‘I think I’m going to need another drink for this conversation.” After four hundred years, you work up a major tolerance.
“She… she’s a ghost from my past,” he stated, looking up at him. “Before I knew you, before I ascended.”
“I don’t know how I ever forgot her. Maybe it was the dark magic. Years upon years of dark magic. I told you this before. There is no room for love when your heart is black.”
The darkness seemed heavier at her back. She couldn’t even see the blinking of her hazard lights anymore. Kira cast her eyes down to the pavement, unable to see the next dashed yellow line behind her.
She backed away quickly, nearly stumbling as she watched it swallow the reflective beam, obliterating every ounce of light. It grew closer and closer, finally reaching her outstretched hand, snuffing out the remaining glow of her flashlight. She dropped it and ran.
Her scream caught in her throat as the hands on her shoulders pinned her down. She reached up, attempting to claw them away just as a third set appeared, clamping down across her mouth, pulling her deep into the mattress.
THE CALLOWAY ESTATE
The massive trees and foliage around the house were overgrown and ominous. What stood in front of her now was far beyond what her memory had served her. The house loomed over the property. It was easily six, maybe seven acres, which was significant in this neighborhood. It was a massive two-story house with large Doric columns that stood tall and framed the grand covered veranda that wrapped the entire home on both levels. In true antebellum style, the grounds featured an alley of large moss-covered oak trees leading up the center drive. There were eight with four on each side of the path. The entire home was surrounded by a low masonry wall that featured manicured hedges and flora. Sturdy stone columns gated and flanked the entrance. It was a breathtaking sight.
THE GARDENS OF THE CALLOWAY ESTATE
I AM THE DARKEST OF DARK
Larz took a moment, as he got up from the swing, now leaning into the railing instead. He was contemplating his words. “I’ve had to tell you a few times lately to keep those walls up,” he informed, watching for his reaction. “I didn’t realize how much she had gotten to you until yesterday.” Blake took in a sobering breath, knowing exactly what Larz had seen. “You don’t have to worry about that anymore. It was just her magic.” “Are you sure about that? Because I’m not?” “I’m sure. Her magic sensed me. It tried to protect her by making me care.” “What if it wasn’t her magic? What if it’s just you?” Blake killed his drink, standing up, facing his brother head-on. “For a moment, I thought the same thing, but last night Khalida reminded me why I always gravitated to the dark,” he paused, looking back out to the rain. “It’s because my heart is cold. Dark. Empty. It’s black.” “You may gravitate to the dark, but it doesn’t mean your heart is. People with black hearts don’t know how to love. I know what I saw, and I think you love this girl. Blake placed his hands on Larz’s shoulders and grinned. “First, I don’t even know her, to love her. Second, I don’t even know how to love her. And third, that’s a good thing, because I’m going to kill her.”
A wide arched doorway crafted from thick heavy wood braced with large iron hinges and bolts accentuated with flaming torches stood directly across from her, flanked by two smaller doors. Right above the main doors bared the mark of a pentagram, and directly above it, rested the head of a Gargoyle. Behind her, an ornate altar crafted from carefully etched stone and marble insets sat atop a dais.
Kira approached it warily, unsure of where she was or how she got there. She ran her hand across a worn inscription engraved into the ancient looking stone. Domus Asmodeus Kane. She didn’t know what that meant.
She turned again, taking another long look around the space. A lone round water basin perched upon a pedestal sat at the foot of the altar. She’d seen these in churches before. Maybe that’s where she was. In some type of sanctuary. Her eyes narrowed at the grim hue of the water, dipping a single finger into the liquid.