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Chapter 15

Morning came sooner than Elizabeth would have liked it. She opened her eyes and could see the morning rays coming through her window. A blush came to her face as she remembered the events of last night. How am I ever going to face him, this morning? She felt very embarrassed at her own response to his love making. I never dreamed it would be like that, she thought. A horrible thought came to her mind. Now that she had been deflowered, would he still want to marry her? He had asked her but he wouldn’t let her give him her answer. He wanted her to think about it. Why couldn’t he have let her give him her answer then? She would have said, yes. She’ll just have to wait for him to bring it up again, if he ever does. With that thought, she climbed out of bed, got dressed and then went downstairs to meet him for breakfast.

Nicholas was already seated at the dining table, sipping tea when she entered. “Good morning, Elizabeth. I hope you slept well last night.” He said, taking another sip of tea. He got up and pulled out a chair for her to sit in before sitting back down. “I’ve taken the liberty of ordering breakfast for us. It should be here at any time.

The serving wrench saw her enter so she came quickly with a hot cup of tea for her. “Breakfast is ready, your lordship. Do you want me to bring it in now?”

“Yes. Do that.” He replied, then focused his attention back on Elizabeth again. She was sitting there quietly sipping her tea. She wouldn’t even look at him, and it was becoming very annoying to him. “Damn it, Elizabeth! Will you at least look at me when I’m talking to you?”

She raised her eyes up at him with a blush coming to her cheeks.

“I want to apologize to you for my … actions last evening. I don’t know what came over me, that I could disrespect you like that.

Hearing this, she felt even more embarrassed. What will he think of her now? The serving wrench had come up during their conversation and was waiting for them to acknowledge her before she could place their breakfast on the table. She cleared her throat to get their attention.

Nicholas sat back from the table and looked up at her. Nodded his head, giving her permission to set their breakfast in front of them. With that done, she quickly retreated back to the kitchen. They both picked up their silverware and began eating their breakfast in complete silence. Finally Nicholas picked up a piece of toast and spread it with the strawberry jam that was on the table and then took a bite. He was getting annoyed at her continued silence. “Are you going to remain silent through our entire breakfast, madam? We do need to discuss our next plan of action before we return to the Manor House.”

She looked up at him again and nodded her head yes and then dabbed her mouth with a napkin.“Elizabeth, please do not be angry with me for last night. I’ve already apologized to you for my inappropriate actions …. So can you please forgive me so we can move on to our real problems at hand … like the newest evil spirit in the house and how we are going to get rid of it?”

Reality set in on Elizabeth. She was only thinking about … herself, and what happened between them last night. She needed to push those thoughts to the back of her mind and concentrate on coming up with a new plan to rid the Manor House of its latest evil presence. “You’re absolutely right, Nicholas. I’m so sorry for being such a … selfish prude.”

“Do you have any idea of who this new spirit is, and why it tried to keep us from taking my grandmother’s remains out of the third floor?” He asked, with concern in his voice.

“Maybe …. I’m not sure. I must contact the old gypsy woman. And … the only way I can do that is … to find the amulet.”

“Find the amulet! That’s going to be impossible, Elizabeth! The evil spirit knocked it out of my hand and it went flying!” He said, remembering that moment, vividly. “How in the world are you going to find it with that new spirit upstairs?” He asked, thinking she was crazy to even suggest such a thing. The serving wrench brought them both another cup of tea. She was hovering over them so she could fetch anything they needed immediately, hoping for a big tip.

“I have to go back upstairs. I must find the amulet … somehow.”

“No! Absolutely not!” He yelled, back at her. “I can’t lose you, now …. No. It’s just too dangerous!”

“Nicholas, we don’t have a choice, here. I can’t do anything without the amulet. I must have the help of the old gypsy woman. Don’t you see that?” She implored.

Nicholas just shook his head, thinking it was going to be impossible to accomplish that feat. Without protection, the beast would be on them, instantly. So … how in god’s name are they going to find the amulet? He thought to himself.

“Looking at this logically …” she said. “If your grandmother’s remains are in the parlor, there’s a real good possibility that the evil spirit, is in the parlor, too. And not on the third floor.”

“I thought you said, you didn’t think it could do that?” He interrupted.

“Well, now I think it can.”

“Oh great! If it’s on the first floor in the parlor as you say, then how the hell are we even going to be able to enter the house, at all?”

“I don’t know yet. I haven’t figured that one out yet,” she replied, simply. “Maybe, it will stay in the parlor, with your grandmother when we get there. If we don’t give it any reason to come out … and we are very, very quiet … we may be able to slip into the house and go directly upstairs, unnoticed,” she said, with more confidence in her voice.

“But Elizabeth, that sounds great and all but … what if you’re wrong … and it’s still on the third floor when we go up there. What then?”

“Well … what can I tell you, Nicholas? All we can do is go by my instincts and if it doesn’t work out … and it’s up there … I guess we’ll know then, won’t we?”

“You are the bravest woman I have ever met. Without any regard for your own safety, you’ll go up there not knowing if it’s there or not.”

Elizabeth felt a blush come to her cheeks when he said that. “We don’t have any other choice, Nicholas. We must find the amulet. Without it, we’re defenseless.” With that being said, they rose from the table and left the Inn. Their horses had already been saddled and tied to the hitching post out front, waiting for them to come out. He gave Elizabeth a leg up on her horse, handed her the reins and then mounted his own. They headed to the Manor House at a slow canter until they rode through the gates and walked their horses the rest of the way to the stable. They quickly dismounted and Nicholas unsaddled both horses and put them in their stalls. “Well are you ready to go in now, my dear?” He asked, with all sincerity in his voice.

“Yes. I am.”

He took her by the hand as they made their way out of the stables and through the front door of his home. They entered ever so quietly, just in case the evil spirit was in the parlor with his grandmother’s remains. “So far, so good,” he whispered. She nodded her head in agreement as they quickly made their way upstairs. They wanted to check on Sarah to make sure she was alright. After knocking, they entered her room, finding her sitting up in bed. A smile came to her face when she saw them enter.

“Good morning, Sarah,” her father said, relieved that she was safe and sound.

“Sarah?” Elizabeth asked, hesitantly. “Did you hear any … noise in the hallway last night, or was it completely quiet?”

“Why do you ask? Is it important?”

“Yes, honey it is.”

“Well … sometime in the night I did hear … something. It came from upstairs … it stopped by my door which really scared me … but it didn’t stay long. It continued down the hallway. I heard it go downstairs. Is that helpful, Elizabeth?”

“Yes, indeed it is. I have just one more question to ask you … did it come back upstairs, later.”

“No. I don’t think so. If it did, I didn’t hear it.”

“Thank you, Sarah for the information.” She told Nicholas what Sarah had said.

“Good. We’re going to leave you to get your rest now, Sarah,” and then they both went back out into the hallway. They proceeded to the door that led to the third floor, unlocked it, and hastily climbed the staircase. They each had a candelabra in their hand so they had light to search for the amulet.

“Nicholas, do you remember where you were when the evil spirit knocked the amulet out of your hand?”

“I think so. I was somewhere over there,” he said, pointing to where he had been standing.”

Elizabeth walked over and stood right where he had said. “Now which direction?”

“It went to my right. I heard it hit the wall, before it fell to the floor.”

Elizabeth held her candelabra up in the direction where he had pointed. There was just so much dust on the floor that it was hard to see any object, let alone the amulet. “At least you were correct in surmising that the evil spirit would follow my grandmother, downstairs,” he said, with relief that they didn’t have to face it, again. At least not up here. “Doesn’t it light up … or … call to you?” He asked, coughing from the dust in the room.

“No, Nicholas. It doesn’t work like that. I have to be wearing it for it to connect with the old gypsy woman. We must find it. I desperately need her help.” She went over to wear Nicholas pointed and got down on her hands and knees. She began searching every inch along the wall. Coughing like Nicholas was from all the dust. It was worse for her because she was closer to the floor than he was.

“Can you see it?” He asked.

“No. Not yet. Are you sure that this is the direction it went?”

“I think so. It all happened so fast.”

Elizabeth widened her search when she had reached the end of the wall. Turning around, she moved a little farer toward the middle of the room and began again. Back and forth across the room. “Here … I found it. Thank god!” She said, relieved that it was in her possession again. “Let’s go back to my bedroom so I can try and contact the old gypsy woman. We can’t stay here because we stirred up all the dust and it’s getting hard to breathe without coughing.” They ran down the stairs as quickly as they could and entered her room. Elizabeth had already put the amulet back around her neck, so she was now ready to make contact with the gypsy. She placed her hands around the amulet as she called to her. It started to glow brightly as she continued to call. After a few minutes, contact was made. She spoke in her mind to the older woman, asking her for help or guidance on what to do next. She listened attentively to the gypsy. Finally she opened her eyes and looked at Nicholas. The amulet had already started to cease to glow.

“Did you make contact with her?” He asked, hoping she had.

“Yes. I have, Nicholas.” She answered him quietly.

“Well …what did she say, did she tell you how to get rid of this other spirit? Or how to help it to crossover like you did with the last one?”

Elizabeth looked at him sadly. “This spirit cannot crossover … it must be destroyed!”

“How in god’s name are we to destroy it?” He asked, incredibly. “And why can’t it crossover? I don’t understand what the difference is between this one and the other one?”

“This one is pure evil. It doesn’t deserve to go to heaven. It must go straight to hell.”

“Oh, and how pray tell are we supposed to accomplish this deed?”

“With the amulet. When we are in its presence again, I must contact the gypsy and with her help, push the amulet into its body as hard as I can and hold it there.” Nicholas just shook his head.

“There’s no way in hell it’s going to allow you to get that close to it.”

“That’s when I’ll need you to distract it,” she said, simply.

“Oh really, Elizabeth? How am I supposed to do that? Wave my arms and say, hey I’m over here, come and get me?” He said, with nervous laughter in his voice.

Now she looked at him, shaking her head. “I’m serious, Nicholas. This plan has to work. I don’t know how else to do it. It has to be in the parlor guarding your grandmother. We’ll just go in and while you get its attention, I’ll lounge forward at it with the amulet. With the help of the gypsy, we can destroy it.”

“You do seem quite determined to do this, aren’t you?” He asked.

“Yes. I am.”

“Then what are we waiting for? Let’s go get rid this beast once and for all.” He took her by the arm as they left the room, heading downstairs to the parlor. They could feel the coldness to the air as soon as they reached the first floor. It wasn’t far now to the parlor so Elizabeth pulled out the amulet, wrapped her hands around it, and called to the gypsy. She came at once. The amulet now was glowing brightly again. It was so bright that it was hard for Nicholas to even look at it. They made their way to the parlor door and opened it. A foul stench came from the room, as the beast saw them enter. He roared so loud that Elizabeth thought her eardrums were going to explode. She tried to keep the amulet covered so the beast wouldn’t see it. But it was already attacking Nicholas, who was now on the floor at the mercy of this beast. Quickly she got behind it but it whirled around and knocked her across the room. It was now standing over her but Nicholas had come up behind it and tried to hit it with his fists. Which didn’t do anything except anger it more. But it did turn to face him which gave Elizabeth time to get to her feet and push the amulet into its back as hard as she could. “I command you with the power of this amulet that you go straight to hell and burn there for all eternity!” A roar escaped from it as it tried to turn around but the amulet was already deep in its back. Loud shrieks were coming out its mouth now as it struggled desperately to remove the amulet, but to no avail. With the added power of the gypsy, it was no match for them. Finally, it fell to the floor, taking on its human form before it disappeared into the black cloud that had come for it.

They both stared at it, astonished at its identity. It was Nicholas’s grandfather. The same one that had left his grandmother so cruelly tied to her bed to die a slow and agonizing death. Feeling totally exhausted now, they made their way back upstairs holding hands as they went. Stopping only at Elizabeth’s door where Nicholas took her once again into his arms and kissed her deeply, not wanting to ever let her go.

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