decision.”
Sitting back, eyes wide at what the cards had shown her, Sharon paused a beat before looking over at Leila, uncertainty showing on her face. Leila was stunned. What was this group that was coming? What was the decision? Why would we be punished for remaining in our current forms? What does that even mean?
Leila looked back at Sharon with questioning eyes, “I don’t understand..current form? Punishment? I thought you said we were meant to be…” Sharon frowned and steepled her hands over her mouth.
Seemingly unable to speak yet, she began to shake her head, looking rather frightened.
Finding her voice, finally, she spoke, her voice barely above a whisper, “You are in grave danger my dear. If you do not make the decision, one of you will die. They will force you to choose him or your magic,” she grasped Leila’s clammy hands between her own before continuing on, “The decision will leave both of you irrevocably changed.”
“This makes no sense!” Leila stood up, shouting, her hands trembling as she balled them into fists. “You are talking in riddles! Why can’t you just tell me exactly what it is that they want me to choose?”
Upon her initial outburst, the door was thrust open by an angry Nikoli.
“I thought I told you to LEAVE! Why are you here?” Leila jabbed her finger into his chest, knowing full well she wasn’t hurting him, but unable to stop herself from doing so, just the same.
“I stayed close by, just in case. Are you alright? Did she do anything? I couldn’t hear, for the life of me.”
Grabbing the sides of her head, she shook it back and forth in frustration and confusion. Her eyes began to tear up and she had to stifle back her sobs to keep from making a complete fool of herself.
“I just don’t understand why. If we are meant to be together, why would anyone want to tear us apart?”
His hand reached out to her, but stopped when the symbol around her neck started to glow. The heat against her skin was intense and she attempted to take it off.The clasp wasn’t budging and she was starting to panic a little. Nikoli tried to help her, but it just kept shocking him.
“Just calm down, please. Maybe it reacts with your mood changes?” He was probably right, she concluded, trying to find the stillness within herself.
It was hard for her to quiet her mind and slow down her breathing, but somehow she managed. The glowing faded slightly without completely disappearing and the amulet seemed to cool down.
Touching the antique jewelry around her neck, she turned to Sharon, talking in a much calmer, but tearful voice, “It was from my grandmother. I received it in a package recently. I still don’t understand how because she passed away, but I can’t seem to remove it now.”
Nikoli tried to comfort her by hugging her, but she shoved him away forcefully, causing him to trip over the table leg, spilling the cards onto the floor. Sharon stood up and slapped the table, her face contorting with anger.
“You must calm down. The both of you! I know you are frightened and confused, but Leila, you must pull yourself together now. The necklace will aide you in your decision. Now please, both of you, have a seat and we will talk this out like rational adults. No more outbursts, or you’re both gone! Is that understood? I will not tolerate such foolishness!” The forceful authoritative tone of her voice caused them both to glance at each other before sitting quickly and nod at her in agreement.
As Sharon sat down, ready to continue their talk, her expression suddenly changed as she trailed off. Her eyes were as big as saucers as she gasped, her hands going over her mouth as if she were trying to suppress a scream.
“They’re already here.”