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"Secrets of Windwood"


Chapter 1
Buried Secrets

By Jackreese

Windwood Plantation, Solomon's Wake, South Carolina

1985

Andrea Lord awoke early that morning. The wedding was in a few short hours, and she was excited. This was the first wedding to be held at Windwood in almost thirty years. As she got out of bed, she tried to be quiet so she wouldn't wake her husband, Calvin, who was across from her, slumped in his favorite leather recliner. He had fallen asleep with his glasses on again.

She walked over to her closet to look at the pale green sequined gown that she had decided to wear and then at Calvin's black tux. Simon was finally getting married. Until a month ago, no one had ever thought that it would happen, but a certain Georgia Blake had changed all of that.

Andrea wanted this day to be a happy one for the family, especially because joy had eluded them of late. She pulled out a large photo album from the bottom nightstand drawer and then sat on her upholstered bed bench as she stared at one of the many baby photos of Simon.

"Would you stop doing that to yourself? You're gonna get all worked up again," Calvin said, closing the recliner and slipping his feet into his slippers.

"Do you want me to go downstairs and see if Sutton's got your breakfast ready?" she asked, still looking at the pictures.

"No. I have to go downstairs anyway." He kissed her on the forehead.

"I'll be down in a few minutes," she said to her husband, whose hand was on the doorknob.

*****
Unlike all the previous mornings and the ones that would follow, this was the one that Simon would remember for the rest of his life, as it was his wedding day. The sky was bluer, the air was sweeter, and his life would be perfect the moment he heard "I do."

His alarm went off at 8:15, and "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves played. He smacked the clock's off button, flung the blankets aside, and lay there for a few more moments staring at the ceiling.

"Are you going to lie there all day, or are you going to get up?" Andrea asked as she entered the room with a cup of coffee in her jeweled hand.

"Good morning, Ma!" Simon kissed her smooth cheek, took the coffee and began to sip, and then sat at the edge of the bed to put on his red striped tube socks.

Andrea began to pick up his dirty clothes which were strewn everywhere and put them in the hamper. She straightened up his dresser, went into his closet, retrieved his tuxedo, and then laid it out beside him.

"You don't have to do that." He said as he finished the coffee and left the mug on the floor in front of him.

"I know." Her lips quivered, and the waterworks started again.

"No more tears. It's a happy day," he said getting up and taking the small woman in his arms. "I will always need you, just like I did in first grade when I fell off the monkey bars and chipped my tooth. Just like I did when I was eleven and got the chicken pox, and you stayed with me for days, playing Sorry, Life, and Mouse Trap with me to keep me busy. Who was it that was so sick with the flu but still managed to make batch upon batch of chocolate chip cookies for my birthday party at school? I don't care how old I get, I will always need you."

"I am so proud of you. You've grown into such a fine man." She squeezed his shoulders.

"That's because I had you and Pop to guide me."

"You have room for one more?" An older woman with graying black hair and a stern face said from the open bedroom door.

"Good morning, Nana," Simon said, before pulling an old red Van Halen T-shirt over his head.

"That Georgia's a lucky gal." Rosa Lord beamed as she kissed her grandson's cheek.

"I'm the lucky one," he replied as he walked between the two women and then stepped out the door. The moment he walked away, Rosa's face turned dark, and she fixed an icy glare on her daughter-in-law.

"Now, remember our deal. The minute Simon and Georgia say 'I do,' you must leave this house at once, or I'll tell Calvin about the abortion."

"How could I forget? You've reminded me every day for the past fifteen years!" Andrea said as she continued to tidy the room. "I can't just pack up and leave in one night," she complained as she began to make her son's bed.

"A deal is a deal. Our arrangement was that I'd keep my mouth shut so the boys could grow up in a nurturing, loving home, which they have. As of today, Joshua's enrolled in his second semester at Clemson, and Simon is getting married in a few hours. The hour glass is empty, and you're out of excuses. I want you out by the time I wake up tomorrow! Are we clear?"

"Why do you hate me so much?" Andrea asked when Rosa was halfway into the hall.

"Because you're trash," Rosa spat through clenched teeth as she whirled back around. "You aren't worth the shit on the bottom of my shoe. You're not good enough for my son, you're not fit to carry the Lord name, and after tonight, the thorn in my side will finally be removed."

Rosa exited the room, leaving her daughter-in-law in tears.

*****
Toni Corsini awoke early to take her little Maltese, Trixie, for a walk along the Aurora River like she had done every day for the past three years. Last night's brutal summer storm had left a mess of debris up and down the river line. As Trixie sniffed everything from the sand to the Cattail that sprung up all along the Aurora, Toni looked out at the river, took a deep breath, and tilted her head back so she could feel the sun on her face while the cool water cascaded over her bare feet.

Suddenly, Trixie began to bark at the river. The canine's bark turned into a ferocious growl as she began pawing at something in the water. When Toni tried to get a closer look at the object, Trixie took it between her jaws and ran. Toni chased after her for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, out of breath, Toni stopped, and that's when she remembered the dog biscuits in her pocket. She retrieved the little sandwich bag full of colorful bones and shook it. Trixie immediately released the object, ran over to her master, sat down, and begged for a treat.

"That's Mommy's girl," she said as she placed one in her mouth and patted the dog on her furry little black head.

Toni dropped a couple more on the ground to keep Trixie busy while she went to inspect the piece of timber. Upon further scrutiny, she saw the word MARY carved into it and realized that the long-sought-after Mary Agnes, which had sunk over 150 years ago, had been unearthed. Soon, every treasure hunter, diver, and hotshot would be down at the site to desecrate the graves of hundreds of souls; remove the Lord family's mythical missing jewels from within the ship's hull; and, upon doing so, discover the family's darkest secret.

However, Toni knew that what awaited beneath the waters of the Aurora was meant to remain there; it should never be let out for any reason whatsoever. She possessed special powers--powers that she sometimes wished she never had--and she would use them to stop evil in its tracks.

The Corsini family had begun residing in Solomon's Wake soon after it had been founded back in the 1700s. They were the descendants of an evil, shape-shifting witch named Zita, who had been put on trial for witchcraft and later hanged on the grounds of Windwood. It had taken decades to undo the damage that she had inflicted on the family name, but she had eventually been forgotten. The Corsinis had since become the pinnacle of society; the saviors of a town that had been beset by witches, supernatural beings, and other forces of the unknown; and the protectors of the town's secrets, sinister desires, and the indentured servants of the House of Lord.

*****
Joshua and the other groomsmen had made lunch reservations at the pricy Corsini House. The old, two-story brick inn, which had been built in 1783, was the best place in town to get a delicious, home-cooked Italian meal; relax on the river deck with some adult beverages; and then retire to one of the many fine rooms that the inn offered. During the Revolution, George Washington had spent the night there, and sometime later, President Reagan had lunched in the very room that they had reserved for the afternoon.

"To my brother, Simon, and the beautiful Georgia, who I shall treat as a sister, I wish nothing but happiness and longevity for you both," Joshua said, raising his glass and spilling a little champagne on his hand. Simon stood by his side and patted him on the back.

The room filled with cheers as the men burst out singing "Glory Days" while stuffing pizza, fries, and onion rings into their mouths. The dark room was filled with cigar and cigarette smoke and smelled of beer and rum.

"Thanks for standing up for me," Simon leaned down and whispered to Joshua, who was sitting at the end of the table looking relaxed.

"No problem. But next time, could you go easy on the mousse? Your hair has so many spikes that you look like a porcupine," Joshua joked.

"Well, with that mullet of yours, you look like a wedding singer." The two men laughed got up and hugged each other. "Love you, bro."

"If y'all don't stop carrying on like a bunch of frat boys, you're going to miss the wedding!" Toni scolded.

"Don't be jealous cause I'm not marrying you," Simon said, grabbing her and waltzing between the tables and across the open floor.

"Simon Lord! You stop that now before I tell your mama," she said, hitting him with a green dish towel. "I'm going to close down early and be there as soon as I can." She chuckled and then fixed his collar. "I wouldn't miss it for the world. Tell Rosa I'll see her there." She then swatted both men on their rear ends before heading back into the kitchen.

"Let's go get married," Simon said as the crowd dispersed.

Author Notes Characters
Calvin Lord-Owner of Lord Shipbuilding and master of Windwood. Husband of Andrea and father of Simon and Joshua.

Andrea Lord- Wife of Calvin. Mother of Joshua and Simon.

Joshua Lord-Youngest child of Andrea and Calvin. Wants to get out of Solomon's Wake and away from the Lord name.

Simon Lord-Eldest son of Andrea and Calvin. Joshua's older brother. Simon was born a werewolf because of a curse. Married to Georgia.

Rosa Lord-Mother of Calvin. Grandmother to Simon and Joshua. Hates Andrea with a passion.

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita, who has grown to love the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Aaron Sutton- Trusted and revered servant who has served the Lord family for decades.


Chapter 2
Calm before the Storm

By Jackreese

Gideon Blake and his friend Nola O'Grady took their morning jog around Sumter Square in the heart of downtown, Solomon's Wake. It's only been a half hour and already the sweat was pouring off of them they had to stop to drink some water.

It was about 10 o'clock and the thermometer registered 85 degrees. Nola sat down on a wrought iron bench in front of the fountain of Solomon Lord, founder of the town, while Gideon did lunges next to her.

"Is there anything in this town not named after that family?" Gideon said, looking up at the bronze statue of Solomon.

"No, but you already knew that." she said rubbing the cold bottle of spring water across her forehead.

"Well, I would've thought after 100 years their influence would've waned," he said sticking his hands into the fountain and wiping the water on his face.

"That was very unsanitary," Nola scolded.

"Oh please! I lived this long it's gonna take more than a little dirty water to kill me," he fired back.

"Do you regret coming back?" She asked, sipping some water.

"Yes, if I didn't come back, my daughter wouldn't be marrying into that family," Gideon said dryly as he began to do regular stretches.

"But once upon a time they were good enough for you weren't they?" Nola stared at him with steel gray eyes. She stood six feet tall with a slim, tight body. Her bobbed platinum hair, which did not move, was kept neat.

"Are we gonna start this again?" He continued with his stretching.

"Yes, have you forgotten how you fell in love with that Lord woman? When she found out that her soon to be husband was a werewolf she got the whole town to come after us. We barely escaped with our lives and then you bring us back to the very place we let our brothers and sisters die."

"How could I forget? We fled the great famine that swept through our beloved Ireland, killing thousands, with no choice, we came to Solomon's Wake to start a new life. We took jobs at the quarry and lived in shacks as small as those we were accustomed to in Millarney. The pack thrived and grew. I met and fell in love with Iris."

"I can hear the violins." Nola mocked before taking another sip of water.

Gideon gave her the evil eye and than continued. "She brought the best out in me and helped me forget that a beast lived within me. Everything was perfect until the town turned against us. I can still see the townsfolk trudging down the path at us with their torches raised and pitchforks aimed! They trapped our friends in the quarry, collapsed it, then flooded it. It wasn't Iris's fault. She accepted me for me. It was Marshall who found out what we were. Iris's father. Marshall followed us back to the quarry and witnessed first-hand our changing," Gideon said still looking at Nola. "Iris came back to warn us about her father's plan. She begged me to leave. I protested, but her and the other members of the clan made me go. I ran off and found you snared in a bear trap. After I freed you, I went back to see our brother and sisters being driven further and further into the mine as the mighty Aurora rushed at them. Furious at her father for what they had done, Iris ran into the mine."

"How did Marshall know about us unless someone put it in his ear? It was her I know it." She insisted.

"You're wrong. I don't want to talk about Iris anymore. Let's just agree to disagree," he flared, as a growl emitted from within.

"Touchy are we? Perhaps we should discuss the wedding," she said as she began to jog down the street. Gideon caught up to her in no time.

"There will be no wedding," he said bluntly as he continued on down Windwood Way.

"What are you up to?"

"I've learned from a reliable source that there is a book inside Windwood that will help me contact the spirit of Zita."

"Why would you want to do that? Don't we have bigger things we need to worry about? Like making sure none of our brothers or sisters gets out of that cave. After all, isn't that what we came back for?"

"Trust me. They're not getting out anytime soon."

"Even if you get this book, do you think they're gonna let you walk into that mansion and just take it?"

"No. That's why I have to cause a distraction." He gave her a wry smile.

The quiet afternoon erupted with the sounds of dynamite being ignited. Quickly, their werewolf senses took hold and they changed with great ease into two beautiful wolves, one silver, the other red. The two swiftly darted off in the direction of the echoes. To their horror, they watched as the water that once disguised the prison that housed most of the pack had been exposed.

"Oh, my God! Gideon what are we going to do?" Nola said changing back first and stopping by a fence that surrounded the former quarry. Both stared down at the giant hole that was made and at the large, crack, right over the prison. To make sure no one saw them in the buff they hid behind a large red rusted Chevy truck.

"I'm going to see if I can listen in?" At first he heard nothing, but eventually he was able to hear the conversation the foreman was having with one of the workers.

"I don't care if it takes all night, two weeks or two months! Now that the water's gone, we need to fill the hole in. Mr. Lord wants it done ASAP so we can begin laying the groundwork for the mall." The big bellied, gray haired man yelled over the sound of the equipment in the background. "If we finish on time, they'll be a bonus," he said to a younger man with blonde hair and blue eyes who was no more than 25. The young man saluted him and went back to work.

"Well, they're not going to open the cavern," he said, leaving out a long sigh and leaning back against the truck.

"There's still a crack in the ground, Gideon, and they can still get out," Nola said condescendingly.

"For years, they've said the polar ice caps were melting and eventually the earth would flood, and we would die, but we haven't. Hell, we even survived Jimmy Carter, so I think it's safe to say that I doubt any of them got out.

"Gideon, this is not a joke. I'm scared." When he saw the tears form in her eyes, he knew she was serious. "They're has to be something we can do?"

"I'm not gonna let anything happen to you," he said as he encircled his strong arms around her and kissed the top of her head. They both loved each other very much, but neither was willing to admit it.

"Alright already, you're making a scene," she said pushing him off.

"If it makes you sleep better, I can go see Toni Corsini and have her place a seal on the door to lock them in."

"You surprise me sometimes you big lug." She pecked him on the lips quickly which turned into an enthusiastic kiss, until she smacked him. "Never take advantage of a woman when she's vulnerable," she said, turning back into the red wolf and darting into the woods.

"That's not fair," he said changing and giving chase.

Neither was aware of the bigger wolf that indeed escaped from the hole blown open by the blast.
*****
All along the Aurora, young couples, children, elderly, and everyone in-between crammed the shores of the river to escape the heat that seemed to grip the entire country. Up and down the river, folks were enjoying swimming, tubing, and sun bathing.

A young girl asleep on the beach with her Walkman in her ears awoke to her hippy boyfriend shaking his long brown hair out all over her back.

"What the hell's wrong with you, Andre? I was in the middle of Aha!'s new song," she said as she pushed him away.

"There's plenty of time to hear your song later. You'll never believe what I found under the water?" He said almost in a whisper. Andre reached into the girl's purse and pulled out a Marlboro and lit it.

"I don't know, a Snork?" She said as she threw her arms up in the air and took a drag for herself.

"No, Kara. You're a smart ass! I don't know why I even bother? You've got a cocky response for everything I say." Kara looked at all the tattoos Andre had up and down his arms and at the big old ugly skull on his back.

"Relax it was a joke," she said when he started off toward the car. He smiled and ran back.

"If you weren't so damn hot and great in the sack, I would've gotten rid of you like yesterday." Kara glared at him. "Relax, it was just a joke," he said condescendingly as she flipped him the bird.

"Will you tell me what you found down there?" Kara said as she handed Andre a bottle of baby oil to rub on her back.

"Do you remember back in Mrs. Blackmore's history class when she told us about a clipper that sank in 1853 during a freak hurricane?"

"Oh god, that feels so good. Don't stop!" She said as Andre continued to rub her shoulders.

"C'mon, Kar, I'm serious."

"Yes, I remember. Why?"

"I found it about halfway down the river in the deepest part, imbedded in the riverbed. All sorts of fishing lines and nets were wrapped around it. If I'm not mistaken, there were skeletons trapped in the hull." Suddenly Kara turned around kissed him and spoke so loud people turned took look.

"People have been looking for that wreck for years and never found it. You swim out there and find it on the first try. I don't buy it." She said grabbing a Tab from the cooler.

"It is the Mary Agnes I saw it with my own eyes. That massive storm we had the other night must've stirred the riverbed enough to dislodge the vessel. And that, my beautiful doubter, is why I was able to find it." He pecked her cheek.

"This has been the break we've been looking for to blow this town. When I was dating Joshua Lord he told me one of his ancestor's wives was onboard when the ship went down. She perished with the crew and all her rubies, emeralds, and diamonds were lost," Kara said as her violet contact eyes lit up like newly polished marble at the thought of getting her hands on the loot.

"My buddy Sammy takes his boat to Jamaica for the summer and carts people out to the reefs to snorkel. I can ask if we can borrow the oxygen tanks and all the other crap we need. We come back tonight, dive down to the wreck, and take anything we can get our hands on."

"I love it when you go all James Bond on me." She kissed him again, knocked him over and straddled him with her big bosom in his face.

"Get a room!" The father of three yelled at them from across the way.

"Why don't we?' Kara said, as they grabbed their towels and cooler then took off toward Andres beat up green pick up.
****
"Andrea, the band and caterers are here," Calvin said entering the room looking suave in his black tuxedo. His silvery hair and blue eyes seemed to compliment the ensemble.

"Talk to Sutton. He knows exactly what I want done." Calvin had to pick his tongue up off the floor as his wife came back into the bedroom.

"You look absolutely ravishing." Andrea wore the pale green gown with a simple diamond necklace and matching earrings. Her ash-blond hair was held together in a figure eight bun instead of wild and free like she preferred.

"I've got something for you." Reaching into his tuxedo pocket, he pulled out a little box and gave it to her.

"What's this?" Andrea gasped, after she opened it and found her wedding ring, inset with the birthstones of Simon and Joshua. "Where did you find it?"

"I had Sutton steal it when you were in the shower."

"All this time, I thought I had lost it. Thank you Cal!" She said pecking him quickly. He then pulled her into a passionate kiss.

"I love you Mrs. L," he said.

Andrea buried her face in his chest to keep him from seeing her tears. How could she leave now?
*****
Georgia stared around the large four bedroom colonial house she shared with her father, Gideon, and sister, Virginia who everyone lovingly referred to as "Ginny". It was the house they grew up in. The house where their mother Tara lived and died. It was also the house where Georgia first changed. The house in just a few short hours she would leave for the last time as Georgia Blake.

"Is there anything I can do to change your mind? Georgia, he's not right for you," Gideon said coming into the long narrow kitchen with the ugly rust color rug with lime green squares.

"Daddy? How many times do we have to go over this? I love him and that's it." She said by the sink looking out the window at the Koi pond in the backyard.

"What's this, Daddy? The Spanish Inquisition? Leave her alone. The wedding's today, if you wanted to change her mind, you should've done it weeks ago," Ginny said, kissing him on the forehead.

"Are you just getting in?" Gideon scolded after he saw the Cindy Lauper getup Ginny had on.

"I had to work a double. Lanny didn't show up again. I'm not complaining. I made a killing at the bar," she said, opening the refrigerator, grabbing the Five Alive from the door, then reaching for a glass out of the cabinet near the sink.

"I still don't like you working downtown all hours," he said without taking his eyes off the paper.

"Daddy, I'm fine." She put the glass in the sink. "Enough about me. It's Georgia's day. What time are the girls getting here?"

"About a half hour or so," Georgia said.

"We better start getting you dressed." Ginny took her by the hand and led her upstairs.

Gideon sat at the table reading the paper, bouncing his left knee when he heard the sound of the doorbell. He stood up when he heard the scampering of feet coming down the stairs, along with giggles as the bridesmaids showed up.

"You ok?" Ginny said, poking her head into the kitchen when she noticed the frown on his face.

"Nothing. I was just thinking about your mother and wishing she was here."

"She is Daddy, she is." Ginny blew him a kiss then ran upstairs to attend to her sister.

He went up the stairs and watched the girls from the open bedroom door, laughing and singing Girls Just Want to Have Fun into their brushes while they did Georgia's hair and nails.
She looked happy for the first time in years. He then looked to Ginny, who jumped up onto the bed taking the lead. Her auburn hair was wild. Her blue eyes sparkled with enjoyment, as she really got into the song.

"Daddy, hurry up and get ready. We only have an hour," Georgia scolded through the open door, with half her copper locks in curlers, the other half ready for the hot pink curling iron.

"All right, all right I'm going." Gideon shook his head and snickered as he went into his bedroom. Once Georgia's bedroom door closed, he raced down the stairs and out the front door.


Chapter 3
The Eyes of The Beast

By Jackreese

Toni had so much to do before the wedding. She really did not have the time to go and meet him, but because Gideon's a council member, she had no choice. As she approached the Aurora Point Cemetery, she could see the massive Lord mausoleum towering above everything else. She parked her Dodge Caravan outside by the gate next to the silver Audi she assumed belonged to Gideon.

A woodpecker was doing some damage to a magnolia tree, and toward the back of the cemetery someone was busy mowing the lawn, while another did the weed whacking. Toni walked through the gate down a long path and passed all the older graves to a lone grave underneath a beautiful flowering Dogwood.

"Hello, darling. I know it's been a while since I've come to see you," Toni mumbled, crouching down to stare at her husband's tombstone. "Things have been so busy at the inn. I'm lucky if I'm able to sit down." She removed the dead flowers she had brought last time.

"I really don't mean to intrude, but can we move this along?" A voice behind her said.

"I'll be back dear, as soon as Mr. Grouchy Pants and I are done."

"We have a problem." Gideon blurted, as he made his way through the cemetery.

"Nice to see you, too, Gideon." She said following him through row upon row of headstones. "If your problem is at the quarry, then why are we in the cemetery?" Toni, with a hint of sarcasm, questioned.

"The quarry and the cemetery border each other. It was a lot easier this way, so we're not seen." He continued to move without looking at her.

"Well, now that you got me here, you gonna tell me what this is about?" she quizzed, as they came up to a fence that was cut open.

"The lake has been emptied and the quarry uncovered." Gideon stood uneasy.

He could sense Toni's dark brown eyes cutting into his back and could feel her anger radiating from her like a funeral pyre as they approached the empty lake.

She snapped, "That was the one job you were supposed to do, and you can't even do that! I stuck my neck out to get you allowed back in Solomon's Wake, and you blow it. All you had to do was guard that damn hole in the ground!" Toni was getting so angry, the birds began to stir and the wind began to kick up.

"Toni, calm yourself before you bust a gut," Gideon fired back. "It's only cracked; it's not open. If you put one of your spells on it, everything will stay as it is, and no one needs to know."

"Why should I go out of my way for you again?"

"Because we're all in danger if one of those rabid creatures gets out. The werewolves were almost wiped out by this virus when it first appeared. Only a vampire bite could cure it, and now they've all been extinct. And if any of you witches are bitten, you lose all your powers. We both know what will happen if the Monarchs find out."

Toni's reaction immediately changed.

Gideon felt the hostility leave the air.

At this point, she decided not to say anything about the Mary Agnes.

"I will do it because as a member of the order, I took an oath to protect this town. However, it will cost you, and one day I expect to be paid back. When I put the seal on the doorway, only a Corsini witch can open it." She stepped away from Gideon. She spouted off some words in ancient Roman. Instantly, the crack reformed, and in a matter of seconds, no one would know it was even there. Gideon was so excited, he kissed her on the cheek and smacked her on the rear.

"I owe you big time."

"Yes you do. Now, let's get to the wedding before your daughter gets married without you." They walked away, not realizing that the one creature that escaped heard everything they were saying.

"I'll see you there in a few minutes." Gideon waved to Toni as she pulled out of the cemetery. He was too busy paying attention to everything else around him that when he went to put the key into the lock, he dropped them on the ground.

That was when he saw the golden eyes of a wolf staring through the trees at him. It pounced on him, knocking him to the ground and running into the woods. Gideon stared after it for a few moments and recognized the wolf as their confined pack master, Mannix.

"God help us." He got in the car and sped off.

*****

A tiny, but beautiful, chapel on the outskirts of town had been chosen for the nuptials. It was the same chapel in which Gideon and his wife Tara had been married years before. To make the event complete, Georgia had chosen to wear the same dress Tara did. By seven o'clock, everyone was getting ready at the chapel, and at seven-thirty the place was packed. Georgia was so jittery, she had problems getting into her dress and putting on her veil. Ginny had to do it for her.

The candles by the pews were all lit. The floral arrangements at the altar were made of gorgeous orchids, hyacinths, and lilies. The chandelier was draped in pearls that stretched across every corner of the ceiling to give it a romantic ambiance. A red carpet was laid as a runway. The organ music began, and the bridesmaids came out from the back, followed by Ginny. Everyone gasped as they saw Georgia escorted by Gideon. The marriage vows were spoken with such love. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. At long last, they were pronounced man and wife.

Back at Windwood, the ballroom was ready for the reception, including the band, waiters, and cooks. It was to be the perfect evening. As the festivities began, Andrea was mortified when her sister in-law Helena, who recently came home after being banished by Theodore thanks to a scandal involving a prominent South Carolina senator, entered the room wearing the same royal blue strapless gown with beaded corset. Helena took a bottle of champagne from the bar and made her way across the room as Georgia and Gideon took to the dance floor.

"How dare you wear my dress? For Christ's sake, you even got my hairdo." Andrea fumed as she caught Helena by the arm.

"What's the matter? You jealous? It looks better on me." Without warning, Andrea attacked Helena and wrestled her to the ground. Round and round they went on the floor, kicking and biting, pulling hair, and then Helena got the upper hand and put a death grip on Andrea's throat.

Finally, Calvin was able to thrust himself through the small mob that gathered around the women to pull them apart. The two ladies continued to shout at each other.

"What's everyone gawking at?" Calvin said as he approached them. Gripping them both by the arms, he dragged them across the room into his office. "What the hell is wrong with you two?" Calvin demanded, as he slammed his office doors shut. "Have you gone mad? It's Simon's wedding day. Why would you carry on like animals in front of the most prominent people in the country? I'd expect this from you, Helena, but not my wife. Things were fine until you came back, sister. After the reception, I want you gone from here for good," Calvin said without looking at her.

In a rage, Helena threw the bottle of champagne at her brother. Luckily he moved, or the bottle would have hit him right on the back of the head instead of smashing into the portrait of Rosa that hung above his desk.

She ran out of the room in tears right past her mother, who had been talking with her great-great-Aunt Eugenie, who seemed to be fading in and out of consciousness.

"Don't Calvin and Andrea make a nice couple?" Aunt Eugenie asked before falling back asleep. One of the white flowers she wore in her long hair had fallen off, and she had begun to snore. Rosa wrapped a shawl around her and got up from the table to follow Helena.

"In my younger years, they used to tell me I looked like Mae West," she said as she grabbed Rosa's hand. "Nowadays, I'd say it's more like Grandma Clammpet." She cackled lightly then dozed again.

Rosa caught up with her daughter by the old birch tree Helena loved to climb as a girl.

"Honey, what happened?" Rosa said behind her as she brushed Helena's chestnut hair out of her face.

"It wasn't me. It was Andrea. Calvin's making me leave. What kind of man puts his own sister out? I don't care! I'm leaving and not coming back." Helena wailed as she ran off into the night!

"Damn you, Andrea." With her head down, Rosa walked through the miles and miles of cars back to the party and noticed the full moon hanging in the sky.

For years, she protected Simon from the curse he had no way of controlling.

Rosa knew he was a werewolf when he was thirteen and found him naked in the stable. The horses were mutilated, and Simon was bloody. When he was eighteen, she was called up to the summer camp where he had been a counselor after he was found, once again, naked in the chicken coop. The chickens were all dead. Rosa had a secret room built in the basement, which consisted of a silver cage strong enough to hold him when he changed. It was hidden well enough that no one else knew it was there.

A yellow Porsche backfired right next to her and lterally scared the bejesus out of her. Entering the house, she could still hear ringing in her ears.

*****

Simon and Georgia finished their dance, when Simon gripped her hand like a vise then collapsed on the floor writhing in pain.

"It's starting! You must get me to the secret room and into the cage I told you about before it is too late." People began to stop and stare as Simon kept on smiling through the pain as Georgia easily scooped him up.

"No need to be alarmed," Georgia shouted to get their attention. "It seems my husband has had a little too much to drink. So, please continue to enjoy the party," She said in an effort to hide what was about to happen.

Georgia looked out of the window. A beautiful full moon shone in the dark sky. It took all her strength to drag Simon downstairs. A second more, and the beast would have been unstoppable. She could not get him in the cage but was at least able to lock him in the room. The beast pounded and snarled as he tried to bat down the door. Not wanting to cause anymore commotion, Georgia hurried back upstairs, dropping the key in her haste.

Helena followed and hid in the shadows until Georgia was upstairs. She took the key and banged on the door.

"Simon? Are you all right in there?" Helena asked as she continued to pound on the door.

Rosa saw Georgia come out from the basement. She crept down the stairs and watched in horror as the woman she perceived to be Andrea was about to learn her darkest secret. Just as Helena unlocked the door, Rosa shoved her in with all her might and slammed the door.

A few moments later, the most horrifying scream came from within the room. Calvin and Gideon suddenly appeared beside her. They kicked open the not- so- secret door. The beast pushed past them. Calvin pulled a gun from his waistband and managed to fire two shots at the wolf but missed him completely. With Simon gone, Calvin went into the room. He returned with Helena in his arm. Her hair had gone completely white. She was delirious and trembling all over and would remain so for the rest of her life.

"What happened, Mama?" Calvin said to Rosa. He repeated again. When she did not respond again, Calvin shook her.

Rosa, not hearing Calvin, took one look at Helena. The realization that came to her mind that she pushed her own daughter in instead of Andrea, causing her to lose it all.

"NO!!!!!!!!!!!" Rosa wailed.

Both Calvin and Gideon stood in shock as Helena trembled in Calvin's arms and Rosa fell to her knees.


Chapter 4
Full Moon Madness

By Jackreese

Andrea wept quietly as she sat in the library. It was quiet and far from prying eyes. The one place the mother of the groom could collect herself. As she stared out of the window looking over the grounds, the door opened.

Gideon came in and sat down at the long cherry desk.  He picked up the phone.

"Nola. I'm in the library. I wasn't able to locate the book, nor was I able to stop the wedding. " He slammed the receiver down so hard it echoed.

"Why would you want to stop the wedding?" Andrea confronted as she came out from behind a large bookcase.  She ran for the door when Gideon stopped her.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," he said with a tight grip on her delicate arm.

"Let go before I scream." Andrea winced as she tried to wriggle out of his grip.

"Scream all you want! There are hundreds of people down there and loud music, no one will hear you." Gideon was cut off as they heard what sounded like an animal howling very close to them.

The sounds of splintering wood and shattered glass filled the library. Both stood still for a moment, they heard it again; the sounds were coming from the back of the room. Swiftly, Gideon pulled out his revolver with silver bullets and walked towards the sounds of the commotion.

Both could clearly see an intruder had broken in. On the floor was glass and tiny bits of wood. Andrea moved closer to get a better look. She felt the warmth of someone's breath on her neck she turned and shrieked in terror. Her eyes were playing tricks on her, she thought.

Before her was a large silver and white wolf snarling at her.The beast eyed Andrea, growled and swatted her, its fangs were bared and drool dripped down the sides of its muzzle. The hot air from outside rushed through the broken window and with it all the smells of South Carolina in the summer.

Again she screamed as she backed away, but the animal continued to pursue her. Gideon fired, missed, and wound up putting a hole in the wall. Before he could manage another shot, the wolf pounced, forcing him to drop the gun.

For a moment, it stopped as if it recognized its victim. Andrea picked up the gun and fired into its back. The wolf arched and yelped before collapsing on top of Gideon. Andrea watched in disgust as the beast transformed into a woman.

 "What the hell's going on?" Andrea murmured.

"Take a good look at dear sweet Aunt Eugenie," Gideon said shoving the old woman off him. She looked down at the wrinkled naked woman lying on the hardwood floor. "You just shot an old lady." Andrea looked at Gideon as if she took the bullet.

"This can't be." With her hand to her mouth she stumbled back into the desk unsure of what she just saw.

"Oh, but it is. All the answers to your questions are right here in black and white." He said holding a large day planner in his hand. "For centuries, this family has lived under a curse, a curse that transforms every man or woman born with its name into blood thirsty wolves. Just look at poor Aunt Eugenie."

"That's my husband's dossier." Andrea said trying to catch her breath. She felt like she had been punched in the gut.

"Read the file and then talk to your husband. Let's just say there's more than one wolf on the loose tonight. By morning we'll see if you still look at your son with same love and affection."  He said, leaving Andrea alone with the file. A few seconds later Gideon turned into a beautiful leggy, blond.

"That was almost too easy." She said waltzing down the hall. 

*****

A small fishing boat cut through the murky river at about twelve knots with only a few dim deck lights ablaze. Exactly at ten o'clock in the evening, they returned with Sammy who offered his services for a cut of their profit.  The whole way to the wreck site Sammy went over how to use the gear, all the safety precautions, and how much air they had left in the tanks.

"You've got about a half hour of air," Sammy warned, " so use it wisely," Sammy warned. Kara and Andre suited up and were in the water in seconds.

Beneath the surface they saw only darkness even with the flashlight on. Gradually, out of the shadows, the ship's silhouette emerged broken and busted almost skeletal like with the exception of the hull. For some reason, it remained almost intact. Kara squeezed Andre's hand in excitement as they swam toward the wreck.

They had to be careful as they headed inside the hull. One wrong move could snag them on
one of the many fishing nets and lines that got snared in and around the hull and lead to almost certain death for both of them. Andre went first. He shone the light through a porthole to find skeletons with their hands still locked on doors, beds, and tables.

Frightened, Kara tried to swim away, but Andre took hold of her arm and calmed her enough to continue. The deeper into the ship they went, the more amazed the duo became. All sorts of silver and gold goblets, plates and candelabras littered the boat floor. Andre dove down and gathered as much gold pieces as he could and stuffed them into a bag.

She continued to monitor the oxygen tank while Andre stuffed her bag. Suddenly, she saw an object sparkle from under a broken ladder. Right away she swam down into the hold, her mind racing with hopes of finding the lost jewels they came for. Instead she came upon the horrific remains of a body, a stake had been driven through the heart. Also a silver dagger with all sorts of gems embedded in the handle was shoved through its mouth.

Without a second thought Kara pulled the dagger out and noticed an inscription written on the handle.  Before she could figure out what it said, Andre startled her and she dropped it through a gap in the floor. She tried to reach for it, but Andre pointed up toward the surface to signal their time was up.

"How'd we do?" Sammy asked as he reached for Kara's hand and pulled her back on deck.

"That's ok, Sammy. I don't need any help." Andre quipped while he climbed up the ladder.

"We would've had a lot more loot if Andre didn't make me drop that dagger. You should've seen this thing, Sammy. It had to be pure silver with an ivory handle embedded with green emeralds and sapphires," she said as she sat down on a hatch to take off her flippers.

"Bite me, Kara! Next time, I'll let you drown." Andre dove back into the water.

Andre calculated he had enough oxygen to get down and back. Without Kara, the dive would take less time. With any luck he'd get his hands on the dagger and a few other goodies. This time, as Andre drew near the cargo hold, he noticed that the body disappeared. Panicked, he began to swim around in circles.

Once Andre reached the outside wall of the ship, he got snared in the fishing lines. Feverishly, he worked to free himself.  He looked up and screamed as the skeleton locked eyes on him. Andre was compelled to stop swimming. By the time he saw the fangs, it was too late.

"Where the hell is he? It's been over twenty minutes." Kara said nervously as she peered over the railing into the water. Sammy came up behind her to shine the flashlight into the bleak river just as Andre's cracked scuba mask floated to the surface.

"We're getting the hell out of here." Sammy said to Kara who fell into Sammy's arms hysterical. "Stay put, I'm going to raise the anchor and get us out of here after I radio River Patrol.

"Don't leave me." Kara shrieked.

"I'll be back in a flash. I promise it'll only take a minute." Inside the bridge, Sammy tried to radio for help, but there was no signal. When he tried the engine it was dead.

"I swear to Christ if that generator's broke again someone's ass is mine." Sammy went down into the engine room only to find the engines in perfect working order. "What the fuck?" Sammy turned to face what looked like a deformed woman with scraggly hair, rotted flesh and small blue eyes. Sammy was powerless as the vampire sank her teeth in his neck.

"Sam, answer me I'm scared. Please, say something, anything, Sammy." Kara grabbed a harpoon that hung on the wall by the bridge. She made her way around the boat the harpoon pointed at the air.  She became very uneasy as everything around her fell eerily quiet even the water seemed to stop moving. When she made it back to starboard Kara shrieked after a beautiful woman with long raven hair, deep blue eyes and pallid almost translucent skin stood naked by the bow.

"Please, don't be frightened I won't harm you. I'm so very cold. Could I trouble you for a blanket? Sammy fished me from the water, a group of friends and I were tubing. Somehow we were separated. Next thing I knew, I woke up on this boat. Sammy's supposed to get me some clothes." Kara continued to scrutinize the buxom beauty fixated by her eyes. She handed the woman a wool blanket from under one of the benches. The woman in turn, pulled Kara closer to her. "This won't hurt a bit."

*****

Joshua, wanting to get away from the chaos, but still in the partying mood, invited some of his closest friends back to Corsini House to continue the reception. Toni was more than willing to open up the place for one of her favorite clientele.

"Don't think I'm gonna do this for y'all every day. It just so happens I have a fondness for your brother." Toni said opening the door and turning on the lights.

"We appreciate it. Don't we guys?" Joshua said. The room filled with inaudible slurs and drunken jabber.

Soon the jukebox was playing, the darts were flying, and the girls were dancing. Toni was making a fortune. Not bad for less than half a night's work. She normally made way less on Mondays. A couple more hundred dollars and she could finally get that industrial dishwasher she wanted for the restaurant.

"Hey Toni, can we get some more champagne?" Some twenty year old man said with red hair, freckles, and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth.

"Gotta check the basement, if I have it it's going to cost you 750 dollars a bottle." She said her eyes becoming dollar signs.

"Bring me four." Joshua said as he watched a Carolina Panther's game on the 20 inch screen above the bar.

Toni left the bar through a small side door that lead to the Corsini House's large kitchen and from there opened another door at the back of the room, down a narrow flight of stairs to a dark, damp and dim lit basement that ran the entire length of the inn.

She really needed to do some spring cleaning. There were boxes of old menus, broken mismatched plates in crates, along with some glasses that she hadn't used since 1969. Near the back of the cellar were some tables and chairs that her Grandfather made with his bare hands.When they remodeled, they just had no room for them.

Somewhere, amid all the clutter, she found the crate of champagne and there were exactly four bottles left. Toni lifted it up and made her way back upstairs when she realized she was not alone.

"Who's there?" she said putting down the crate on top of a large plastic column they used during Halloween. No one answered, but she could see the shadowy figure under the window.

"Don't be frightened, child. Show yourself." Out of the dark came the naked figure of the woman from the boat. She had her fangs bared and was about to attack Toni when she lifted her hand and froze the vampire in her tracks.

"Well I didn't think it would take you this long."

"What are you?" The vampire said still unable to move.

"Someone who can help you.  Meet me upstairs in the kitchen. I have a small party upstairs that I must tend to."

"What did you do, Toni? Go to Rome to find it," Joshua yelled as he moved down the stairs. She motioned the young girl to hide behind an old, green refrigerator .

"Ha Ha! Just make yourself useful and carry this upstairs," she said shoving the bottles at him.

"I love it when you get so assertive." He teased as he took the bottles and charged upstairs.

"That's why you're still single, cause you're so fresh." Toni chased after him. "No Southern Belle wants to be talked to like that."

A few hours later, the party finally wound down leaving a mess behind. Bottles and glasses were scattered all over; cigarette butts littered the floor, and plates with half eaten food lay on the tables. Ashtray's had to be emptied, the floor needed mopping, and the dishes had to be done. It was already after two at this rate she'd be lucky if she got to bed by five.

"I didn't mean to scare you earlier." The vampire said coming out from the cellar.

"I'm so sorry, I forgot you were down there. Honey, I don't scare easy." She said as she

loaded some of the glasses into the dishwasher. "Why'd you come here?"

"I saw the light on. I was so hungry I knew I could find a victim here." She said noticing Toni staring. Unable to look directly at her, she turned away.

"You're not gonna get anywhere in your birthday suit. Go up the stairs off of the pantry. The first door at the top is my granddaughter Carla's room. I'm sure something of hers is bound to fit you." She said as she tied her jet black hair back before she grabbed the trash to take it out back to the dumpsters.

"Why are you helping me?" The vampire asked.

"Just get dressed. I'll fill you in on everything." She said going out the door.

The air was cool on her face. The scent of sweet flowering tobacco filled her senses when she stepped outside. Along the paved walkway around back, she admired her beautiful flower garden. Her Hydrangea bushes did exceptionally well this season.

"Damn it! Who left the gate open? Every stinking stray animal in the neighbor-hoods gonna be nosing in the trash." Toni yanked back the other gate and screamed so loud, the light next door light came on. "For the love of Pete. Josh, you scared the hell out of me. What are you still doing here?" She said still holding her chest.

"I was looking for my car. I thought I left it in the garage."

"All right big fella. Let's go get some coffee." She said wrapping her thin arms around his broad shoulders and leading him back to the inn. "How much did you drink tonight?"

 A few cups of coffee later and after a Western omelette Joshua finally began to sober up. As Toni cleaned up the grill and put the glasses from the dishwasher away, Joshua yammered on about the wedding and school.

"I don't know? I was thinking about trying to get into Brown or Yale or maybe study abroad. I just want to get out of this dead end town." He said getting up and taking the rest of the coffee.

"You don't have to make that kind of decision tonight." She said wiping down the counter.

"I found this in the closet, it fits perfect." The vampire declared as she entered the room.

"Julian?" She said as her eyes lit up like the sky on the 4th of July when she saw him.

"No my name is Joshua, Joshua Lord. However I can be Julian or anyone else for that matter, if you like." He said stumbling into the chair and the table sending the silverware and an unlucky mug to the floor. "I'm sorry I'll get that." He could not take his eyes off the woman standing in the doorway dressed in tight stonewashed jeans, pastel blue sleeveless shirt and feathered hair.

Recognizing the danger he was in, Toni had to get Joshua out of there.


Chapter 5
The Path of Fate

By Jackreese

A vision of a different time began to replay in the recesses of his mind. Joshua tried to wipe it out of his psyche, but the harder he tried, the more the memory took hold. He saw himself in a formal black frock coat with silk faced lapels and button boots on a sinking clipper in the midst of a violent storm.

"Josh, could you do me a favor? Can you go into the restaurant and check the salt and pepper shakers for me? I'd ask Jesse to do it, but everything goes in one ear and out the other with him." Toni knew by the way they looked at one another they had met before.

"Sure, but I expect to see you when I get back," he said as he flashed a smile, then cocked his finger at the woman before vanishing through the swinging doors.

"Ok, Martha, sit down," she commanded.

"How do you know my name and why are you helping me?" She asked sitting down in the seat vacated by Joshua.

"I know everything about you and your family. As for helping you, I really didn't have a choice." Toni looked at Martha who sat expressionless with her hands in her lap.

"Do you want me to fill the sugar, too?' Joshua called from the other room.

"That would be a great help!" Toni hollered back.

"What do you mean you don't have a choice?" She said resting her elbows on the table. Her pasty pale appearance seemed almost lustrous under the overhead lights of the kitchen.

"My ancestor Zita was the cause of your curse. When she spoke those words, she nearly damned my family to death as the town systematically hunted us all down. In a last ditch effort, the patriarch of our family at the time, Umberto, used his magic to save Solomon Lord's nephew Richard, who was dying from tuberculosis. Had Richard died so would have the Lord line. Even though Solomon saw this miracle with his own eyes, it was not enough for him. The only way he would let my family live was if Umberto signed a letter stating that the Corsini's would help the Lord family in perpetuity." She finished.

Toni got up from the chair and peeked out at Joshua through the swinging door to find him passed out at the table, his head rested on the back of the chair.

"Then you know all about my family's accursed bloodline and the secrets that have troubled us for years?" Martha said, relaxing a little bit as she began to trust the woman before her.

"Yes, and a great deal more. You were one of the biggest secrets I and the other members of the order were sworn to protect." Toni said sitting at the table and pouring herself a cup of coffee from the pot that sat on a warmer in front of her.

"The order?" Martha questioned as she leaned back against the table.

"We are an ancient organization of supernatural beings that has existed since the days of Atlantis. Each panel of three is ruled by the monarch who is always a vampire or was until they were almost obliterated by a virus that claimed hundreds of werewolves to the point of extinction."

"So that means I am one of the lasts?" She said wide eyed as she stared at Toni who got up to heat her mug in the microwave. "How can a virus kill what is already dead?" Martha quizzed.

"Vampire blood could cure the virus. Once the werewolves learned this they waged war on the vampires. Until those who survived what became known as the Crimson Rising  went underground. The monarchs who survived have been in a hibernation state ever since. The werewolves have pretty much been decimated, but you're still not safe, there are Weres out there who will want your blood to save their kind. I am putting myself in grave danger helping you, but I believe I can stop your vampirism by making you human." Toni said as she got up to make some more coffee.

"I suppose you'll tell me next that women can vote and blacks are free?" She said in a chuckle.

"Actually we can and they are, but that's something we can talk about later." She said sitting back down and sipping from a mug that had World's Greatest Grand Mom on it.

"If I am human, they won't need my blood." A smile washed across her pale complexion at the thought of living again. Being able to love and feel the sun on her face, but most of all reuniting with her beloved Julian.

"I'm more than willing to help you, but you must be completely honest with me. What is your connection with Joshua? It's quite obvious you two have met. It was written all over your face."

Martha got up from the table to look through the swinging door at Joshua who was still passed out at one of the tables in the dining room. This man had the same impish smile, soft blue eyes and the same birthmark on his cheek only noticeable to those who knew it was there. Could it be after 130 years they finally found each other again?

"My father could not destroy me nor could my cousin, Richard. While I slept in my coffin, they decided to bury me in hopes it would be forever. A hurricane in 1853 flooded the town forcing coffins out of the ground destroying crops, houses, and anything in its path. I was freed from my prison and set eyes for the first time on Julian. I knew someday fate would bring us back to each other." She said hardly containing herself.

"I am going to stop you there." Toni said in a commanding tone. "That man is not Julian and can never be. If Joshua were to remember anything, it would expose both of us, and it could very well tip the Were's off as well."

"What am I supposed to do? I can't just forget him." She began to cry and little droplets of blood trickled down her cheek.

"Then he must forget you. I will hypnotize him and make him forget, ensuring both our safety. Take this pill and get into your coffin. By the next moon, your new life will begin." Toni said reaching into her pocket and giving her a green pill. "We need a new name to go with your fresh look. No one can know you were once Martha Lord." She looked around the room and her eyes fell on the Donatella Almond Cookies on the table. "We'll call you, Donna." She said reaching for a cookie and taking a bite out of it.
*****

Andrea sat down and began to skim through the pages of the family annals. A lifetime of pain and suffering sprang to life. It all began in the year 1780 with the death of Prince William, who died after falling from his horse and hitting his head. He was the only child of the exiled Grand Duke and Duchess of Marin, Solomon and Flora Lord. The Grand Duchess was so devastated she turned to the one woman who could help her, the witch, Zita, who lived in the woods by the swamp.

The pale light from the desk lamp was too weak for her eyes so she grabbed the journal and decided to take it to Calvin's office so she could get a better look at it. As she was getting up from the desk, a hand painted parchment fell out of the book. She picked it up and looked at a picture of a repulsive woman with long jet black hair with a white stripe down the left side of her head, dark eyes, scarred, olive skin and lazy eye complete with snaggletooth protruding from her bottom lip. She was the stereotypical witch.

"Andrea," A faraway voice called.

"Who's there?" She called out to no one.

"Come to the attic." The voice continued. "Follow my voice, Andrea. Follow my voice."

Andrea put the book back on the library desk and picked up the gun and stuck it under her dress. She rushed out to the foyer straight past Sutton who was busy directing the servants with the cleanup. Charlene, the youngest of the staff, along with her sister, Darcy, were in charge of the kitchen. Tucker and Rafe, lovers from Atlanta, had the grounds, and Miss Mabel Carter and her granddaughter, Bonnie Sue, had the upstairs, leaving the ground floor to Sutton.

"Mrs. Lord, can I get you anything?" Sutton called as she ignored him and continued to climb the stairs. "Everyone has their orders let's try and have this place in order by the time Mr. Lord returns." He said as the crowd dispersed. "Charlene, fix your skirt and Tucker, no champagne until the works done."

Tucker sighed and put the glass down. Sutton shook his head.
*****

Andrea found her way up to the attic. She could smell the musky odor of years gone by as she reached blindly for the light switch which was committed to memory. As she flipped the switch, the light shone brightly reflecting off a million dust particles floating in the air. Andrea waved her hands frantically in front of her face. She tried to take in the various boxes and unused furniture. She moved from the stairwell, an unusual cold surrounded her as she proceeded to the center of the room.

The woman's voice called out again.

"Lift the sheet from the mirror." She demanded.

Andrea raced through the mazes of forgotten treasures and found no mirror until she reached the back of the room. Nestled against the wall rested an oblong mirror covered by a simple white sheet.

"I've never seen this before." She said yanking the sheet off. Suddenly the mirror began to swirl and an image began to emerge.

"Take a good look at the image, Mrs. Lord. Gaze at the figure before you and at what happens to those doomed to carry the Lord name."

Andrea fixed her eyes on Simon writhing on the ground. His back was arched and he was screaming in agony.

"What's wrong with my son?" She shrieked at the mirror.

"Just watch, Mrs. Lord."

As Andrea turned her attention back on the mirror, a large werewolf howled and beat at its chest. He was so close and lifelike she could feel his breath on her face. It was so real she put her hands up to shield her face.

"Behold your loving, Simon." The voice screeched with laughter as Andrea crumpled to the floor.


Chapter 6
Broken

By Jackreese

Previous Post
Andrea raced through the mazes of forgotten treasures and found no mirror until she reached the back of the room. Nestled against the wall was an oblong mirror covered by a simple white sheet.

"I've never seen this before." She said, yanking the sheet off. Suddenly the mirror began to swirl and an image began to emerge.

"Take a good look at the image Mrs. Lord. Gaze at the figure before you and at what happens to those doomed to carry the Lord name."

Andrea fixed her eyes on Simon writhing on the ground, his back was arched and he was screaming in agony.

"What's wrong with my son?" She shrieked at the mirror.

"Just watch Mrs. Lord."

As Andrea turned her attention back on the mirror a large werewolf howled and beat at its chest. He was so close and lifelike she could feel his breath on her face. It was so real she put her hands up to shield her face.

"Behold your loving, Simon." The voice screeched with laughter as Andrea crumpled to the floor.

New Post
After Calvin returned from the hospital, the house was silent with the exception of a servant mulling about every now and then. He sat down in one of the fold up chairs looking around at all the damage. Bending down, he picked up a baby blue carnation from the floor. He sniffed the flower and leaned back into the chair when he felt a hand on his shoulders.

"Can I get anything for you, sir?" Sutton asked, his hand still on Calvin's shoulder.

"How about a wand to make this day disappear? This was supposed to be a happy occasion, yet all we managed to do was raise suspicion on our family again. Sutton, I gotta wonder sometimes if it's all worth it. I think I would give up the cars, the money, the house, all of it, if we could live like everyone else." Sutton put the clipboard down and began to massage Calvin's shoulder.

"That feels wonderful." He said closing his eyes as Sutton worked his magic. "Where did you learn to do that?"

"When I worked in the infirmary during 'Nam, a lot of fella's needed their muscles worked out. How are Ms. Rosa and Ms. Helena?"

"Mama's locked herself in her room, my sister's gone certifiably mad and my sons are who knows where. What'd do you say we hop on the Lord jet and fly to Maui and get away from this lunacy?" He said with his eyes still closed.

"I'd follow you anywhere, sir." Sutton said, holding on to Calvin a little longer than he liked creating a real awkward moment. Realizing his error, Sutton released his grip and picked the clipboard back up. "I can't go anywhere right now, this mess isn't going to clean itself up." He began to walk back towards the central hall. "You might want to check on Mrs. Lord, though, she's gone up to the attic."

"Geez Andrea, I've been so busy taking care of everyone else I forgot about her." Bolting from the chair he charged out into the central hall and up the stairs, he threw open the attic door, his heart raced as he searched the room for his wife.

After what seemed an eternity, his mind was put at ease when he found the cupola door open, he climbed the stairs to see his wife seated in a rocker staring out of the window sobbing and speaking gibberish.

"Andrea, thank god. Are you hurt?" He said coming up behind her.

The moon's glow shed light on all of Andrea's wrinkles, imperfection's and grays. She stood up to face him with the gun in her hand, she pointed it at Calvin. His beautiful, loving spouse now seemed to be in the grips of madness, an unfathomable rage festered behind her eyes ready to bring forth her wrath.

"Darling, please put the gun down. You don't want to hurt anyone."

"Come any closer and I'll shoot," she snapped.

"Ok, let's not get ahead of ourselves," he said, backing into the wall with his hands out in front of him.

"When were you going to tell me about the curse placed on this family? Or that our son's a bloodthirsty werewolf?" She screeched.

"You were never supposed to know," he said looking down.

"So that makes it right? All the years we've been married and you couldn't tell me the truth? You let me have children knowing damn well one of them would turn into a monster!" Andrea flared.

"I did it to protect you and Joshy from the truth. No one has to know. We can go back to the way things were before you found out. We can lock Simon in the basement on nights there's a full moon like Mama and I have done since he was fourteen." He brushed her hand with his and Andrea struck him across the face with her free hand.

"Your cow of a mother knew before me?" Andrea became more incensed by this little revelation. "Since everyone has a secret, here's mine. Fifteen years ago, I had an abortion because I didn't want any more children, but you kept insisting we try for a girl after Amber, despite my protests. That mother of yours knew and kept silent. How does it feel to know that Mama isn't so innocent?" Calvin looked like he had been stabbed through the heart. "We can never go back. Our marriage is over," she spat while staring blankly at him.

At that moment Calvin chose to lunge for the gun.
#
A naked Simon came out of the woods and lumbered toward the dark house. Georgia sat on the gallery in one of the wicker chairs for two hours waiting for him to return. Her eyes were becoming heavy as she gazed across the lawn in hopes of catching a glimpse of her new groom. She even had his jeans and favorite T-shirt ready for him to throw on the moment he stepped on the porch.

"Hurry up, Simon," she said as her head began to droop.

"You're gonna go to sleep now." He teased as he stood before her in all his glory.

"Not when I got a sight like that to keep me up," she said as she licked her lips. "Here!" She threw the clothes at him.

As Simon slipped the blue Clemson University T-shirt over his head, a bullet shot out from the cupola window. Simon pulled Georgia down behind a large stone urn planter.

"What was that?" Georgia asked, her hand gripping Simon's arm.

"I don't know." He crept out from behind the urn and slid down the steps to crawl along the grass until he was a good distance away from the house. He then looked up toward the third floor from behind a marble fountain and saw his parents wrestling over a gun.

"What's happening?" Georgia said above a whisper still behind the ancient pot.

"It's my Mom and Dad," he said running back toward the house.

"Where are you going?" Georgia said, grabbing him by the sleeve when he got to the front door.

"I have to see what's going on." He saw the concern on her face. "I'll be fine. Be back before you can say honeymoon. Wait out here. I don't want you getting hurt." He pecked her cheek and hurried inside.

Georgia sat back down again on the same wicker chair and put her feet up on the table in front of her.

"Please hurry, Simon," she said, looking toward the cupola.
#
Any remnants of the much anticipated wedding had been wiped clean as Windwood returned to normal and the day's celebrations faded into history. Simon stood at the bottom of the stairs looking toward the third floor when the gun went off again. With his acute hearing, he heard his father moan and collapse. In a flash, he vaulted the stairs easily, hurdled over the Victorian furniture in the upstairs hallway and dashed up to the attic.

Andrea began to sob uncontrollably as she hunched over the body of her husband. She felt like at any moment she would vomit.

"What did you do to Pa?" Simon flared as he spun her around to face him. Andrea tried to turn away. Simon could see the terror in her eyes, his mother's body trembled. "Why are you afraid of me? Look at what you did?" He yelled in her face.

"Get off me. Stop touching me!" She cried as he continued to try and force her to look at Calvin. With all her might, Andrea shoved him hard enough. He fell into a group of boxes and trunks after he got to his feet Andrea had the gun on him.

"I'm so sorry." She aimed the gun.

"I want you to get a good look at my face so that when you go to sleep it'll be there and then while you daydream about your perfect life I'll creep in and smash that wonderful world."

"Andrea, he's your son," Calvin moaned as he came too.

Andrea fired the gun at Simon's chest. He stumbled back and stared at his mother in disbelief. He reached for her, she yanked back with all her might causing him to lose his balance and fall through the cupola window.
#
After about twenty minutes, Georgia popped up from the chair and strode toward the front door when she saw a brown Dodge Caravan pull up to the gate with the window rolled down, Toni Corsini's head poked out.

"He's pretty bad off you might want to come help me get him up to the house," she shouted as the sun began to appear over the skyline. Georgia looked to the attic than to Joshua, who had a hard time getting the back door open.

"I thought he'd sober up by now. Rosa would be furious with me for letting him leave my bar in this state," she said as she got out opening the door.

"Georgia, you're still here?" He slurred, reaching out and touching her face.

"I'm glad to see you, too," she said, putting her right arm about his waist and his left arm around her neck. "Thanks, Toni, I got it from here."

"You sure? He's awful heavy," she called as she hesitated getting back into the car.

"I'm fine. Go home, get some sleep," Toni waved and then shot off toward the street.

"Donna," Joshua murmured as Georgia drug him across the lawn.

"Donna? Is she another one of the girls you met at the bar?"

"She's the woman I'm gonna marry." He laughed, then turned his head to throw up all over Andrea's prized Carolina Lily's.

"Let it out," Georgia whispered as she patted her brother in-law's back.

Suddenly, they heard a loud crash. Both looked up to see Simon plummeting from the cupola window. He landed in a large lavender butterfly bush.

Georgia screamed.

Joshua looked up to see his mother in the window frame.
#
Nola wanted to kill Gideon for making her come back to this place. She found the old root cellar exactly where he said it would be. She placed the lantern she carried beside her on the ground so she could see while she removed all the vines and dead leaves from the door. The flimsy timber door gave her no problem, she raised the lantern and saw nothing but darkness before her.

"I swear to god, if he jumps out at me he's dead," She fussed as she descended the stairs. The small room was empty and stifling, its contents emptied long ago. She felt along the hard dirt walls and found nothing out of the ordinary. Even the lantern seemed ineffective in penetrating the darkness. She let out a heavy sigh. "This is ridiculous. I'm gonna be here all night," she bemoaned as she moved across the floor, her left foot tripped over a rock or root. Knowing she would fall, Nola put her hands out in an effort to shield herself and crashed right through the wall. The lantern broke immediately, the wick extinguished, leaving her a little dazed and bruised and right beneath Windwood.

"It's about time," Gideon said, irritated while extending his right hand to help her up.

"Well, maybe if you told me exactly where the passage was instead of having me find it with my head, I could've been here sooner," she snapped as she held onto Gideon's arm to kick some debris off her shoe. "Where are we anyway?" She said looking around at the endless maze of corridors.

"We are right underneath Windwood's parlor. From here, you could take any of these passages to the lake, the old slave quarters, or the cemetery. One pathway is said to lead straight to the center of town," he said, aiming the flashlight ahead of them.

"What was the point of all these passageways?" Nola asked as she looked at one tunnel after the other.

"Solomon Lord had them built as escape routes. After the Grand Duchy was annexed in 1777 by Austria the former Grand Duke, the Grand Ducal family and some of the staff settled here in Solomon's Wake. With them they took the royal jewels, some gold, silver, precious stones and anything else of value and stored it down here. In the case of the Revolution and the Civil War, they used these tunnels to escape with their treasures."

"When did you become such an expert on Lord family history?" She said following close behind him.

"I was going to marry into this family, remember?"

"I don't know why they'd keep anything down here. It smells like wet dog and vomit," she said, shaking her head in disgust and sticking out her tongue. She put her hand on the limestone wall and felt the moisture on her fingers.

"Between the lake and the river, they get a lot of water down here," he said, continuing along the left side of the cellar then turning right down another tunnel.

"Did you bring me down here to play explorer or are you just wasting my time?" Nola scoffed as she held onto one of Gideon's belt loops.

"There!" He said pointing over to what looked like a makeshift jail cell with Italian words all over the wall, words written in blood. "This was the prison of the witch, Zita."

"And how do you know that? Were you here, then, too?" She said in jest slapping him on the back.

"It says so on the wall."

"You're just full of surprises tonight. Italian?"

"I settled in Tuscany for a few years after I lost Iris. After awhile, the language just came natural. The Italian language is so beautiful, everything sounds better. Even Werewolf has a romantic undertone to it."

"Okay, big talker, put your money where your mouth is and tell me what it says. A hundred bucks says you can't." She reached into the pocket of her black Jordache's and pulled out a Ben to wave in his face.

"Next thing you know, you'll have me stick my tongue to a freezing pole," he said snatching the hundred dollar bill from her hand. "It says: I have spilled my own blood to curse you, Solomon, and your house. My blood is now part of the very soil for which this house rests. As long as Windwood stands, so shall I. From this day forward, every last Lord, from now through eternity, will be struck down. Horrible torments. Terrible tribulations await all of you."

"Okay, so you know what it says." He gave her an 'I told you so' smile. "I know you didn't bring me here for a history lesson or to teach me Italian, so tell me what the real reason is I'm here."

"We are going to contact Zita ourselves. She was kept in this room, which should make contacting her all the more easier. I snuck into Calvin's office during the reception and found this." He showed her a tattered leather book with a large gold pentacle engraved on its cover.

"And she'd help you why?"

"I'll promise to restore her body. In exchange, she gets rid of Simon for me." He smiled, wryly.

"You know what? I think you're insane. I want no parts of this. You're so obsessed with Simon, I'm beginning to think you're in love with him." She began to walk away.

"Nola, please, I need your help, I can't do this alone. I have to stop Simon and Georgia from having children or the curse Zita placed on Solomon will pass to my grandchildren." He caught her by the arm and pulled her into a kiss.

"All right, I'll help you, just stop begging, it's very unflattering. God, I need my head examined."

Author Notes Characters
Calvin Lord-Owner of Lord Shipbuilding and master of Windwood. Husband of Andrea and father of Simon and Joshua.

Andrea Lord- Wife of Calvin. Mother of Joshua and Simon.

Joshua Lord-Youngest child of Andrea and Calvin. Wants to get out of Solomon's Wake and away from the Lord name.

Simon Lord-Eldest son of Andrea and Calvin. Joshua's older brother. Simon was born a werewolf because of a curse. Married to Georgia.

Georgia Lord- Simon's wife. Georgia was born from two werewolf parents and can change at will, unlike Simon, who can only change by the full moon.

Gideon Blake- Centuries old werewolf, father of Ginny and Georgia. Hates the Lord family and is another member of the order.

Nola O'grady- Gideon's sidekick and ladylove.

Aaron Sutton- Trusted and revered servant who has served the Lord family for decades.


Chapter 7
Payback Time

By Jackreese

Previous Post
"We are going to contact Zita ourselves. She was kept in this room, which should make contacting her all the more easier. I snuck into Calvin's office during the reception and found this." He showed her a tattered leather book with a large gold pentacle engraved on its cover.

"And she'd help you why?"

"I'll promise to restore her body. In exchange, she gets rid of Simon for me." He smiled, wryly.

"You know what? I think you're insane. I want no parts of this. You're so obsessed with Simon, I'm beginning to think you're in love with him." She began to walk away.

"Nola, please, I need your help, I can't do this alone. I have to stop Simon and Georgia from having children or the curse Zita placed on Solomon will pass to my grandchildren." He caught her by the arm and pulled her into a kiss.

"All right, I'll help you, just stop begging, it's very unflattering. God, I need my head examined."

New Post
Gideon smiled and dropped to the floor. Sitting Indian style around a bunch of candles that barely illuminated the chamber, he pulled Nola down by the wrists. Opening the book which was written in Italian he began to search for the right spell. Halfway through the book, he found it.

"Here we go!" In a thunderous voice, Gideon began the incantation which seemed to be a mix of different dialects.

Nola began to get chills and felt uneasy as a mass of cold air enveloped them.

"Stop it, Gideon! I can't breathe. It feels like something's clawing at my chest, trying to get inside me." With that Nola, let out a shrill cry and her eyes became black as coal.

"Nola, Nola," he said, staring at her in awe.

"Hello, Gideon, it's been a long time," a distorted voice greeted.

"Who are you?" he asked with big eyes

"How could you not remember me?" Nola's voice was not hers. The tone and inflection were that of someone else, someone Gideon knew. Gideon felt the hairs on his neck stand up. He felt his stomach drop in fear. Nola stood before him, blankly staring. Her mouth stayed open. It didn't even look like she was breathing.

"Marshall?"

"I've waited almost a hundred years to face you again.

"I didn't summon you," he said, scratching his head.

"You might want to brush up on your spirit summoning, for you're going to need more than a book to reach her."

"I don't understand?"

"You cast an amateur spell that called on every and any spirit that could hear it, and I was the strongest and able to break through." He cackled. "A hundred years ago you took something from me that meant more to me than anything in the world. I only find it fair that I return the favor."

"What are you going to do?"

"You'll see," he warned as the room became warmer.

Blinking and shaking her head, Nola asked "Gideon what happened?"

"I'm not quite sure."
#
Ginny heard the gunshots, heard Georgia scream and saw the police take Andrea into custody, yet through it all, her father was nowhere to be found. Once again, the house fell eerily silent.

She stood before the dresser staring at the mirror and began to take out the baby's-breath to let her hair down. Now all she wanted to do was get into a nice hot bath, relax, and forget about everything that happened tonight.

"I've drawn you a bath and left some fresh towels for you on the hamper. If you need anything else I'll be out in the hall," Charlene offered with a smile. "For the record, it was a beautiful wedding," she said from the doorway. Her young face was vibrant, her golden hair shined, and the smile she sported was worth a million bucks.

"Thank you, Charlene," she said as the young girl nodded and closed the door.

Ginny unzipped her teal gown, letting it slide to the floor.

Stepping out of it, she made her way to the bathroom, where she dropped her black panties and left the matching bra on the doorknob.

"That's more like it." She eased herself into the large claw foot bathtub and the warm water it contained. "Ah, I could get used to this." Closing her eyes, she laid her head against the back of the tub.

Her mind was working overtime as the events of the evening played over and over again in her mind. Where was her Father? Where was her sister? And most importantly, who got shot?

Exhausted, she began to fall asleep just as something began to pull her under the water.

"Someone help me!" She screamed as she tried to hold onto the sides of the tub. The force continued to tug at her feet harder and harder until her hands finally slipped, sending her beneath the water.

Water splashed over the sides of the tub, soaking the linoleum floor and trickling out into the bedroom as she thrashed her way toward the top. Ginny could no longer hold her breath or fight this being off; she had accepted her fate, when a hand reached down and pulled her out by the hair.

"Miss Blake, are you all right?" Charlene asked, reaching for a towel

"Something's trying to kill me," she, said, gasping while gripping onto Charlene's arm.

"Hurry up, let's get you out of here," Charlene said while holding open a large mint green towel.

"Thank you!" As Ginny went to step out of the tub, the force that tried to drag her down before succeeded this time and pulled her all the way under until she disappeared

"Miss Blake! Miss Blake!" Charlene called out frantically as she reached into the tub. Still unable to grasp what she just saw, she ran out of the room screaming.

Gideon flew down the hall, fear written all over his face. "Charlene what's the matter?"

"She's gone! Mr. Blake, your daughter's gone!" The girl said, trembling.

"What'd you mean gone?" He said, looking into the bedroom.

"The bathtub swallowed her," she practically whispered. "I heard her screaming. I rushed in to find her underwater. I thought she fell asleep and slipped. I helped her up and watched her vanish before my eyes. I'm sorry, Mr. Blake, I've had enough of this crazy house. I'm going back to Mobile," she said as she turned and ran down the hall.

"Ginny!" he called out into the bedroom.

"... She's gone someplace you'll never find her..." Marshall taunted.

With his hands in his face, Gideon sank to his knees and began to cry. If only his hatred for the Lord family hadn't got the best of him, his daughter would still be here. What if Marshall wanted to go after Georgia, too? He had to cut Georgia out of his life completely in order to save her from a similar fate.

"Nola!" He screamed out into the hallway. "Nola, please hurry!" he said, stepping back into the bedroom.

"What is it?" she asked. "You look like you've ate some bad sushi,"

"Marshall has done something to Ginny," he said above a whisper as he walked over to the nightstand to pull out some stationary and a pen. He basically shoved it at her. "Here. I need you to write a note to Georgia, convince her that she and Simon are in danger, but most importantly, make her leave Solomon's Wake."

"Isn't this a little drastic?" she said, wiping a piece of blond hair out of her face. Gideon shifted his cold dark eyes on her and walked out of the room without saying a word.
#
The blonde woman drove her gold Tempo down I-73 toward Mannix's compound in West Virginia. Most of the cars flew by her with ease. A good number of them honked or flipped her the bird. It wasn't her fault the transmission went and the car wouldn't go past 40. She reached for her car phone, dialed a number. A man answered on the second ring.

"It's done. Gideon released the spirit of Marshall. Andrea Lord has discovered her son Simon's secret, and I got Nola in the trunk."

"Very good, my dear. You shall be handsomely rewarded," a husky voice said. With that, he hung up.

"You're welcome." As she continued to drive, she could not help but feel like she had seen that house before, even the people in it. Only she could not remember anything about her past and every time she tried, the more frustrated she became. For all she knew, her name wasn't even Lila. Rather than get upset, she turned the radio on to hear her favorite song Madonna's Crazy For You, and began to sing at the top of her lungs as the other cars whizzed by.

Author Notes Characters
Gideon Blake- Centuries old werewolf, father of Ginny and Georgia. Hates the Lord family and is another member of the order.

Nola O'grady- Gideon's sidekick and ladylove.

Lila- Channing's right hand woman and go to girl.

Ginny Blake-Gideon's youngest daughter and Georgia's sister.


Chapter 8
Sins of the Father

By Jackreese

It was almost six and Toni found she was still wide awake. The fact that her granddaughter Carla was still not home wasn't helping her insomnia. Instead of lying there, she got up, walked over to a large closet with sliding mirror doors, yanked back a bunch of dresses, coats, and stoles to reveal a door made of Scottish silver. The strongest metal known to man, nothing supernatural could penetrate it.

Inside Toni began to look at some of the things she had in the vault. Clothes hung on a long metal rack by the door. They included a flapper gown, a wedding dress from 1735, and a pair of gloves worn by Grigori Rasputin. She even kept the mallet Dr. Van Helsing used to finally destroy Count Dracula, locked in a glass case. This stuff was all trivial compared to the other objects in the room.

One of her more spine-chilling oddities was kept under a velvet shroud in a large enchanted glass box. Toni had not laid eyes on it in years because it frightened her and raised too many questions about her own lineage. She went around the large case. When she stepped on her shoe lace, to keep her balance she accidentally grabbed the shroud pulling it off and revealing the severed head of a beautiful woman.

"Now you've done it. You won't sleep for days." As she put the cover back over the case she couldn't help but stare at the name engraved on a silver plate at the bottom of the glass, Carmilla Countess of Karnstein.

Carmilla Karnstein and her entire family was the scourge of the earth. They reveled in the ways of black magic, devilry, and vampirism. They terrorized Styria for years. Yes, the Karnsteins's were a bad brood whose ferocious bloodlust led to their undoing. They were so wicked while alive that they continued to haunt the living after death.

One night in the late 17th century, a brave man set out to rid Styria of these demons once and for all. He staked and decapitated every last Karnstein in the cemetery except two, Carmilla and her brother Xander, who could not be found.

Eventually, Carmilla met her demise for the last time, but Xander escaped. Toni hurried up with the cover and crossed the room.

She reached for a switch that turned on a bunch of monitors she had built into the wall. One showed her the driveway out in front of the house, the other the hallway, kitchen, and living room, and then the other three showed the underwater prison of her fallen comrades.

One room in particular was of great interest, the room that contained the golden sarcophagus and the only thing capable of destroying the vampires, witches, and werewolves. As long as that coffin remained sealed, the threat was minimized. Thankfully, as she scrutinized the surroundings on the screen, there were no signs of it opening anytime soon.

Toni let out a sigh of relief. She was so glad Carla talked her into getting the cameras, or she'd have to travel every night out to the lake, open the door and literally check to make sure the coffin was safe and secure.

The accursed object had been in the possession of the Monarchs since it ended up in the ocean after the Titanic sank.

Toni continued to stare at the screens when she thought of the other evil trinket stored here.

Buried at the far back of the room was a small box made of the same silver lined with black satin. She reached inside and pulled out a beautiful blue diamond pendant. Toni held it up to the light and watched as it glistened and danced under the fluorescent lights. She gasped as the ugly face of Zita appeared inside the gem.

"You will not win this time. Your spirit will never rise again to hurt anyone." She dropped the necklace in her pocket and took off toward the river.

This pendant was also known as The Karnstein necklace. It had belonged to Carmilla, her mother, and Zita, who was a Karnstein by birth. The necklace was the cause of great turmoil through the centuries, as it brought misery and destruction to anyone who wore it.

On the edge of the embankment, she reached into her pocket, pulled out the long chain, and with all her might hurled the pendant into the Aurora.

"Game over, Zita," Toni said, then smiled as she watched the diamond sink until she could no longer see it in the murky water.

"Dare I ask what that was?" Gideon asked, coming up behind her wearing grey sweat pants and a white undershirt.

"Nothing you need to be concerned with," Toni snapped. When she turned around and saw the condition he was in, she realized something was wrong. "What happened to you? Have you been crying?" Seeing his puffy eyes and disheveled hair as well as the condition of his clothes, the Gideon she knew was nowhere to be found.

"I'm leaving and I suggest you do, too." He reached in his breast pocket and pulled out a Marlboro, lit it and took such a long drag it made her chest hurt.

"We can't leave. As the only two members of the order remaining, we're bound by duty to stay. The Monarchs will behead us for high treason, burn us at the stake or throw us down the well with the others. Have you forgotten what we were all sent here to do?"

"No, I haven't!" he said, putting his cigarette out. "Look around you, Toni," he shouted as he spun around. "The Monarchs are in slumber. Lord knows, where and who knows if they'll ever wake up. The last vampire member of the order is long gone, the werewolves are scattered and their numbers dwindled, and you witches are down to a few. What reason on earth would you want to stay?"

"The large golden sarcophagus with the face of a young pharaoh on it, that's why. Your pack master and his followers tried to open it, and that's why you got the job of watching over it," she pressed.

"It was also the day the virus first manifested and infected my whole pack and started a war that almost killed all of us."

"Then you know we cannot leave." She sat down on the ground, motioning him to follow. "Our whole purpose for being here is to protect that tomb and keep it out of the hands of those who want to do us harm. The Monarchs instructed us to," she warned as Gideon cut her off.

"Our beloved Monarchs are the reason for all this," he said, jumping up and yelling as his anger got the best of him. "They brought that coffin here believing that inside was a talisman that would enable someone to bring the dead back to life; instead, we found a fire elemental that could kill us all."

"Regardless of how it came about, we are responsible for it until we are informed otherwise."

"I'm done with all of this. I don't care if that tomb opens or if the Commies find it. Channing is back, and he's coming for me. He's already taken Nola and my Ginny is lord knows where. I must protect my family, so as far as Georgia believes, I am dead," he exclaimed, looking at Toni with tears streaming down his face.

"He escaped from the tomb earlier, didn't he?" she said, moving closer to him.

"Yes, but I didn't know until much later," he said without looking at her.

"You're still a lying son of a bitch and as selfish as ever," she flared as she grabbed him and spun him around to face her. "He's your son and the reason for half this mess. I help you trap him down there and you were going to leave without telling me he was out and about, leaving me to fend for myself and clean up after you. This is how you repay me for saving your ass with the Monarchs and telling you about that book?"

"Toni, we've done all we can. Everything has been secured. There's nothing left for us to do and no one to guide us. Channing wont be happy with us. You know as well as I do what he's capable of. Don't make the mistake I did and wait around for him to make a move." He took Toni's hands and looked her in the eyes. "I'm kind of gonna miss this place and your nagging."

He tipped her chin and strode off down the beach.

Slowly she made her way back to the inn, taking to heart everything Gideon had told her. What if Channing did come for Carla or he managed to get into the tomb? There was no way she could defend herself alone or protect the town. A group of schoolchildren whizzed by on their bikes and waved to Toni. As she continued on her way, she got a cold chill down her back, which caused her to stop and turn around. She looked up to see Windwood, the imposing monument of timber and stone looming mercilessly over Solomon's Wake. It was at that moment she realized that everything going on in town was caused by that house and the people that have inhabited it for over 200 years.

"You are right, Gideon. It's time for me to go. The sins of our fathers will not fall on our children." Toni kept on moving and did not look back.




Author Notes Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Gideon Blake- Centuries old werewolf, father of Ginny and Georgia. Hates the Lord family and is another member of the order.


I have made changes to the chapter and am reposting.


Chapter 9
A Homecoming

By Jackreese

Old Windwood was quiet as Aaron Sutton cleared the dinner dishes from the dining room table like he had done for the past thirty some years. He was the only servant to remain at the manor, the others left long ago along with most of the family.

The elderly servant shuffled toward the back of the house in the direction of the kitchen passing all the empty walls where Picassos and Monets once hung leaving behind only the white silhouettes of distant memories.

Aaron placed the dishes in the sink and began to clear away the night's dinner. He began to wrap up what was left of the catfish and put the slaw in a round container next to the cornbread in the refrigerator. He helped himself to some sweet tea, sat down at the small table and was ready to have a biscuit with honey when a crash down the hall scared him half to death.

By the time he reached the first floor office, he found the master of the house, Calvin Lord, in a rage overturning furniture, breaking heirlooms, and just throwing anything that was not nailed down about the room.

"Excuse me sir, is everything all right?" He saw Calvin's flushed face and the mess he made.

"No, it's not. I've just been informed by the board that I've been removed as CEO of Lord Shipbuilding effective immediately." Calvin ran his hands through his thick silver hair than sat down in a ripped-up rose patterned upholstered Victorian chair.

"Oh sir, I'm so sorry. Can I get you anything?"

"My family built that company from the ground up, we poured our blood, sweat, and tears into it and how do I get repaid? By being fired by the very people I appointed." He tossed an empty glass at the fireplace which shattered into a million pieces. "I would like to be alone for a while."

"If you need anything at all you know where to find me." Reluctantly, Sutton left closing the door behind him.

Calvin reached into the bottom left desk drawer and pulled out a half-finished bottle of whiskey and drank it right from the head. He looked around the office, which was rather small and cluttered. A large window overlooked the grounds, his desk sat directly in front of the window.

On the other side of the room, there was a fireplace flanked with books on almost every topic. Pictures and certificates lined the walls. Calvin looked up at the portrait of Theodore Lord, and sighed.

"It's all gone Pa. I'm sure wherever you are you're relishing in my failure. After all, you predicted it would happen by my hand. We both know I really had no control over my path of fate, your ancestor's saw to that some two hundred years ago, didn't they?" He raised his glass to the oil painting of a man with silver hair, large grey eyes, and gaunt face. "Congratulations dear old dad for you got to preside over the fall of the house of Lord." He threw the tumbler at the painting placing a huge gash in Theodore's face.

Calvin cried some more after seeing the array of photos on the mantle. His eldest son Simon and his wife, Georgia, posing for the camera on their wedding day. Another photo of his daughter, Peyton, when she won the Academy Award for Best Actress, followed by Joshua, the middle child, who favored Calvin in every way, posing for the lens after winning the Pulitzer Prize for the biography he wrote about their ancestor Caleb Lord. Behind Joshua was a small framed photo of his first little girl, Amber, who lost her life at the age of six from leukemia. It almost destroyed Andrea and Calvin often wondered if that was the beginning of the end for her.

He looked around the room and continued to sob as he saw more photos of his grandchildren, parents, and siblings everywhere. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small photo he kept of his second wife, Vivian, taken outside by the stable.

"Even though I was found not guilty everyone around here still thinks I did it. They don't have to tell me, I can see it in their eyes." He lightly brushed his finger across the photo. "I could never hurt you."

A few hours later, a shot rang out and Calvin Lord was dead, a photo of his first wife Andrea clutched in his right hand.
#
For the life of him, he could not remember the way to the house. When he had been a boy he knew every shortcut, hidden path, and gravel road that surrounded the estate. In the dark everything looked the same as the hybrid Lexus SUV cut through the obscurity, its lights focused on the path before him.

The past few hours were driven in silence as his wife, Donna, slept in the passenger seat, their eleven year old daughter, Jenna, dozed in the back and their teenage son Brandon played his D.S. while listening to his MP3 cranked all the way up.

"Face it Josh, we're lost," Donna said as she sat up, stretched, and reached for her half empty bottle of spring water from the console.

"No, we're not. The turn has to be around here." He sat determined. Joshua leaned forward to peer through the windshield.

"Could you please turn around and go back to that gas station on the highway and ask for directions? It's getting late. Jenna's tired. I'm bushed and Brandon's gonna go blind if he doesn't give that game of his a break. C'mon, we've been at this for hours. If you won't ask for directions, then let me. At this rate, we'll never make it in time for the reading of your father's will." She turned looking back to check on the kids, her chestnut hair wild and free.

"I don't need to stop for directions."

"Really, Dad? Its way past midnight and I need to use the john. If we don't make it soon, I'm gonna go all over the back seat," Brandon said loudly as he bobbed his head to the music.

"Didn't I tell you to go in Mont Clare?" His son continued to move his head up and down. "Brandon!" Joshua yelled.

"What?"

"Didn't you go at the last rest stop?"

"Yeah, but I had all that Mountain Dew." Brandon began using the back of his dad's seat as a drum set.

"Hon, just stop. I need to stretch my legs anyway." Donna began to rub lotion on her hands, looking out of the window.

"Oh, for God's sake I'm too tired to fight both of you." The SUV squealed and jerked as Joshua accelerated the gas to turn around.

When the car pulled into the Quick Stop there was only a small white Volkswagen Bug parked by the entrance. A middle aged man with thinning hair and heavy build looked up from his newspaper long enough to stare at them through the large window.

"Could you get me a cup of coffee?" Donna asked as she opened the door to get out and stretch. Joshua came around and gave her a quick kiss when Brandon poked his head out.

"Dad, can you get me some beef jerky, another Mountain Dew and more chips?" Joshua pushed his head back in.

"Where were we?" He said as he gave his wife a big kiss.

"That's messed up, Dad." Brandon yelled as Joshua entered the store.

The Quick Stop was tiny, outdated, and in need of repair. The smell of cigarettes filled the air even though the sign on the door clearly said no smoking.

An old Conway Twitty song emanated from the small boom box on the counter. Joshua went to pour Donna a cup of Joe when he noticed it was so thick he could use it to tar the driveway. On to the snack aisle he went only to find everything he picked up had expired by two years. Fed up he went up to counter top get the directions.

"Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to the Windwood Plantation?"

"You want directions you have to buy something," he said in a strong southern drawl.

"I'm sorry Earl. That is your name isn't it?" Joshua said pointing to the name sewn on his blue shirt. "But the food you have here isn't fit for my dog."

"Listen Yank don't come down here shooting off your mouth acting like your better than everybody else or we're gonna have a problem." He stood up balling his right fist than slamming it into his hand. "You want the directions or not?"

"For the record I am no Yankee. I was born and raised here in South Carolina and graduated from Clemson." He grabbed a pack of gum from the rack in front of him and threw it down on the counter. "The directions, please."

"Where did you want to go again?" He rang the gum up.

"Windwood Plantation."

"Never heard of it." Earl looked away.

Joshua could tell by his face that he was lying.

"Why won't you tell me where it is?"

"Do you know what that place does to people? From the moment it was built in the 1700's, that house has done nothing but bring misery to everyone that enters it. Ghosts, murders, and suicides have plagued that poor family and this town's suffered for it. Just last week, the old patriarch of the family Calvin Lord was found dead in his office. Before that, his second wife, Vivian, turned up with her throat ripped out by the pool, and his first wife, Andrea, is a certified loon who's spent most of her life in the nut house. Trust me, run as far away from that house as you can get." Earl got up and went to the backroom, as he walked away all Joshua could do was focus on the bald spot on the back of his head.


Chapter 10
The Heir Apparent Returns

By Jackreese

Earl had Joshua so heated that when he went outside the southern air actually felt like it cooled him off.

"What took you so long, where's my coffee?" Donna asked through the opened window when he approached the car empty handed.

Brandon leaned forward from the backseat. "Dad, how bout those chips?"

"He was absolutely no help, says he's never heard of Windwood. As for the coffee, it would've put hair on your chest or make it fall out not sure which. Brandon, you've had plenty to eat and enough soda to keep you up a week." He buckled his seat belt and pulled out onto the main road.

"What are we going to do? Drive around for hours again?" Donna moaned as she put her seat back and covered her eyes with a black silk mask she pulled out of her pocket.

"I'm sure I was on the right track."

"Can't we just go to a motel until tomorrow morning?" Brandon chimed.

"Can you stop complaining for more than five minutes? "Joshua responded sarcastically. "Sit back, you're making me nervous."

"Why did I have to come to Solomon's Wake? I didn't even know grandfather. South Carolina blows." He huffed, settling back into the tan leather seat.

"Can the two of you stop bickering?" Donna bolted up and caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. Her vision began to blur and her pupils began to dilate. "We need to get to that motel."

"Don't you start too?" Joshua said keeping his eyes on the road.

"I'm getting a migraine and my medicine's in the trunk," she said lying back on the headrest and closing her eyes.

Sighing heavily, Joshua turned the car around once more and sped off toward the motel.
#
Earl came around the counter once he knew they were gone, pulled the shade down and locked the door. He ran back around the counter, picked up the phone and dialed the number that the stranger gave him the other day. At first, it rang and rang. As Earl went to hang up, a raspy voice answered.

"Hi, this is Earl at the Quick Stop in Solomon's Wake. You asked that I'd give you a call if anyone came around asking about Windwood. I had a gentleman in here about ten minutes ago asking how to get there." Earl finished and waited for a response but only got heavy breathing. "Look, things have been quiet around here, we don't need any trouble." The line went dead. "You're welcome." He hung up and went back to his paper.
#
Once they checked in, Donna pushed past Joshua and ran right into the bathroom. She flicked the light on which cast a small glow across the mint green tiled walls of the small bathroom which consisted of one toilet, shower and a rusted sink. She turned on the hot water full blast. The steam from the shower began to fog the mirror immediately.

As she wiped away the condensation, her hands began to tremble, her mouth began to hurt and that ferocious thirst for blood rose within her. She gripped the counter so hard she left an indention in the Formica.

Donna began to sweat. She looked up into the mirror to see her eyes take on an almost feline trait then her reflection began to disappear.

"Hold on, Donna. Hold on." She reassured herself as her fangs began to show.

"Babe, you okay?" Joshua asked tapping the door lightly.

"I'll be fine. Just need a few minutes for my medicine to kick in." By this point her fangs were fully out and the hunger raged in her like a volcano. If she did not get it under control, she could slaughter her whole family in a matter of seconds. Donna took her purse and spilled its contents on the floor. "Where the hell are they?" She ranted as she searched for the little green pill that had to be taken every day to keep her vampirism at bay. "There you are my little beauty." She quickly popped it into her mouth: its affects would be quick. "That was close." She could taste the concoction of garlic, blackthorn, mountain ash and bloodroot as it pulsed through her.

"Do I have to break the door down?" Joshua grumbled after about twenty minutes.

"I told you I just needed a minute." Donna smiled as she opened the door wearing nothing but a towel around her body. She dried her hair with a white towel than sat down on the bed and motioned Joshua to sit beside her. "Thanks for stopping." She leaned in to kiss him.

"I kind of didn't have a choice," he said as their foreheads pressed together. They stared into each other's eyes. Donna ran her hands through his lush dark hair at the same time he pulled her closer to him.

"I love you," he whispered as he began to remove the towel from her body when Donna caught sight of Jenna standing in the doorway.

"I'm scared. Can I sleep with you tonight?" The girl said hesitantly.

"Of course you can sweetheart." Donna began adjusting her towel while pulling down the bedspread. Jenna wasted no time and practically leapt head first into the mattress. "If you're sleeping in here, no funny business. Right to sleep, okay?"

"All right, Mommy."

"Daddy and I have to talk. We'll be in the next room if you need us," Donna said as she went out through a separator door that led to the next room where Brandon was already passed out on one of the twin beds.

"Is she still having those nightmares?" Joshua said sitting down in one of the cushioned wheeled chairs by the door.

"I don't know. It's not like we let her watch movies about vampires or werewolves so I don't know where she gets it from. Most little girls dream of dolls, toys or the boy they may someday marry, not about a witch being hung." Donna sat beside him in the other chair.

"Jenna just has an imagination. At least she's not dreaming of murder and suicide or sex. Maybe she'll put it to good use and become a writer or actress when she's older." Joshua shrugged.

"I guess. Are you going to tell me what's been bothering you the past couple days? Ever since you got the call from your father's lawyer you've been so far away. I'm not trying to be callus, but you haven't seen your dad in twenty years so there has to be something else you're not telling me?"

"You know me too well." Joshua sighed. "I got a call from a Loretta Thornton at the clinic in Rock Hill where mama's been for the past twenty some years. She's going to be released to my care and is coming home to Windwood." He slouched into the chair resting his temple against the side of his hand.

"Why didn't you tell me this? You shouldn't have had to deal with that by yourself." She slid off the chair and climbed into his lap. "I'm your wife and I'll do anything for you and I mean anything, all you have to do ask."

"I don't know what I'm supposed to feel. The woman shot and killed my brother." He began to weep as Donna opened her arms to him.

"Let it all out." She soothed as she stroked his head. After he composed himself they sat silent in the dark, a light rain began to fall outside and the glow from the exterior light crept under the dark red curtains.

"Mama's nurse, Loretta, told me she's been completely rehabilitated. No more fits of rage, homicidal tendencies, or paranoia. I just don't know about having her back in the house or my life."

"It's late. Let's go to bed and in the morning we'll look at the situation with a clearer mind." She stood up and offered her hand to him.

"What would I do without you?" He said taking her hand and letting her lead him to the bedroom.
#
For over twenty years a woman who kept her face hidden by a veil showed up at the hospital day in and day out to sit by the comatose body of Simon Lord. The woman never spoke or revealed her identity which gave birth to all kinds of wild rumors like she was the woman who shot him or she was the wife of the mobster who gunned him down out of jealousy, but most people believed her to be the grief stricken mother who prayed for her son to wake up.

However, all those rumors would be put to rest today.

"I've got to give her credit. I don't know if I could keep coming year after year talking to someone who's never gonna wake up," The older black charge nurse said to the LPN beside her when the mystery woman walked past them.

"She's right on schedule. Rain or shine, she's here at ten o'clock and sits with him until visiting hours are over." The young brunette said handing her a clipboard.

"I only wish I had someone love me like that" The charge nurse sighed as she signed the papers.

Simon's small room was bright as the sun bore down on the city of Denver. She laid her purse on a tray by the bed and knelt down to kiss his cool lips. The IV beside him endlessly pumped medications through his veins while the ventilator continued to propel air into his lungs as the blood pressure monitor beeped nonstop.

"This is the last time you'll see me, Simon. I thought maybe with my being here would be enough to bring you back to me. Twenty years of my life are gone and I have nothing to show for it. Even when the doctors told me to give up, I had enough faith to carry us both, but regretfully, I've come to the conclusion, they were right." Tears began to stream down her face. "I'm going home to Solomon's Wake. Goodbye my love."

All of a sudden, the machines began to go haywire. His blood pressure spiked and his toes began to move. Soon the nurses and doctors flooded the room and asked her to step outside.

"What's the matter? What're you doing to him?" They all looked at her in disbelief. The mystery woman found her voice.

"Just give us a few minutes." One of the nurses closed the door.

"Please, God let him be all right." She found a seat in the waiting room by the TV, some talk show discussing politics entertained the few people gathered around it. The minutes seemed like hours and when she could no longer sit, she paced, than sat and paced some more. She was about to barge into the room when Dr. Clewell came out looking puzzled.

"I can't explain how this happened or how it's even possible. Mr. Bishop's awake and alert a little groggy, but awake nonetheless. You may see him." He scratched his head and walked down the hall.

Georgia froze in the doorway while a young nurse took Simon's vitals. All she could think about was how she dreamed of this moment. Now however, her feet felt like lead as she tried to move toward his bed.
The nurse smiled at her when she passed by.

"You always knew he'd wake up." The nurse winked and patted her arm then shut the door.

"You've been at my bedside for two decades and now you have nothing to say," he croaked after taking a sip of water from the white Styrofoam cup the nurse gave him. "Come here and let me see you. What's with the veil? Take it off so I can get a good look at you." She lifted the veil. He said with a shaky voice his eyes locked on Georgia.

"Am I dreaming?" Georgia said afraid to approach the bed.

"Come, don't be afraid." His mouth was dry as he motioned her to come with his left hand, all the while staring at her face. "You're still as beautiful as the day I married you." He pulled the sheet back and motioned her to lie beside him.

"What if I hurt you or pull one of those tubes out?" she said reluctantly.

"I don't care. I want to hold you again, feel you next to me. I've only waited a decade or two. C'mon!" He patted the spot alongside him. Georgia melted as he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. His kiss sent a chill down her spine. Both began to cry tears of joy as their emotions took hold.

"I never gave up hope, Simon. Never!" She said sitting up and wiping the tears from her face. I was so lost without you. I brought you here to Colorado to keep you safe. I couldn't risk your mother finding you."

"Well, you don't have to worry about that because I don't plan on going anywhere again for a very long time."

Author Notes Characters
Joshua Lord-Heir to Lord Shipbuilding and Windwood. Father of Brandon and Jenna. Married To Donna.

Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Simon Lord-Joshua's older brother. Simon was born a werewolf because of a curse and was shot by his mother, Andrea, for being a werewolf. After 20 years in a coma he wakes up. Everyone believes him to be dead.

Georgia Lord- Simon's wife. Georgia was born from two werewolf parents and can change at will, unlike Simon who can only change by the full moon.

Andrea Lord- Mother of Joshua and Simon. She has been institutionalized since she shot Simon.

Jenna Lord- Joshua and Donnas youngest. Plagued by dreams of a witch being hung she also hears voices.

Brandon Lord-Joshua and Donna's son. Resembles his late grandfather and its unknown if he carries the werewolf gene.



Chapter 11
Windwood

By Jackreese

In the morning, when the family departed the motel, they were refreshed, alert, and ready for whatever the day may throw their way. Jenna prodded on and on about wanting to go swimming, going to a new school in the fall, and all the new friends she was going to make.

Brandon continued battling his way through some mythical land being overrun by some unseen force unable to focus on anything else.
Joshua concentrated on the road. As he predicted last night, he found the turn straight away.

Some overgrown shrubs blocked the path. In the dark, there was no way he would have seen it.

"I told you it was here." Joshua sounded like a child who just got a trivia question right.

"It only took you all night to find it," Donna quipped as she adjusted the airflow to the air conditioner.

"How much further?" Jenna asked, grabbing on to her mother's headrest.

"We're almost there; sit back and put your seatbelt on," Donna scolded as Jenna huffed and buckled herself in.

The car travelled under a large black wrought iron gate with WINDWOOD written in gold letters scrolled across the top. Along the drive, live oaks lined the entire route to the house, blanketing the whole area with an awning of emerald green foliage. Jasmine, magnolia, oleander, and honey suckle greeted the travelers with their heavy scents.

The rain washed the earth clean, making everything new and fresh; even the humidity fell, allowing for a cool wind to blow in from the Aurora River.

After driving down the dirt road for about two miles, they came out from the shaded path provided by the live oaks into a formal garden with gold and marble fountains scattered throughout. Southern magnolias, weeping willows, blue asters, pink and white azaleas, and five foot pale green royal ferns were tactically placed all over the property, adding to the estate's beauty.

Joshua drove up to the front gallery through a circular drive. Getting out of the car, the quartet stared in awe at the opulent antebellum mansion. The palatial white stucco mansion and property took up a whole city block. Four giant Corinthian fluted columns supported a two-story portico that occupied the whole front entrance of the house. Iron lace railings adorned both levels of the gallery, including the two-story gallery on the east side of the house. The large windows were imported from Italy and capped by dark green shutters. Atop the roof rested a large cupola with two rounded openings on each side.

"I feel like I'm in Gone with the Wind." Donna said as she closed the Lexus door.

"This is our new house?" Brandon asked in amazement.

"Yup, she's not much of a looker now, but you should've seen it in back in her heyday," Joshua said with a twinge of pride. "Windwood's one of the only plantations left in the South who has her original owners."

Many years had passed since the last time he had been home. Joshua could see that, now, from years of neglect, the great house had fallen into ruin. A shadow of its former glory. Shingles were now falling from all sides of the vast roof. Windowpanes were shattered on the third floor. Water damage could be seen on all sides of the mansion, and some of the balustrades needed repair.

When they walked up the cement steps to the front gallery they saw the Lord family crest carved into a large black front door. They stepped inside the central hall, which was 15 feet wide and 70 feet long. All the doors on the first floor were of heavy Greek frames. The five downstairs mantels were made from white marble carved with the Lord family crest, and gold chandeliers hung from plastered rosettes in each room. A faded mural of the gods of Olympus could also be seen. Hand painted door knobs, etched glass and immense gold framed mirrors greeted them, making the room look never ending.

The first floor afforded a ballroom, music room, double parlor, dining room, and library. A service wing at the back of the house contained an apartment, bathroom, kitchen, and office. Upstairs encompassed eight bedrooms, a sitting room with a great view of the Aurora, more bathrooms, black marble mantles and hand painted wallpaper.

One of the side doors opened, and an elderly man shuffled forward wearing a black suit. His white hair and soft blue eyes complimented the ensemble. His jaw line was pronounced, and his face was rather smooth for his age.

"Welcome home, Master Joshua." His southern accent was heavy. "I am at your service." He bowed slightly and almost fell over.

"Thank you, Aaron. This is my wife Donna, our daughter Jenna, and son Brandon."

"I am very pleased to meet y'all. Please call me Sutton. Come into the parlor and relax," he said, opening the sliding doors. Maroon satin wallpaper enhanced the walls; a portrait of a beautiful blond woman hung over the marble fireplace. A worn Chinese throw rug with threads showing covered the pine floor. A small love seat, two mismatched chairs and bigger sofa were not enough to fill the impressive room.

"I'm sorry I don't have much to offer you. As you can see, there's not much left. Your father, though, till the day he died, kept this house going. I don't know how many times someone's come around offering to buy the place. Your father would have none of it. He'd chase them off with his rifle. Lord Shipbuilding's fallen on hard times, too. It got so bad they removed him as C.E.O. That hurt him almost as bad as losing your mother."

"Sounds like dad, always too proud to ask for help," Joshua said, looking at the portrait.

"Who's she, some ancestor?" Donna said when she saw Joshua couldn't take his eyes of it.

"That's my Mama, Andrea Sullivan Lord. "

"She's beautiful," Donna stated.

"Sutton, could you have someone bring the bags in?" Joshua tried to change the subject to avoid the topic of his mother.

"I'm the only one left at Windwood. Your father let the others go years ago."

"Alright. Brandon, help me get the bags." Joshua wiped a bead of sweat from his brow. He started for the door before realizing Brandon was still sitting on the couch playing his game. "Hello? Brandon? Bags! Move it!"

"Why do I always have to be the one to help you? He complained.

"Cause you're so good at it." His father smiled. Brandon balked, threw up his arms and followed.

"Do you hear that Mom?" Jenna blurted from the window.

"Hear what, honey?" Donna came up behind her and caught a view of a beautiful pond. A gazebo sat a few feet away.

"The woman! She's in pain! She needs my help! Don't you hear her?" Jenna practically screamed.

"If you don't stop with this, Daddy will make you go to that doctor again. Do you want that?"

"Mommy, but I heard her!"

"Enough already, Jenna, or no riding lessons!"

"What's wrong with your eyes?" The girl said, cocking her head.

"What'd you mean?" Donna said, paranoid. She hurried over to a mirror and saw her eyes began to change. "Jenna, tell Daddy I had to go upstairs." She ran out into the hall and up the wooden staircase.
#
While Joshua and Brandon gathered the luggage, another car came up the drive to park right next to them. The car door opened, and a middle-aged woman with auburn hair and a tiny frame got out, opening the back door to help a grey haired lady out.

"Ms. Lord, we're here," Loretta said, going around to the trunk to get the woman's walker.
Andrea Lord hobbled forward, her long steel grey hair clinging to her face. As she looked over Windwood, tears formed in her eyes as she saw the dilapidated state the house had fallen into. She stopped as soon as she saw her son. Both locked eyes until Joshua turned away.

"Hello, Joshy," she said, inching closer to him.

"Mama, you look well," he said without looking at her.

"So do you." Andrea moved to embrace him, but Joshua turned away too fast. "You must be my grandson. You're handsome, and like your grandfather, you've got the same large amber eyes and bronze skin." She used her left hand to pull a string off his green polo shirt.

"I do? I've never seen a picture of him."

"Brandon, the bags?" Joshua said in an advert effort to stop the conversation.

"We'll talk later," Andrea said, waving after them.

"Would you like to go inside?" Loretta asked.

"Not yet. I think I'd like to walk around a bit." Her eyes darted all over the property. "See that magnolia tree? I planted it myself when it was a sapling. Now look how big it's gotten. Most of the flowers I planted, too. I'm glad to see Calvin took good care of them." A gun shot off in the distance startled both of them. "Up there in the Cupola room is where I shot my son." She pointed toward the attic.

"We don't have to do this now," Loretta said, walking beside her.

"We should go inside," Andrea said, almost depleted.

Author Notes Characters
Joshua Lord-Heir to Lord Shipbuilding and Windwood. Father of Brandon and Jenna. Married To Donna.

Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Andrea Lord- Mother of Joshua and Simon. She has been institutionalized since she shot Simon.

Jenna Lord- Joshua and Donna's youngest. Plagued by dreams of a witch being hung she also hears voices.

Brandon Lord-Joshua and Donna's son. Resembles his late grandfather and its unknown if he carries the werewolf gene.

Aaron Sutton- Trusted and revered servant who has served the Lord family for decades.



Chapter 12
Shadows Of Yesterday

By Jackreese

After Donna took one of the last of her pills, she decided to check out her former home and see exactly how it had changed. The sun shown into the hall so bright she could make out the outline where certain pictures had been taken down.

Windwood smelled like centuries old must and dust. Cream wallpaper peeled from corners up and down the hallway. Every piece of furniture had been taken away and the pine floor was in a desperate need of waxing.

She found that most of the doors had been locked. A room at the end of the hall was opened slightly. Donna entered the sizable room to find it had been perfectly preserved. The beautiful nineteenth century rosewood roll top desk that her mother Flora would write letters to her father during the war of 1812 rested in front of one of the large windows that overlooked the grounds.

A large Queen sized bed with a blue bedspread lay against the back wall. A white marble fireplace with an array of framed photographs occupied the wall across from the bed.
On the nightstand lay a photo album titled Our Family. Donna sat on the bed and began to sift through the pages. There were so many pictures of Andrea and Calvin smiling, laughing, and very much in love.

She chuckled when she saw a photo of Joshua when he was about a year old standing naked in a silver tub. Another picture showed Joshua at about ten wearing a plastic Dracula mask for Halloween next to an older boy dressed as the wolf man.

"That must be Simon," she said aloud.

"It is, dear." Donna looked up to see Andrea in the doorway.

"I'm sorry I didn't mean to intrude, Mrs. Lord."

"Nonsense, you are the mistress of Windwood. I'm the intruder," Andrea said scooting over to the desk and opening the right hand drawer. "I have a lot more pictures here if you'd like to see them and please call me Mama, after all you are married to my son," she said sitting beside her. "That was taken Christmas of '79 right before we were heading out on the annual Lord Christmas cruise. Ah, that was Calvin at the Admiral's Ball when Lord Shipbuilding won the coveted Tuggy award for best cruise line. We were really happy then."

"Is this Windwood?" Donna asked in an attempt to change the subject.

"Oh yes. Looked like a different place, didn't it? We had such grand parties. People from all over the world came to get a taste of Windwood's famous southern hospitality. My garden was one of the finest in the south winning award after award for its beauty and landscape." Andrea smiled as an abyss of memories swallowed her.

"How old is the house?" Donna quizzed after finding a black and white photo of the house looking like new.

"The original house was built by Solomon Lord in 1785. He floated every piece of brick, iron, and marble down the Aurora. The house has been rebuilt three times and upgraded and enlarged over the years and sustained minor damage in the Civil War. A wing was added to the south part of the house in the mid 1800's, but in 1912 after years of flooding and a primitive drainage system that section of the house sank into the ground."

"The basement and the stairs leading to it are part of the original house?" Donna blurted.

"Why yes they are. How did you know that?"

"Time for your rest, Ms. Lord," Loretta said coming into the room.

"Thanks for talking with me. Joshua's past has always been somewhat vague to me." Donna got to her feet to extend her hand.

"I hope we'll get to be good friends." Andrea stood up to embrace her. "You make my son happy and I'll forever be grateful."

"You've had an eventful day." Loretta pulled back the blankets and helped Andrea get into bed. Loretta handed her a small Dixie cup full of water and one yellow tablet of Risperdal. "Go on swallow it." Loretta watched with eyebrows raised. Andrea popped the pill and downed the water.

"See!" Andrea said opening her mouth to show that she took it.

"Good girl. Lie down and get some rest. I'll be back to check on you later," she said throwing the blankets over her.

When the door closed, Andrea yanked the blankets off and got out of bed. She spit the pill out in her hand and tiptoed over to the door, cracking it slightly. She watched until Loretta rounded a corner at the end of the hall. She hurried back over to the bed put her blue flats back on and rushed down the servant's staircase.
#
Loretta returned to the parlor where Donna, Brandon, and Jenna sat playing Monopoly. From the looks of it, Jenna was buying up the board. Joshua stood by the window lost in his thoughts, oblivious to the goings on around him.

"Excuse me, Mr. Lord. I just thought you'd like to know that your mother has settled into her room."

"Ms. Thornton, may I speak with you outside?"

"Sure." She smiled as she followed him through the large front door out into the gallery. "I know you have your reservations about your mother, but I can assure you she poses no danger to anyone," Loretta said leaning against one of the railings.

"Reservations? Do you know what that woman did?" He asked, the blood rushing to his face.

"I am aware of what she has done." Loretta folded her arms and sat down on a white rocking chair. "That was a lifetime ago. I'm not telling you to forgive or forget, but your mother's had to live with what she's done. She's undergone shock treatment and a barrage of medicine and has finally admitted there are no such things as werewolves."

"She did?" Joshua said a bit surprised. "Wow, the one thing she always insisted on was that she shot Simon because he was a bloodthirsty werewolf." He sat down in the matching rocker beside her.

"Your mother no longer exhibits any signs of paranoia, delusions or fits of violence. Once she let go of the fantasy she created to justify the shooting of her son, she became a completely different person."

"You do realize she tried this before about ten years ago when she pretended to suffer from multiple personality disorder."

"Her doctor figured her scam out and put a stop to it. This time it's different. She passed all the tests with flying colors."

"I hope your right," he said getting up from the rocker and going back inside.
#
Andrea felt so happy to be back at Windwood. The more she wandered around, the more exhilarated she became. The peach trees she had planted had grown and yielded such a harvest not only could they feed Solomon's Wake but also the next two counties over. This made her heart proud. Even all the fish she stocked in the pond have thrived.

A few feet away from the pond lay the family cemetery. The mammoth tomb of marble and granite housed every member of the Lord family. From the late 1700's, members of the family were buried in the lower level, and from 1851 on were placed on the second floor. Green marble statues adorned the inside. A skylight stretched across the roof while a beautiful stained glass window which depicted a blond angel surrounded by other cherubs guarded the entranceway.

Near the stained glass window with the angels on it laid the larger than life tomb of her daughter Amber. She smiled as she placed a yellow rose she had picked earlier on top of the coffin. Andrea patted the marble lid than turned to her husband's tomb directly across from Amber's.

"Hello, Calvin," she said as she ran her hand across his plaque. "I've come home and this time you cannot stop me. All of this is on your hands, husband. You allowed me to have children knowing all along that one day that child would become a beast. You kept me locked up to keep me silent. Well, no more. I must kill Brandon and stop this poison from spreading anymore. I finally got to see him today, he looks just like you and being the first born we both know what will happen because he carries the gene just like Simon and we can't have that. No, the curse of the werewolf must end with Brandon for all our sakes." Tears fell from her eyes as she hurried out of the gate.
#
Once he had a moment to himself, Joshua found himself upstairs and outside of the room that was his brother Simon's. He stared at the door for a while before opening it. He felt his heart sink. Simon's room looked as it did the day their mother shot him. A museum to everything 1980s.

The curtains were drawn; the bed was made with the same blue and black bedspread with the Panthers throw pillow. Above the bed hung a poster of supermodel Carol Alt. Across from his bed on top of his chest of drawers were all his trophies from soccer, football, hockey, and even one for chess champion of 1982. Yes, Simon Lord was a Jack of all trades and Joshua's idol.
When he was little, he followed Simon everywhere and wanted to be just like him when he grew up.

Most older brothers would've minded, but not Simon. He doted over Josh, even took him on a few dates with him. He continued to look around the room until his eyes fell on the framed engagement photo of Simon and Georgia.

Sitting down on the bed, he stared at the picture as he wiped the dust off with his shirt. Tears began to form in his eyes as he remembered happier times. Andrea passed by the room and saw the door open, but could not bring herself to go in. She watched for a few moments before shuffling down the hall.

The ex-Mrs. Lord was about to return to her room when she heard Jenna playing Barbie's in Amber's old room. She stopped and caught a glimpse of the past. It was as if Amber was alive again through Jenna happily playing. She could see her so clearly as if it was yesterday. If Jenna hadn't called for her, she probably would've stood there all day.

"Are you okay lady?" The girl looked up briefly then returned to brushing her dolls golden hair.

"I'll be fine," Andrea said walking inside to gaze about the room. A room she hadn't seen since the night she left.

"You're the woman hanging in the painting above the fireplace?"

"I am," Andrea said with her back toward the child. She reached for a tissue in her pocket and dabbed at her eyes.

"No, you're not. You're too old and wrinkly."

This caused Andrea to break out in a fit of laughter.

"I find it hard to believe myself sometimes. I can assure you that's me. You can ask your father if you don't believe me. I was in my 20s then and just moved into this house."

"Then you're my grandmother?" Jenna looked at her skeptically.

"That's right. And this was the room of my little girl and your dad's sister, Amber." Andrea could feel the tears forming again.

"What happened to her?" She looked up at her grandmother with these big blue puppy dog eyes and cherub cheeks. Andrea wanted to melt.

"She died a long time ago."

"How?" Tiring of her Barbies, she reached for a polka dot stuffed elephant from a shelf on the wall.

"Jenna, I thought I told you to take a nap?" Joshua scolded entering the room, not realizing his mother was there.

"She's a beautiful little girl, son."

Before Joshua could respond, Loretta happened to come by and caught Andrea out of bed.

"Okay Ms., off to bed. You still have an hour before you're supposed to be up. Let's go!"

Andrea felt like a prisoner as she marched her out of the room.

"Wait!" Jenna cried when they were halfway down the hall.

"What is it sweetheart?" Again, Andrea was brought to tears as the little girl ran up to her and gave her a big hug.



Chapter 13
The Runaways

By Jackreese

Around nine in the morning, Simon was released from the hospital. As the nurse wheeled him down the long corridor, he clung to Georgia's hand until they reached the front entrance. Outside, the hustle and bustle of the city reminded him of Charleston, where his father took him and Joshua when they were boys.

Georgia led him across the street to the hospital parking garage and over to a black Sedan which was parked toward the back of the lot. For a brief moment, Simon thought he sensed some other being near.

"What's wrong?" Georgia questioned as she opened the trunk to place the few bags Simon left with.

"Did you feel that?" He said as he scanned the garage.

"Feel what?" She opened the passenger door and threw her purse in the backseat.

"I don't know? It felt like a power surge pulsated through my body. The only other creatures that can do that are Were's, vampires and witches. I haven't seen a vampire in years. My bet is it's another Were." He stiffened his spine. A growl emanated from his body as he prepared for battle.

"It was probably a shadow. It's dark in here. Simon, I think you need to relax and give yourself time to adjust. You just woke from a twenty-five year coma. Look at it like a light suddenly coming on inside after being in the dark for so long. Your eyes have to acclimate to that light, so now your brain has to adjust to being used again."

Simon took her words to heart but still felt like they were being watched as the car pulled out of the garage. After the Sedan cleared the gate, a man in a black leather trench and sunglasses came out of the shadows to watch them.

"Where are we going?" He looked out of the window as trees and light posts whizzed by.

"My father's lodge in the Rockies. It's the perfect place for you to recuperate and far enough away from Solomon's Wake and your family."

"How is Gideon these days?" Georgia looked like she had been punched in the gut, then suddenly, she burst into tears. "Sweet heart what's the matter?"

"He's dead." She continued to cry.

"I am so sorry." He began to rub her back. "How?"

"I don't know. I got a telegram. All it stated was 'I regret to inform you of the passing of your father' and that we were in danger. When I saw you weren't getting any better and needed serious care, with Sutton's help I moved you to Denver hoping no one would find us. I even changed your name. Your family believes your dead."

"This is a lot to take in. Other than my mother, who'd want to hurt us?" He frowned as she turned off onto I-70.
#
Jenna crept into the large master bedroom where Joshua and Donna slept. The morning light began to penetrate the lace curtains while a pair of hummingbirds sang out loud to welcome the dawn.

The little girl tiptoed across the floor toward the king size bed which seemed to devour her parents in its overstuffed mattress. She poked Donna until she finally stirred.

"What's the matter, did you have another bad dream?" She rolled over and noticed the clock on the nightstand read 6:20.

"I need to show you something." She whispered as to not wake her dad.

"Right now?" Donna glared with tired eyes.

"Uh-huh!" The little girl shook her head so much it looked like it would break off.

"Alright." Donna put her slippers on and her white satin robe and followed Jenna out into the stuffy hallway, down the back staircase, and into the library. "You better have a good reason for waking me up this early and bringing me here."

"I found this in the back of the room with a whole bunch of other pictures." Jenna lifted up what looked like a painting nestled against one of the long tables. She lifted up the canvas to reveal the portrait of Edwina Lord who lived at Windwood in 1853. Donna blanched and turned away. "It's me, Mommy!"

"That can't be you sweetie, that woman died over a century ago and she's a lot older than you." Jenna was oblivious to the quivering in her mother's voice.

"That's not all. I found this book in this desk drawer and in it is another picture of me." Jenna hurried over to the drawer, opened the book and found the page she was looking for. "See!" The girl practically shoved the book at her mom.

Donna felt sick as she stared at the photo of a portrait of a woman who sat with a smile in a navy blue velvet dress, a small tiara sat atop mounds of black hair. Her hazel eyes glistened, a large tear drop diamond necklace rested between her bosoms.

"It says her name was Eleanor Lord. She lived back in the 1800's and she was a princess. Mommy, could I be related to both these women? That woman I see in my dreams looks exactly like these other ladies." She looked up at Donna who had her back to her. "There is also another woman named Iris who lived here in 1912 hanging in the upstairs hallway who looks like these other woman."

"It's very possible. I don't know much about Daddy's ancestry." She sat down on one of the desk chairs. "Jenna, come here." She opened her arms and her daughter floated right into them. "Turn around and look at me." Donna had not attempted hypnotism in a long time but felt it necessary to keep her family safe. Jenna looked up at her with wide hazel eyes full of love. "You will forget all about these pictures. You came down to show me the library."

"Isn't this place huge?"

"It sure is. Why don't you go get ready for breakfast? Then later I'll take you for some ice cream." Donna was glad to see she was still able to use her mind control most of her other powers ceased when she started the pills.

Donna grabbed the painting and stared at the girl who smiled back at her. Only she knew the grin was a farce and behind those bright hazel eyes was pure evil. After all these years, she still found she was afraid of her sister.

"Your ugly jealousy always got the best of you, Eleanor. After mother died and Aunt Regina took the reins, you poisoned her. But then you go as far as accusing me of sleeping with your husband. Fearing the worst, you cursed him and his descendants by turning them into blood thirsty werewolves, but instead of it being my offspring, it was yours. You couldn't live with what you've done so you took your own life and then your real mother, Zita, took her revenge on me and our entire family. Sister, you belong to the past and have no business being in the future." She felt her rage boil over and she smashed the painting over her knee.

Grabbing the book she went back upstairs. When she saw Joshua had gone, she hurried into the bedroom and opened the night stand drawer and reached for her cell phone. She punched the number automatically.

"It's me. I need to see you."


Chapter 14
Simon's Torment

By Jackreese

The miles passed by with not so much as another car, store or gas station. Then out of the blue, the little town where Gideon's lodge was would soon come into view. In the town square, a carnival was underway.

It seemed pretty busy for a Wednesday night. The fair offered such things as the crocodile boy, the bearded lady, and the littlest woman in the world, but the thing that got their attention was Octavia's Tent of Wonder where they saw an old woman reading fortunes, the tarot and crystal ball.

"Simon, can we stop?" Georgia asked.

At first he was reluctant, but his curiosity got the best of him and he agreed to see what Octavia could tell them. Maybe this time, the old woman could tell them something about his family's accursed existence. Butterflies fluttered in their stomachs as they drew closer to the tent which was smack in between the Tunnel Of Love and Fun House.

"I don't know about this. Something about her scares the hell out of me." Georgia stopped in the middle of the road to admire the large Ferris wheel with its yellow and white lights that seemed to shimmer off the polished red seats to light up the night sky.

"Georgia, never mind about that wheel." Simon grabbed Georgia by the arm and dragged her toward Octavia's.

"I'm frightened. Maybe we should just go to the lodge." She suddenly had a feeling of overwhelming foreboding." I almost lost you, Simon. I'm not ready to lose you again."

"My mother shot me and I lost twenty five years of my life because of that bullet. I owe it to myself to find out how this all started and why for centuries this curse has destroyed my family. I told you at the hospital, you're stuck with me, now. " He pulled her into a passionate kiss then charged over toward the tent.

Georgia was at his heels pausing briefly when she saw the man in the black trench coat and sunglasses standing by the ticket booth.

"Simon, see that guy over there?" She pointed toward the ticket counter.

"Now you're seeing things. There's no one there."

"He was just there!" She scanned the fairgrounds with her Scotopic vision and found no threat. "A man was standing over there watching us." She started walking toward the Tilt-A-Whirl. People all around them were smiling and having a great time without a care in the world.

She turned back and walked with Simon into Octavia's tent.

"What's the story, bright eyes?" Octavia said in a domineering tone as they approached her make-shift table complete with crystal ball. "Never mind, I'll tell you." Octavia motioned them to sit down in front of her on two wooden crates where she asked to see Georgia's hand.

"Hmm, someone is looking for you." Octavia leaned in closer to get a better look at her hand. All Georgia could think about was the awful smell of Patchouli oil and ribs cooking outside. The large gaudy silver earrings Octavia wore had a hypnotic effect on Georgia, she felt dizzy. "That star behind your ear when did you get it?" Georgia was about to answer when Simon intervened.

"My turn." Simon pushed Georgia's hand away and replaced hers with his. Octavia placed her hand on his and immediately felt a pulse unlike any other before in his veins.

"You come from an old family, a blood-line that goes back centuries. This clan has seen plenty of heartache and has a bounty of dark secrets, secrets that threaten all who share your blood. I see her surrounded by death, her eyes full of darkness. Beware of this woman, for she cast the spell that haunts you all." Octavia fixated on the ball before her.

"What woman?" Simon said as he stared at Octavia.

"She's a witch whose origins trace back to your roots. I see a large house hidden by the swamp. Be cautious of this place for its walls hold many skeletons, a scar on your family name could pave the way to your ruin. " Suddenly, Octavia raised her hand to her mouth and abruptly turned on them.

"What's the matter?" Georgia asked.

"You're werewolves. I knew it when I saw that star behind your ear." She sneered at Simon. Octavia then went right over to a trunk behind her.

"Werewolves? Us? You must be mistaken." Simon laughed nervously. When Octavia stood, up the barrel of a rifle was pointed in their faces.

"I don't want any trouble. The last time a werewolf attacked was in 1912. I put silver bullets in here, so I'm going to give you until the count of three to make tracks one. . . two . . .," Simon had Georgia in his arms before she even got to one.

Last thing Simon remembered was turning to see Octavia waving the rifle in the air. Her yellow head dress was off and her snow white hair was wild. The unbalanced woman fired at them as they raced toward the Sedan, she chased them out onto the fairgrounds as people began to scream and duck for cover.

Octavia managed to graze Georgia's neck with a bullet. Simon scooped Georgia again into his arms, threw her down in the backseat and raced all the way home while Octavia continued to shoot and yell obscenities.

"I don't know where to go," he cried as he sped off down the street.

"After you pass the corner follow the road until you can't, make a right and it's the lonely house by the creek. Hurry, it burns." Georgia cried as smoke rose off the nick in her neck.

"We're almost there." At last, he came through a clearing in the woods and to the little cabin. Simon bounded up the front stairs, kicked open the door, threw Georgia on the couch and began to lick her wound.

"You could at least wait until the bleeding stops before you try and have your way with me." Georgia grinned.

"Hush up. My saliva will heal your neck."

"It feels better already." She lifted her long copper locks so Simon could see the full extent of her wound. "I hope it don't leave a scar." She got off the couch and went into the bathroom to fetch a bottle of Iodine.

"It's only a little nick, your hair will cover it." He looked at her through the doorway as he took his shirt off and draped it across the back of the couch. Georgia stood in front of the medicine cabinet mirror. She undressed completely and slid the white cotton nightgown that was hanging on the back of the door over her head onto her ruddy skin.

Georgia possessed a natural beauty and confidence within her that anyone who came in contact with her learned she was quite intoxicating. Many a men found themselves eating out of her hand, something which always got Simon's dander up. Suddenly, she began to sob as she walked back out into the living room.

Simon was beside her in a second.

"What's the matter? Are you hurt somewhere else?" He asked nervously as he inspected the wound on her neck again.

"I thought you were gone forever. When you left us, I wanted to die, but I never believed you were coming back and now you're here." She choked up as a floodgate of tears burst forth. She buried her face in his chest.

"I promise I'll never leave you again."

Georgia's auburn eyes shifted to Simon's shirtless body and to the little trail of hair which went from his navel to his waist.

"Welcome home!" She said as she slipped her hands into his trousers and undid the button to his pants which slid to the floor. Without taking her eyes off of Simon, Georgia's gown came off. Her perky breasts stared him as she pushed him down onto the floor and climbed onto his lap.

Simon's strong hands encircled her back as he entered her. His hips thrust up and down. Georgia moaned incessantly each time Simon pushed harder. Soon, both climaxed at the same time which resulted in the canine side of them coming out in a fierce howl. They remained silent for a while in the dark of the living room, all sweaty and tired from their lovemaking.

Georgia still sat on his lap.

"I love you." Simon kissed the top of her head. Georgia looked up into those big blue eyes of his and burst out into tears again. She pulled him into another kiss.

"And I you," Georgia said as she hopped off his lap and headed for the kitchen. Simon watched her ass sashay, he whistled, Georgia turned around to blow him a kiss.

He smiled a smile so bright they could see it in China as he walked into the bedroom. The alarm clock on the end table went off. Sheriff's When I'm with You drifted out of the speakers. A day planner next to the radio was opened to July 10, 2012.

"It's our anniversary! Georgia, come in here, please." He grabbed a yellow rose from a vase on the desk by the bed.

"What's the matter?"

"May I have this dance?" He bowed low with the rose in his mouth.

"It's our song." She grinned as he spun her around the room singing the song word for word.

"Twenty seven years ago today I married you," he said softly as he nuzzled her ear with his nose as they continued to sway to the music.

"Ah, even back then you were my Knight in shining armor. You found me shot on the side of the road in werewolf form. You thought I was a wounded dog. You brought me back to the house where I almost died. When you woke up the next day you found a naked woman in your bed."

"Thankfully, I did find you. I never knew there were others like me out there. I don't know where I'd be if you hadn't saved me. Just hours before our paths crossed I was ready to end it all. Then you appeared and instantly made me a better person." Georgia smiled while fighting back more tears.

"The house was so crazy that morning. I remember your grandfather's aunt Eugenie who had to be like 112 came to my room to tell me about the birds and the bees. I didn't have the heart to tell her I already knew about them." Georgia chuckled. Classical music followed. They continued to dance and reminisce about their big day.

"You had those teal bridesmaid dresses with the Dynasty shoulder pads and then the Olivia Newton-John like head band veil."

"I like how you're making fun of me. If I didn't put my foot down, you would have come to the ceremony looking like Don Johnson or George Michael." The two laughed followed by an uneasy silence.

"Then that bitch shot me." Simon went out onto the porch still naked. After years of waking up on some lawn or pavement it really was an afterthought to him, half the people in South Carolina saw him in the buff.

Simon looked up and saw a shooting star stream across the night sky.

"Make a wish." Georgia came up behind him to cover his eyes with her hands. Her naked skin felt cool on his exposed back as they stood in front of the wooden rail.

"I have everything I want right here." He pulled her into another kiss.

"Happy Anniversary, my love." Georgia stared up at the night sky.

"I think I want to go home," he said, out of the blue.

"Are you sure you want to go back to Windwood? Your mother could be there."

"I'm counting on it."

"Simon, please don't do anything rash." She saw the intent look in his eyes which he always got when the wheels in his mind began to turn.


Chapter 15
Family Ties

By Jackreese

Previous Chapter

"Would you like to go inside?" Loretta asked.

"Not yet. I think I'd like to walk around a bit." Her eyes darted all over the property. "See that magnolia tree? I planted it myself when it was a sapling. Now look how big it's gotten. Most of the flowers I planted, too. I'm glad to see Calvin took good care of them." A gun shot off in the distance startled both of them. "Up there in the Cupola room is where I shot my son." She pointed toward the attic.

"We don't have to do this now," Loretta said, walking beside her.

"We should go inside," Andrea said, almost depleted.
#

After he made sure no one followed him, the man with the sunglasses and trench coat returned to his motel room. He was still in shock.

After years of searching every hospital, morgue, and police station on several continents, he found his daughter. He took his coat off, hung it on a hanger, then put his glasses on the nightstand before he reached into the mini fridge for a beer.

The man lay with his head against the headboard staring at the ceiling as he savored his brew. He reached for his wallet and pulled out a tiny photo of a little girl in a pale yellow dress with copper hair and green eyes sitting on a swing. A tiny smile crept across her face.

"I am so sorry for what I've done and the pain I've caused you, Georgia. I promise I will make it up to you if it takes till the day I die," Gideon said as he brushed his finger lightly across her face. "Now, if I could only find Ginny."

Twenty some years have passed since he lost both his girls. Even though Georgia ran off like he had planned, he always knew she was out there somewhere. But Ginny vanished without a trace. He put the picture back in his wallet, turned on the TV to find Curse of The Werewolf playing on AMC a quarter of the way into it. Gideon fell fast asleep.
#
Joshua watched his mother in the Greenhouse amongst all her plants. For a moment he caught a glimpse of the woman he once loved while she hummed and pruned her begonias. Andrea had been home a few weeks and already she had the conservatory back in tip top shape.

All the different sized pots were neatly stacked on a shelf behind her, the garden tools hung from largest to smallest underneath the pots. Even the seed packets were arranged alphabetically in cardboard trays on the table in front of her.

"She's very happy today," Loretta said pausing outside the conservatory door. Joshua continued to stare at her through the glass.

"Excuse me, sir, you wanted me to inform you when Mrs. Lord returned," Sutton said entering the hall from butler's pantry.

"Yes, thanks Sutton. " He nodded at them both before cutting across the hall and through the pantry.

"Before I forget, Ms. Thornton, one of the trunks you've sent for has arrived. I've took the liberty of having it delivered to your room."

"Thank you, Sutton, you're a life saver. I don't know what I'd do if I had to wear the same three things over and over." She thanked him and scurried off.

Sutton approached the greenhouse. He stood in the doorway for a moment glaring at the former mistress of the house who appeared ignorant to his being there.

"I know what you're up too," he said inching his way in.

"Do you?" She said dismissing what he said.

"You may have everyone else in this house fooled into believing that you've been rehabilitated, but I know better." He stood with his arms folded watching her. Andrea jumped up from the stool, slammed the shears down, and caught Sutton by the throat.

"Listen up, you washed up faggot! I know you were in love with my husband. I overlooked it because I knew it was one sided, but, if you stand in my way, I will kill you," she said reaching behind her for the shears. "Are we clear?" She said relaxing her grip a bit while aiming the shears at his gut.

"If you hurt them in anyway..."

"You'll what?" Andrea said stopping him in mid-sentence. "You couldn't even save them the last time." She smiled, finally letting go of his throat. "Now, run along." She hissed as she sat back down on the stool as if nothing happened.

Sutton staggered off, dazed from the death grip she had on his neck. For someone who was supposed to be as old and frail as she was, he never would have thought she was as strong as an ox. Andrea just had to throw in his face how he did nothing to stop her the night of the wedding.

He had followed the master of the house up to the attic and watched as she fired at Calvin and pushed Simon out of the window. Memories of 'Nam and all the death and carnage he witnessed came back to him in a split second paralyzing him preventing him from doing anything.

Stopping to catch his breath, he stopped near the end of the hallway and held onto the ivory rail. His heart continued to race as the old man continued to gasp for air, each breath getting deeper and deeper.

"Ah, but I did save them from you, psycho," he spat as he regained his composure enough to walk down the stairs. "They're alive and you don't even know it." He grabbed the mail from the foyer table.
#
Toni looked toward the great house and could not shake the feeling of evil. Looking toward the Cupola, Toni saw some sort of specter of what appeared to be a young woman. At first, she didn't know what to feel, until she realized something even stronger than that poor, helpless girl waited in their midst. The sun was shining brightly down on her, giving her dark black hair the luster of jet. Her bronze skin shone and her clothes were brightly colored.

"It's so sad." She walked with Donna from the car. "Rosa would turn in her grave if she saw this."
Toni's eyes wandered here and there, settling on the woods that surrounded the house and dominating the land. Arm in arm, they walked into the foyer where she saw the old yellow-fringed red rug said to have come from the Sea Court Palace in Marin and brought here by Solomon himself. The rug was now faded, with holes in it. Like everything else around her, that, too, was being robbed of its beauty.

High above her on the walls were the many portraits of all the Lords, glaring down hatefully from their perches where they had rested for years. A stairway, its balustrade made of pure ivory, was in the center of the grand foyer, with a doorway built into it that led to the basement. Overhead, a chandelier hung from the high ceiling by a thread, ready for the perfect moment to come crashing down.

"Is that who I think it is?" Joshua called from the dining room.

"Joshy!" Toni hurried over to embrace him. "You're still as handsome as ever."

"Things haven't been the same since you left. Would you like a drink?" He asked going into the parlor and over to the liquor cabinet to pour a whiskey tonic.

"Vodka on the rocks, easy on the ice." She sat down on one of the chairs and took off a red silk headscarf allowing her jet black hair to flow. For almost being eighty, she had not one grey hair, her sun-kissed skin was still flawless and she looked about fifty.

"I see the Venetian air seems to agree with you." He handed her the drink.

"Venice is beautiful, not nearly as busy as Rome and a little more laid back, but I miss my inn and my family so much that I may move back."

"We'd love to have you back." He smiled as he sat down next to Donna on the sofa.

"Nonna," Jenna cried from the doorway and ran straight into Toni's arms.

"There's my little Principessa." Toni kissed the little girl all over the head and squeezed her tightly.

"I didn't know you were coming." Jenna quizzed.

"Surprise, I even brought you a doll made to look just like you," Toni said tapping Jenna on the nose with her forefinger.

"Really, can I have it?"

"It's in the car if you want to go get it." Jenna jumped for joy and took off out of the room.

"I'll go help her, that way I can bring your bags in," Joshua said following after his daughter.

"We have a problem," Toni blurted out the moment Joshua and Jenna left the room. Donna stared at her blankly as Toni got up to shut the parlor doors. "I'm out of bloodroot. Some other supernatural force sent a fungus causing the roots to wither and die."

"Oh my God," Donna said. "What am I going to do? If I don't have those pills, I place everyone I love in danger."

"I won't let it come to that." She sat down next to Donna on the sofa and put her arm about her waist.

"How?" Donna sobbed as Toni brushed some of the dark hair from her brow.

"We'll have to get into the tomb."

"No, we can't. That tomb was sealed for a reason, if we open it again and one of those rabid creatures gets out, we're all as good as dead," Donna snapped unwilling to even consider it.

"Would you rather have everyone know that you're really Martha Lord? I don't like it either, but the bloodroot only grows in darkness and only thrives by streams where werewolves are known to drink. That underwater prison is the only place we can be certain the bloodroot will be."

"If we do this, we risk undoing everything The Order put in place to stop the virus from getting out again," Donna said getting up from the sofa to pour herself another drink.

"I know, but it's a price I'm willing to pay. The thought of me losing you has the same effect on me. You girls are not my kin, but I have grown to love all of you as much as any mother would. If opening that tomb gives me the chance to be your mother a little longer, then I'm willing to do that. I'm sorry if that's selfish, nonetheless, that's how I feel."

"Jenna's begun to remember," she revealed.

"Ok, that doesn't mean she's going to be possessed by Zita," she said patting Donna on the hand. She returned to the chair to fetch a cigarette from her purse.

"Yes it does. I was there when she spat those retched words from atop that beautiful four hundred year old Southern live oak. I watched her shift those insidious black eyes on my father before the noose encircled her neck. Zita warned all of us that from this day forward every century a girl would be born into this family who would resemble Zita in every way and that child would carry her memories and one day rise up and bring this family to their knees."

"That's been anticipated for many years and nothing's ever happened," Toni said going out onto the gallery to light her cigarette.

"That's because none of those woman ever lived long enough for the curse to work. In 1853, Edwina Lord died from Typhoid and like Jenna she had visions of the future and was the mirror image of Zita. In 1912, Iris Lord, another dead ringer for Zita, was sealed in that cave with the werewolves out of fear she was becoming Zita," she continued as she followed Toni outside into the warm Carolina air.

Donna looked across the lawn at the summer sun, which shone directly on the Southern live oaks and for a moment she thought she saw Zita's lifeless body hanging from the branches of the tree.

"Whatcha looking at?" Joshua said bringing Toni's black leather luggage up the front stairs.

"I thought I saw something." She looked back to the tree and there was nothing there.

"It's this house, it gets you every time." He smiled and continued on into the house.

Author Notes Characters
Joshua Lord-Heir to Lord Shipbuilding and Windwood. Father of Brandon and Jenna. Married To Donna.

Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Andrea Lord- Mother of Joshua and Simon. She has been institutionalized since she shot Simon.

Jenna Lord- Joshua and Donna's youngest. Plagued by dreams of a witch being hung she also hears voices.

Brandon Lord-Joshua and Donna's son. Resembles his late grandfather and its unknown if he carries the werewolf gene.

Aaron Sutton- Trusted and revered servant who has served the Lord family for decades.

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Gideon Blake- Centuries old werewolf, father of Ginny and Georgia. Hates the Lord family and is another member of the order.

Zita Corsini- She was born into the aristocratic Karnstein family notorious for dabbling in black magic and devil worship. After being scorched by Flora Lord in the 18th century she placed the curse that haunts them now.


Chapter 16
Sibling Rivalry

By Jackreese

Previous Chapter

Donna looked across the lawn at the summer sun, which shone directly on the Southern live oaks, and for a moment she thought she saw Zita's lifeless body hanging from the branches of the tree.

"Whatcha looking at?" Joshua said bringing Toni's black leather luggage up the front stairs.

"I thought I saw something." She looked back to the tree and there was nothing there.

"It's this house, it gets you every time." He smiled and continued on into the house.

#

Simon and Georgia awoke early to take a jog around the property, something they had enjoyed every morning at Windwood. With just a quick cup of coffee, the duo headed outside to find a beautiful blue sky, slight breeze, and lots of sunshine. Simon stared at Georgia in her grey jogging suit with pink stripes. Her hair was tied back, her face full of happiness.

"Is there a wasp on me?" she asked almost twisting her neck off to see when she noticed him staring.

"I'm just looking at the most beautiful thing out here." He was still staring at her. Georgia threw up her arms, hugged him, and kissed his face.

"I still can't believe you've come back to me," she said as they came down the front steps.

Octavia was waiting underneath the stairs out of sight.

"Evil can never outrun a gypsy." Octavia cackled as she pointed her revolver at Georgia, then spat her words at them. "Our world is safer with the likes of you out of it."

Simon leapt in front of Georgia to shield her, sending them to the ground as Octavia fired, missed, and hit the front door. She moved closer and fired again, hitting Simon in the leg. The silver bullet burned, causing his insides to feel like they were on fire.

"Lights out," Octavia stated coldly as she pointed the revolver at his head. Simon closed his eyes, said a prayer, and squeezed Georgia who was still beneath him.

All of a sudden, a large charcoal wolf the size of a pony jumped out from the woods and attacked Octavia, tearing off the arm she held the gun in. Then, with its left paw it, gashed out her throat.

Simon got off of Georgia and grabbed the gun from the severed arm, aiming it at the beast.

"Daddy?" Georgia said using her elbow and knocking the gun out of Simon's hand.

"Hello, Georgey," the wolf half-barked. Georgia reached out and touched his face. The wolf, in turn, pushed his snout into her hand while he rubbed up against her waist.

Georgia wept at being reunited with her father. Simon watched from a short distance. Suddenly, Gideon pushed Georgia hard, sending her into a potted bush, scratching her right arm and cheek in the process. He jumped up and caught a large quail in his jaws and just tore it to shreds.

Simon helped Georgia up and out of the brush."If you were hungry all you had to do was ask. I would've gotten you something to eat,"

"That was no quail, that was your everyday Changer." Gideon moved out of the way to reveal a mangled young redheaded woman lying naked and dead a few feet away from Gideon.

"Why'd you have to kill her?" Georgia said running into the house.

"Believe me, Simon, I have my reasons. Can you bring me some of your clothes so I can morph back to myself? I really don't think you or my daughter wants to see me without clothes on. I promise I'll explain everything."

"Fair enough." The screen door banged shut as Simon entered the cabin.

Gideon climbed onto front porch and lay down at the top of the stairs. There was another Changer, but they managed to get away. Others would soon show up. He would be ready for them, he just got his family back, and no one supernatural, or otherwise was going to take them away again.
#
Channing waited uneasily on the front porch of his compound, known as Wolves Den nestled in a forest somewhere in West Virginia, anxiously awaiting the return of his two scouts, who should have been back hours ago.

He reached into his pocket, pulled out his cell phone, and began dialing the number when another call came through. It was Lila, his best scout.

"We lost Ingrid. Gideon spotted us, and before we could do anything, he caught Ingrid and just..." She choked up. "Anyway, I'm a bit banged up myself. I don't think I can make it back to Wolves Den."

"Did he find my sister?" Channing asked as he sat down on the love seat next to his Siamese cat Ming who he began to pet softly.

"Yes, he did."

Channing closed his phone then chucked Ming across the lawn and howled. He slammed the sliding glass door so hard it shattered. His harem curtsied as he flew past them down the stairs to the prison where he kept Nola.

"Daddy bested you again. Didn't he?" Nola said, stepping out of the shadows of the jail cell.

"I'm really getting sick and tired of your smugness."

Nola looked at the giant, standing before her with his broad shoulders, enormous arms, and thick neck. The pack leader was easy on the eyes and had his sweet moments, but for the most part, he was a cunning killing machine that would squash anything in his path to get what he wanted.

"What are you going to do? You've already imprisoned me. You gonna behead me or throw me down in the quarry with the others next?" she said sitting down on a cot that sat back against the wall.

"That's exactly what I'm going to do," he said staring at her through the bars like she was lunch.

"Your father will stop you before he'll let that happen."

"Since I failed in my plans to kidnap my sister, I'll have to use you as bait instead and when Gideon comes to rescue you, we are going into that pit and freeing my mother. We will be the happy family we were always meant to be."

"You're delusional," Nola yelled. "If any one of those creatures gets out, we could have another epidemic on our hands.

"Maybe. Lucky for you, I have a vaccine. Only, I haven't used it yet, so I'm not sure what its effects will be. You get to be my guinea pig. Inject her." He demanded as he left.

The guard looked at her as if she were a filet mignon. He moved toward her with the pace of a cheetah, in his left hand he held the needle. Nola froze as he unlocked the barred door. She knew right away that the syringe was full of the virus.

"Stay away from me." She howled as she backed herself all the way into the corner of the cell.

"I'm sorry, Nola. I have my orders," The guard said as he continued to advance. "Let's not make this any harder than it has to be, huh?" She kicked him and punched at him until he grabbed her forcefully by the hair and dragged her out of the cell.

"Please, Colum, I used to babysit you. I took you on your first kill when you first morphed," Nola pleaded as he continued to hold her by the hair.

"If I go against Channing, he will be so angry, there's no telling what he'll do to me or my family." Before she knew it, he had the needle on her arm.

"I'm sorry, too." She took her left foot and kicked him right between the legs, Colum doubled over in pain and the needle slid across the floor.

"You bitch!" He said through clenched teeth. With all her might, Nola shoved him into the cell. At the same time, she snatched the keys and locked the door.

"No, No! You can't do this to me! Nola, I'm sorry. Please, I have a wife and kids at home. Do you know what he does to those who fail him?" His golden brown eyes began to water as the realization of his fate materialized.

Her emotions were always her downfall. Nola stared at the once strong man who now cowered and begged to be released. It was almost pitiful.

"Very well." She took the key ring in her hand and right away found the right key. Colum seized the opportunity and caught her once again by the hair.

"You should've run when you had the chance," he taunted as he gripped her platinum locks tightly. "I can hold you here all night." Her scalp hurt so bad it brought tears to her eyes. She watched powerlessly as her face got closer and closer to the bars. Nola took her right foot and stretched it out and with the tip of her boot was able to reach the syringe, then she bit down as hard as she could on Colum's big hand.

"Ouch! That hurt. You're going to pay for that," he threatened as he let go of her hair.

"Tell someone who cares," she flared as she injected him with the syringe and ran out into the outer hall and shut the Scottish metal door behind her. This silver door was so strong that without the key no werewolf, witch, or vamp could open it.

"Be strong, Nola," she thought to herself as she slipped out of the compound via a trash shoot used to shuttle the bones of the packs numerous victims into Barkers Creek.

Author Notes Characters

Gideon Blake- Centuries old werewolf, father of Ginny and Georgia. Hates the Lord family and is another member of the order.

Simon Lord-Joshua's older brother. Simon was born a werewolf because of a curse and was shot by his mother, Andrea, for being a werewolf. After 20 years in a coma he wakes up. Everyone believes him to be dead.

Georgia Lord- Simon's wife. Georgia was born from two werewolf parents and can change at will, unlike Simon who can only change by the full moon.

Nola O'grady- Gideon's sidekick and ladylove who was kidnapped by Gideon's son, Channing the night of Simon and Georgia's wedding.

Channing Blake- The son of Gideon and Iris Lord who was imprisoned under the lake with most of his pack. His only goal in life is to make his father suffer and to kill his sister, Georgia.

Octavia- Gypsy who learns Simon and Georgia's secret.


Chapter 17
Tainted Legacy

By Jackreese

Previous Chapter

Her emotions were always her downfall. Nola stared at the once strong man who now cowered and begged to be released. It was almost pitiful.

"Very well." She took the key ring in her hand and right away found the right key. Colum seized the opportunity and caught her once again by the hair.

"You should've run when you had the chance," he taunted as he gripped her platinum locks tightly. "I can hold you here all night." Her scalp hurt so bad it brought tears to her eyes. She watched powerlessly as her face got closer and closer to the bars. Nola took her right foot and stretched it out and with the tip of her boot was able to reach the syringe, then she bit down as hard as she could on Colum's big hand.

"Ouch! That hurt. You're going to pay for that," he threatened as he let go of her hair.

"Tell someone who cares," she flared as she injected him with the syringe and ran out into the outer hall and shut the Scottish metal door behind her. This silver door was so strong that without the key no werewolf, witch, or vamp could open it.

"Be strong, Nola," she thought to herself as she slipped out of the compound via a trash shoot used to shuttle the bones of the packs numerous victims into Barkers Creek.
#
From the moment Donna set foot back inside her ancestral home, the dilapidated state Windwood was in broke her heart. Everything her father worked hard to build, and all he smuggled out of the Grand Duchy, was gone. That morning at breakfast, before the reading of the will, she approached Joshua with the idea of restoring the house.

"If it means that much to you, then you have my blessing. But are you sure you want to restore the house and not modernize it?" Joshua said sipping from his coffee mug.

"No, this house is too full of history and antebellum charm. I could never do that. I like it the way it is." She stared out over the large dining room and out at the faded mural of Olympus. "I'll start with Olympus." She pointed toward the hall.

"I know of a great painter in town," Andrea chimed in as she reached for the butter. "I would love to help. It's a project I've always wanted to tackle. This house needs to shine like the showcase it was destined to be." Andrea smiled.

"That would be great I could use all the help I can get."

"Mom, I can go on Ebay and see if Grandfather sold any heirlooms and, if so, I could try and get them back," Brandon offered and then stuffed his mouth full of scrambled eggs.

Donna patted him on the head and pulled away because, god forbid, she messed up the hair.

"Can I watch?" Jenna asked. Being the fussy eater that she was, Donna was not at all surprised by the full plate in front of her.

"Of course you can, but only if you try and eat a little more." Jenna scoffed and groaned.

"Excuse me, sir!" Sutton said entering the dining room. "Mr. Westbrook is ready for you in the office."

"Thank you, Sutton. Tell him we'll be there in a few minutes," Joshua said finishing his orange juice.

"Oh come on Jenna, eat something already." Donna frowned as the girl continued to turn her nose down at the plate before her.

"Can I get you anything else, Mrs. Lord, before I go?" Sutton extended as he shuffled over to the table giving Andrea an icy stare.

"Yes, could you just put a plate aside for Mrs. Corsini when she comes down?" Donna asked as she tried to put a forkful of scrambled eggs into Jenna's mouth.

"Whadja say we take a walk around the lake later, Brandon, and you can tell me all about school. Then, later on, we can talk about your grandfather. I can even show you some pictures if you'd like?"

"That would be awesome." Brandon grinned.

"What about me?" Jenna called out.

"You're not going anywhere until you finish that plate. I'm tired of telling you. You don't finish that food, then no cartoons, young lady."

"I promise you Jenna, me and you will do something later." Andrea winked at the little girl.
#
The office, although small, fit them all comfortably. Joshua and Donna sat in front of the desk, Donna held onto her husband's hand. Andrea sat in the back with Jenna on her lap next to the door and Brandon stood by the window. Sutton stood obediently behind Joshua.

"Good afternoon everyone," Daniel, loudly stated. Everyone sat quietly, waiting to hear what the family lawyer had to say next.

'I, Calvin Lord, hereby leave my estate to my son, Joshua. I also leave to my son Joshua my business and all its holdings. To my daughter, Peyton, fifteen shares. To my ex-wife, Andrea, I leave my Arabian horse and eighteen shares. Joshua, along with what you have already acquired, I leave fifty-one shares to hold until Brandon and Jenna turn twenty-one. I have also taken the liberty to appoint Daniel Westbrook as the new vice-president of Lord Ship Building. That's all. We're finished here now," Mr. Westbrook concluded as he rose, breaking the silence that had fallen upon the room. "Here is a video tape, Calvin left specifically for you, Joshua." Daniel pulled it out from his briefcase and handed it to the newly minted heir. "He left this for you as well, Ms. Lord." He handed Andrea a sealed envelope written in Calvin's hand. "I'll be on my way. Good day," Daniel said as he headed for the door.

"If you all would excuse me, I'd like to view the tape," Joshua said as he opened the walnut armoire at the end of the room to put the tape in the VCR. Everyone nodded and left him alone. Calvin appeared almost immediately on the screen before him.

"Hi, son if you are viewing this, than I am no longer with you. Joshy, you and the others think I wanted to drive you out of Windwood when that couldn't be further from the truth. I had no choice." Calvin's eyes began to water and his lips quivered before he continued. "You kids meant the world to me. All I've done, including making you leave this house, was to protect you from the evil that lives within the confines of Windwood. From the moment your grandfather died and we moved here, our lives were changed forever. I regretted for many years my decision to uproot our family because the price I had to pay was losing everything." Calvin ran his hands through his thick mop of gray hair as he often did when upset. "Whatever you think of me, know that everything I did, I did because I love all of you more than my own life. I had to protect you from the ghosts of our past. Don't make the mistake I made. Leave Windwood before...'
The VCR made a grinding noise and the tape jammed before he could hear the rest of Calvin's homage. Joshua began to cry. Enraged, he pulled the tape out of the VCR and hurled it at the wall.

"What are you trying to tell me, dad?" He looked up at the portrait. For a moment, he sat staring at the fuzzy screen before getting up to shut it off. He saw Sutton shuffle by the open door. "Sutton, could you come in here please?"

"Yes Sir?" he said closing the door.

"Have you heard anything from my sister, Peyton?" He asked sitting behind the desk and trying to straighten it up.

"No one's heard from Miss Peyton since your step-mother died. Master Calvin hired all kinds of PI's to find her and they just always came up short."

"I can't say I blame her. The trial took a toll on all of us. She was so young when Vivian was murdered. I could only imagine how it impacted her life."

"No matter what you've heard or what people have said, your father was innocent and was a kind and generous man who loved you. Never forget that."
#
Toni was glad to be around family again. She had forgotten what it was like to have people around her. Most of her things have been unpacked and put away with the exception of her pictures, which she began to place about the room. She finally got to the last picture of a beautiful blond-haired, dark eyed young woman wearing a pink cotton dress standing on a porch.

"I miss you Carla," she said, taking the hem of her dress and wiping the glass before placing it on her nightstand.

"Nona, why are you crying?" Jenna asked quietly.

"I was just thinking about your cousin, Carla. She's been gone over 20 years now and today's her birthday."

"If you miss her so much, why don't you call her?" The little girl said coming in and sitting beside her on the bed.

"It's not that easy little one." Toni said wiping the tears from her eyes.
#
Later, Toni slipped out of the house to go to the one place she knew she could stop Zita. The inn. In the late 1800's, a passageway was built underneath Corsini House which went directly to the secret room. If it was still there, she could get inside and find what she needed.

To get to the passageway, she had to go across town through the cemetery and find the giant marble monument of a hooded woman kneeling as if she's in church. In her hand is a rose, once removed, it will open the passage.

As she walked about, she couldn't get over how so much had changed. The people in town now walked around half naked. Men wore no shirts and the women might as well have been naked. The family owned and operated bank now become a chain. Same thing with the supermarket, laundromat, and movie theaters. Bars lined up and down the street and an adult store was in plain sight. Solomon's Wake sure wasn't the same town she remembered.

Toni passed the street that would take her to the inn that had been her home for many years. She knew she wasn't ready to see it just yet and walked straight past the turn off. Before she knew it, she was in the cemetery. Thankfully, this was still kept clean, trimmed, and neat. Her husband's stone shined bright under the rays of the sun. The trees looked green as ever and the birds were music to her ears. She sighed and took it all in for a moment.

"I'm sorry I don't have any flowers. I wasn't exactly planning to come here." She couldn't take her eyes off the stone. "Try not to be too mad at me for not coming sooner." She sat down on a bench next to his grave. "I had to come back and make sure whatever is coming after Donna and the others is stopped. I wasn't there for Carla, Lord knows I blame myself, so I cannot sit back and do nothing again."

As she sat in silence, she couldn't help but think of Carla, where she was and if she was even alive. Carla was all she had left now that her daughter Marie died. The private detective she had hired to find her daughter informed her she had died in an alley from an overdose in Chicago. Finding her resolve, Toni got up and immediately spotted the statue, charging across the cemetery through the rows of stones, until she was face-to-face with the giant relic.

"How am I supposed to move that?" She stared at every angle of the flower, unable to figure it out. Frustrated, she reached underneath with all her might pushed the flower up. She gasped as the mechanism moved and the statute slid open to reveal stairs in the base.

Without haste, Toni descended the stairs into the darkness of the passageway.
#
After their walk around the lake, Andrea and Brandon returned to the house where, as promised, the old woman retrieved her photo albums and gave Brandon his first look at the grandfather he never knew. Most of the pictures were black and white with a few color photos placed sporadically through the book.

Calvin Lord stood about 5 foot 8 inches tall with a soft face, amber eyes, dark hair, and bronze skin. In the photo, he was surrounded by two young boys, both with dark hair, one being Joshua, the other Simon, who seemed to favor Andrea more.

"You weren't kidding. It's like looking in the mirror," Brandon said, continuing to stare at the photo. "Who's the other boy?"

"That's your Uncle Simon." Andrea turned to hide her face and caught a glimpse of Sutton in the hallway mirror spying on them. She pretended not to see him.

"What happened to him?" He questioned, closing the book and laying it back on the desk.

"He died a long time ago. Why don't you show me how to play that Nintend Box? I used to beat your dad at Pac-Mans all the time, so much so that he stopped playing with me." She chuckled in an effort to avoid the topic.

"You're on." He flew out of the room so fast he was halfway down the hall before he realized she wasn't behind him. "Nana, you coming?" he shouted through the doorway.

"Go get everything set up. I'll be there in a minute." Once Brandon had gone into his room and shut the door, Andrea confronted Sutton who was cowering behind a flower stand. "Next time you wanna eavesdrop, you might want to make sure I don't see you." She glared at him hatefully, then continued to Brandon's room.
#
Jenna had fallen asleep shortly after the reading of the will. The moment she shut her eyes, the ugly witch came as she always did. Only this time when she saw her, it was like looking through a cloudy window. She saw them bring the witch out from her cell in the basement. The heavens turned dark and the sun vanished. A strong wind ensued followed by a powerful storm.

Along the way, her feet scraped across many stones and branches, a hornet flew up her white cotton dress to sting her on the thigh. The witch fought her captors every step of the way. First, she tried to make her body limp in an attempt to force them carry her. She even tried to bite one of them, but the blindfold around her head prevented her from doing so.

Once they came to the steps of the platform that led up to the large oak tree, the strong burly jailer yanked Zita up the stairs by her hair, causing her to scratch her legs even more.

"Zita of the house, Corsini, do you have any last words?" From his raspy tone, Zita envisioned the grey haired priest to be old in dark robes, glaring up at her with a smug face. She looked down toward the portico and knew they smiled at her.

"Do you have any last words?" He repeated. Zita nodded and spoke so softly the priest could not hear her. The cleric moved his ear closer to the prisoner's mouth. Suddenly, Zita clamped her teeth on his ear, which she tore off. The priest collapsed onto the wooden floor. Blood trickled down Zita's mouth.

The old man's ear was still between her teeth. The sorceress bit her own lip before she spit the hunk of flesh out onto the lawn.

"From now until the end of time, a girl will be born once a century in my image, and that girl will sow the roots of your destruction. As for you, dear Princess," she said glaring down at Solomon's daughter, Martha, "your comeuppance will begin with the first full moon." She began to cackle like a wild woman until the jailer pushed her from the scaffolding, snapping her neck instantly. Suddenly, the witch turned to look at Jenna.

"You are my last hope little one. Seek out my blue diamond necklace somewhere on this property. Find it, and I promise you, all your dreams will come true!"

The little girl woke up quickly. She jumped out of bed, ran over to the door, and peeked out into the hall. Seeing that it was empty, she hurried out and ran down the servant's stairwell into the backyard, where she got a shovel and lantern from the garden shed. Jenna Lord then set out to find the mysterious necklace, feeling excited.
#
When Toni came out of the passageway, she found everything still intact. It was a bit dirty, cobwebs were everywhere inches of dust covered the furniture and some of the artifacts.

She went over to the wall that housed the monitors and turned them on amazed at how crystal clear the pictures still were.

As she scrutinized each monitor carefully, she finally saw what she wanted on the last screen, the sarcophagus was still intact and blood root was growing a few feet away from the door that held the coffin.

It grew tall in the dark of the tomb, and from what she could see there was an abundance of it, enough to last Donna a while. Smiling, she turned off the monitors and made her way back outside.

Author Notes Characters
Joshua Lord-Heir to Lord Shipbuilding and Windwood. Father of Brandon and Jenna. Married To Donna.

Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Andrea Lord- Mother of Joshua and Simon. She has been institutionalized since she shot Simon.

Jenna Lord- Joshua and Donna's youngest. Plagued by dreams of a witch being hung she also hears voices.

Brandon Lord-Joshua and Donna's son. Resembles his late grandfather and its unknown if he carries the werewolf gene.

Aaron Sutton- Trusted and revered servant who has served the Lord family for decades.

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Zita Corsini- She was born into the aristocratic Karnstein family notorious for dabbling in black magic and devil worship. After being scorched by Flora Lord in the 18th century she placed the curse that haunts them now.


Chapter 18
Family Secrets

By Jackreese

Previous Chapter

When Toni came out of the passageway, she found everything still intact. It was a bit dirty, cobwebs were everywhere inches of dust covered the furniture and some of the artifacts.

She went over to the wall that housed the monitors and turned them on amazed at how crystal clear the pictures still were.

As she scrutinized each monitor carefully, she finally saw what she wanted on the last screen, the sarcophagus was still intact and blood root was growing a few feet away from the door that held the coffin.

It grew tall in the dark of the tomb, and from what she could see there was an abundance of it, enough to last Donna a while. Smiling, she turned off the monitor and made her way back outside.
#
The warm shower felt great, Gideon hadn't had one in months. Every time he used the one at the motel, it was always cold. As he stood there letting the water cascade over his head, he tried to figure out how to tell Simon and Georgia what was going without giving away too much.

"Dad, you've been in there over forty five minutes," Georgia said tapping on the door. "Don't think by procrastinating I'm going to forget that you owe me an explanation," she shouted turning around and going back out into the living room.

"If I knew he was going to avoid us, I never would've offered him the shower," Simon said from the sofa while flipping through the cable channels.

"Typical Dad." She began filling a mug with water and placed it in the microwave. "Would you like a cup of tea?" She asked Simon.

"No, but I'll take a beer if you have one."

"Me too," Gideon said stepping into the living room wearing khaki shorts and a baby blue t-shirt, both of which belonged to Simon and fit almost perfect. She threw a can to Simon then shut the fridge door leaving Gideon high and dry.

"Tomorrow were gonna have to go to the mall and get some more clothes. There isn't enough for the both of you to wear." She eyed her father before fetching her tea from the microwave.

"Thank you for lending them to me, Simon."

"Ok, enough with the pleasantries. Daddy, what's going on? Why were there Changers following you and more importantly why did you lead me to believe that you were dead?" She grabbed the milk from the fridge and poured a little into her cup. Gideon sat down at the little round table in the small dining room still in eye shot of Georgia.

"I did it to protect you."

"Protect me from what?" She pulled out the chair next to him and sat down.

"A spirit," he said flatly as Georgia busted out laughing.

"Really, Daddy? You couldn't come up with something better than that?" She said visibly annoyed.

"It's the truth." He reached for her hand, Georgia yanked it away.

"You'll never change," she said fleeing the room in tears and slamming the bedroom door.

Simon finally took his eyes off the TV to look down the hallway and then to his father in-law.

"I have to agree with her, Gideon. That sounded kind of lame." He turned back to the screen.

"I don't care how lame it sounds that is exactly what happened." He sat beside Simon on the lumpy sofa.

"Why would a spirit want to hurt you?" Simon asked after bringing up the cable guide.

"Revenge."

"For?" Simon said continuing to scroll down the index page on the tv.

"He blames me for killing his daughter."

"Who does?" Simon said as he put on some dance show.

"It's actually one of your ancestors, Marshall Lord." This admission got Simon's attention.

"Marshall Lord died in 1922. There is no way you knew him." Simon returned his attention to the show.

"Simon, I'm over three hundred years old and I lived in Solomon's Wake in 1912."

"Now I get it! You hate me and my family because of a vendetta with a great uncle of mine. All those times you've tried to talk Georgia out of marrying me or stopping the wedding was because of something Marshall did."

"No, I don't like you because I just don't. One has nothing to do with the other. I know your family thinks so highly of themselves they named a town after them as well as a highway and a library, but this time, it isn't all about you," Gideon said, sounding condescending.

"You could never handle the fact your daughter was going to marry into the high and mighty Lord clan." Simon was becoming aggravated.

"No I couldn't, because I married into it myself. I saw firsthand what happens to those who do."

Simon looked at him like he had something stuck in his teeth and then became hysterical with laughter.

"You almost had me fooled," Simon said waving a finger in Gideon's face. When he saw the serious look on his father-in-law's face and the sorrow in his eyes he knew for once Gideon spoke the truth. "You're serious?"

"Her name was Iris Lord, the most delicate, beautiful, and intelligent woman I had ever met. I knew the moment I laid eyes on her that she was the one for me. However, her father, Marshall, deemed me to be beneath the mighty Lord family and did everything to separate us. His plan backfired and Iris became a casualty in a war that needn't be waged. Marshall was so angry that he waited over a century to pay me back."

"What did he do?" Simon asked.

"He took my daughter, Ginny. I haven't seen her since the night you two got married. I never wanted to say goodbye to Georgey, but I had to save her or else I risked losing her just like her sister. I had originally planned to meet up with her later, but after the wedding, I lost track of her." He looked at Simon with tears streaming down his face.

"What do you mean he took Ginny?" Georgia said from the doorway eyes fixed on her father.

"Exactly how it sounds. He took your sister. She just vanished into thin air," he answered.

Georgia felt nauseous. How could she not have known something was wrong with her sister? She slid down to the floor and just bawled.

Gideon sat down next to her and took her hand into his. The two stared straight ahead, not saying a word.

"So, the Changer you took down this morning was she responsible for Ginny's disappearance?" Georgia said using her sleeve to wipe her eyes.

"No, that was all my doing. Before your wedding, there was an explosion that opened the quarry allowing a man named Channing to escape. That man hates me so much he'd hurt you or your sister to get to me." He turned his head slightly to look his daughter in the eyes.

"Why does he hate you?"

Gideon stood up, took a deep breath and realized he could no longer hide the truth from Georgia. He went back over to the table pulled the chair out next to him and motioned his daughter to sit.

"Simon you might as well hear this, too," he yelled out into the living room. "Iris and I married in a secret ceremony. We had a son who was only a few months old when she died. I was so young and not ready to raise a child on my own that I left him with my father who would groom him to be pack master in place of me. I should've known better, for my father was a vicious, spiteful narcissist that didn't have a kind bone in his body. He exiled me after I stopped him from beating my mother within an inch of her life."

"You were going to be pack master?" She said surprised.

"Yes I was, but I never wanted to be. My father hated that and did many things to try and toughen me up. One night, shortly before I left, I saw him breeding with a shape shifter out by the barn. That was a big 'no-no' in the wolf community. I used that to force him to take my son because if the truth got out, the elders would've banished him, too, stripping him of everything." The pain he had to endure was still as fresh as morning dew in his mind.

"I have a brother?" Georgia didn't know if she should be happy or sad and Simon stood behind Georgia not buying any of it.

"As the years went on, I saw him less and less until I stopped seeing him all together. I met your mother, fell madly in love with her, had you girls, and was happy for the first time in years. One day, I got a knock on the door. It was him. He had learned the truth from my father shortly before he died."

"Channing's my brother, isn't he?" Georgia blurted after putting two and two together.

"Yes he is," Gideon admitted as the revelation seemed to age him a bit.

"I don't understand why you've kept this a secret for so many years?" Georgia became agitated and jumped up from the table.

"He's dangerous, Georgey. That's why Toni Corsini and I imprisoned him in the lake with the others." Gideon watched Georgia's face became cold and her eyes appeared to pierce his soul.

"That's horrible, daddy. How could you do that to your own son? No wonder he hates you." She jumped up from the table, fuming, and sent the chair flying into the wall.
Simon stood silent in the doorway, not sure what to think.

"Channing murdered your mother," he blurted out and felt a bit of relief now that his long held secret was out. Georgia, in turn, stopped halfway into the living room to turn around with this look on her face that made Gideon almost wished he didn't tell her. For that look alone sent hundreds of silver bullets into his heart.

"I don't understand any of this. Why kill Mom? She couldn't hurt a fly. She cried when a goldfish died or said fifty thousand Hail Mary's when you said the word 'crap'. For god's sake, she covered Ginny's eyes when we passed the lingerie window at the mall." She sighed as she plopped down on the sofa.

"He came to visit me at the house when he learned I remarried and had more children. He got jealous and resentful and thought because he was pack master he was invincible. He blamed me for Iris's death, begged me to set it right by opening the quarry so we could find his mom and become a family. I told him his mom could not be let out, but he could become part of our family. Next thing I know, he hit me over the head. When I came too, your mom was a mangled mess on the floor I could barely recognize. Ginny was sound asleep in her crib, but you were nowhere to be found." He slid down on the sofa next to her.

Simon remained in the doorway, still dumbfounded over Gideon's tale.

"Where was I?" She asked, laying her head on Gideon's shoulder.

"He kidnapped you and took you out to the quarry. When I showed up, he held you under the water until I agreed to open the passage. After I opened it, he continued to carry you down into the darkness and threatened to feed you to the infected if I didn't stay by his side." A tiny tear began to form in the corner of his left eye.

"That had to be so awful for you? I can't imagine going through that all alone." She looked to Simon who gave her a reassuring wink.

"If it weren't for Toni, you wouldn't be here now," Gideon said kissing the top of his daughter's head.

"Sounds like Toni was always trying to help and make someone's life a little easier." Simon joined the conversation.

"What did she do?" Georgia quizzed.

"She used a clocking spell which allowed her to sneak up on Channing. Using a stone, she bashed him over the head and I snatched you. We ran out of the quarry as fast as we could and Toni put a seal on it that lasted until the explosion cracked it open." Gideon sat quietly, allowing what he said to sink in.

"So Toni is a witch? I never would've believed it," she said almost laughing.

"Now that he's out, he will exact revenge and he will not stop until he kills you," Gideon whispered, afraid if he said it too loud it would happen.

"He'll have to get through me first," Simon said pumping out his chest like he was Tarzan.

"Why does he want to kill me?" She said moving toward Simon.

"Because you look like your mother, and all he sees when he looks at you is a threat he has to eliminate. So then his happy family will be secured. He's taken Nola, too, and he won't stop until he completely breaks me."

"Well then were just going to have to make sure that doesn't happen," Georgia said getting up and walking over to an armoire across the room. She opened the heavy doors and put her hand on a silver machete. "We fight. I'm tired of losing people. I lost Simon, I lost you and Ginny, I'm done. This isn't Halloween and I'm no Jamie Lee." She said pulled for the weapon.

"It's going to be dangerous, Georgey. Channing is going to hit us with everything the pack has," he said looking at the other goodies in the armoire.

"Then we hit them twice as hard." She smiled, put the machete down, and hugged her father.

"If only finding Ginny could be this easy," he sputtered.

"Can I say something here?" Simon interjected. "It seems to me that all this unpleasantness stems from Windwood. So I'd suggest that we'd start there. If Ginny indeed vanished from the house, she may have left behind a clue, and if not her, then maybe Marshall."

"You would help me?" Gideon said almost grateful.

"No. However, I love your daughter and I will do it for her. I haven't forgotten that you tried to kill me," Simon blurted.

"What?" Georgia said stunned by this latest revelation.

"I did nothing of the sort. I do hate you Simon, that's no secret, but I would never try to kill you."

"Bullshit. I saw it with my own eyes. You were in the library with my mother. You had a gun pulled on her and then you watched as she shot my Aunt Eugenie. My mother hates me because you decided to tell her I was a werewolf." Enraged, Simon caught Gideon by the throat and choked him until he began to turn blue. "I lost everything because of you." Gideon felt like he was going to lose consciousness at any moment.

"Let him go Simon!" Georgia pleaded as she tried to pull him off her father. Gideon managed to kick Simon in the groin, causing enough pain, he had no choice but to let him go.

"I didn't do it," he said rubbing his neck. "Lord knows I hate you Simon. Your family has done nothing but bring misery to everybody and everything you come in contact with. Yes, I tried to stop the wedding, and yes, I would've given everything I had to break you two up for good. I know about the curse and how it will affect your firstborn. I don't want any kin of mine carrying the Lord name, but I would never murder the one thing that has brought my daughter so much happiness."

"I saw you."

"I believe him Simon," Georgia said as she put a reassuring hand on one her husband's shoulder.

"Well, I don't," he said storming out through the screen door and into the night.

"I'm telling you Georgey, it wasn't me."

Georgia knew her father told the truth. It was a known fact that whenever Gideon Blake was caught lying, he had a tendency to bite his lower lip without knowing he was doing it.

"I know, Daddy. We'll talk about it in the morning. I think we all need some sleep." Getting up, she turned off the TV and went into the bedroom.

Author Notes Characters

Gideon Blake- Centuries old werewolf, father of Ginny and Georgia. Hates the Lord family and is another member of the order.

Simon Lord-Joshua's older brother. Simon was born a werewolf because of a curse and was shot by his mother, Andrea, for being a werewolf. After 20 years in a coma he wakes up. Everyone believes him to be dead.

Georgia Lord- Simon's wife. Georgia was born from two werewolf parents and can change at will, unlike Simon who can only change by the full moon.

Nola O'grady- Gideon's sidekick and ladylove who was kidnapped by Gideon's son, Channing the night of Simon and Georgia's wedding.

Channing Blake- The son of Gideon and Iris Lord, who was imprisoned under the lake with most of his pack. His only goal in life is to make his father suffer and to kill his sister, Georgia.



Chapter 19
Echoes of the Past

By Jackreese

Previous Chapter

"I didn't do it," he said rubbing his neck. "Lord knows I hate you Simon. Your family has done nothing but bring misery to everybody and everything you come in contact with. Yes, I tried to stop the wedding, and yes, I would've given everything I had to break you two up for good. I know about the curse and how it will affect your firstborn. I don't want any kin of mine carrying the Lord name, but I would never murder the one thing that has brought my daughter so much happiness."

"I saw you."

"I believe him Simon," Georgia said as she put a reassuring hand on one her husband's shoulder.

"Well, I don't," he said storming out through the screen door and into the night.

"I'm telling you Georgey, it wasn't me."

Georgia knew her father told the truth. It was a known fact that whenever Gideon Blake was caught lying, he had a tendency to bite his lower lip without knowing he was doing it.

"I know, Daddy. We'll talk about it in the morning. I think we all need some sleep." Getting up, she turned off the TV and went into the bedroom.
#

The sun started to slide beneath the horizon and still little Jenna found no hints of the mythical pendent. She looked all over the mausoleum tore apart the stable and dove into the pool to no avail. Now lost and in the dark the young lady began to panic for the single thing she feared the most was the dark.

"Why'd I do this?" She wailed turning round and round trying to get her bearings straight. At this point all the trees began to look the same and every path seemed identical. An owl perched high above in the trees hooted sending the child into a tailspin she began to run, not knowing or caring where she was going she just knew she had to get away. A thorn bush caught the shoulder of her shirt, screaming Jenna pulled so hard she ripped the shirt and went flying.

When she landed on the ground she fell down a hole, slid down a long shaft hitting her head when she came out on a fireplace mantel. Unbeknown to her, she had found the missing wing of the house and landed smack in its drawing room. As the little girl laid their unconscious the apparitions of Lords past began to materialize and hover above her.
#
It was almost dinner time and Jenna had not come out of her room since earlier this afternoon. Fearing she was coming down with something, Donna went into the bathroom to get the children's Tylenol, the vapor rub and the thermometer from the medicine cabinet and proceeded down the hall when she saw the shadowy figure of a woman standing at the end of the corridor.

"You must save her." The spirit moaned.

"Who," Donna asked as she looked right through the spirit to the painting of some ancestor that hung on the wall.

"Save her." The specter repeated and vanished, leaving her to stare at the wall.

"Jenna," panicked, Donna dropped the items on the floor and made a beeline for her daughters room. Her heart sank and instantly the tears began to fall when she found her gone. "Jenna!" Donna continued to call her name as she went from room to room.

"What's the matter?" Toni asked flying up the stairs after coming back from the inn.

"It's, Jenna, she's missing." A frantic Donna cried as she thrust the door open and searched the upstairs parlor.

"I'm sure she's around here someplace. It's a big house she could be anywhere." Toni said following her into the parlor.

"No its Zita I know it." She started to cry and plopped down in one of the chairs arranged by the window.

"Just because she's missing does not automatically mean that Zita had something to do with it. If she did, I would feel it." Toni soothed as she crouched down to take Donna's hand. "I promise you we will find her."

"I saw a ghost tonight and she told me I had to save her." Donna said choked up. "I knew we should never have come back." She said the defeated.

"Running away isn't the answer either. If that witch wanted to find you she would no matter where you went. Now let's stop feeling sorry for ourselves and find your daughter." Toni said, yanking her out of the chair.

Before long the whole house was involved in finding the child and it was becoming abundantly clear that Donna and Joshua were living every parent's worst nightmare. The hours passed and everything they did proved futile they were almost out of options and would have to involve the police.

Toni decided the best way to find the child was to contact the spirit Donna had seen earlier via a seance. It had been years since she performed one, but like a bike once you know how to ride you never forget and since the house was full of energy she should be able to make contact easy. Toni gathered the family in the upstairs parlor, a room only used for special occasions, the nicest room in the house.

Painted in pastel colors and containing portraits of ancestors from the seventeen hundreds, this room really didn't go with the rest of the dingy house. A huge Ming vase nestled in a corner, and ferns and spider plants hung in pots from the ceiling. The carpet was of the lightest peach, as was the upholstery. In the center of the room was a long pine table that seated ten.

Andrea had always loved this cheerful room. It was the only thing she could call hers. It contained items that survived from her family. It also had a balcony that overlooked the river.

"Please be seated so we may begin." Toni commanded.

She gestured for them all to sit.

"Join hands, please, and then shut your eyes. Very slowly, take three deep breaths. Everyone relax, as I speak. Spirits of the dead, I summon you from your tombs. All of the specters that haunt this land appear to me. We are in need of answers that are of great importance."

She stopped to catch her breath when the candle flickered. "Who's there?" Toni waited expectantly for a response. "Give me a signal."

The French doors to the balcony blew open and a figure glided in.

"Who are you?" Toni asked.

"I am Katherine Lord. Why have you disturbed my rest?" The apparition asked in a sorrowful voice.

"We need your help," Toni begged.

"I know nothing, let me go," Katherine whimpered.

"Tell me of the girl," Toni persisted.

"Let me go, now." She flared and vanished as quickly as she came.

"Wait!" They all turned to see Andrea appearing to be possessed.

"Who are you?" Toni asked her.

"Annabelle Lord." Andrea said in a voice not hers.

"Why have you told us to wait?"

"She's alive."

Suddenly Andrea began to convulse the table began to rock and the flame from the candle blew up toward the ceiling.

"Where is she?" Toni asked as the seance took on an Exorcist type quality.

"You must stop this seance before it is too late."

"Why?"

"The portal is open now because of you, allowing her to come forward. She can't be stopped once she's free.

"What woman?" Toni asked in a calm voice.

"You don't realize the evil you're about to unleash," Annabelle whispered.

"I don't understand?"

"I have to go now; I think she saw me."

Suddenly all went black. The windows in the room shattered, sending glass into the air, and the portraits on the walls came to life, the horses dashed across the meadow and they could all smell a trace of hay as the steeds raced to nowhere. The oil painting of the Lord's first liner Odyssey, which set sail in 1922, gave out three loud whistles as passengers waved and cheered goodbye to their loved ones on land, the smell of salt water flowed in the breeze.

"What's happening?" Andrea asked petrified apparently recovering from her possession.

"She's here." Donna said, staring at the fireplace whose embers began to burn brightly until a fireball shot out revealing the ugly, twisted manifestation of the witch, Zita, who cackled as loud as a siren, she hovered above the table bringing with her and unfathomable cold.

"You the descendants of Solomon will endure my wrath. You may think I'm a nuisance now, but soon you shall feel my full fury as my prophecy reaches fruition." She shifted her cold beady eyes on Donna. "Remember what happens to those who dare to love in my house" Zita again pointing her crooked talon like finger at Donna jumped up from the chair to stare at her nemesis.

Then the lights came on, everyone was fine and their ghostly visitor was gone.

"Jenna's gone and she's never coming back." Donna wailed as she fled the room, Joshua ran after her when Andrea stopped him.

"I'll go. Stay here and continue to look for Jenna." Andrea said, shuffling out of the room.

"Who is this Zita?" Sutton asked, getting up from the chair to start cleaning up the mess the specter created.

"She was a very powerful witch hung right out that window." Joshua pointed toward the glass a few feet away from them. "Family lore has it that she cursed Solomon Lord. Throughout the origins of my family's long history stories of witches, supernatural beings and other powers of the unknown have beset my ancestors. I always dismissed the stories as myths, but now I'm not sure." Joshua said going over to the sideboard to pour a drink.

"Tell me of the events that took place in this house back in 1912. I see blood everywhere, bodies hacked to pieces and the dead returned from the grave."

"How'd you know about that?" Joshua became nervous. Nobody but a Lord's supposed to know the true origins of this accursed house." He said, clearly not comfortable talking about it.

Toni motioned Joshua to sit across from her on a maroon love seat.

"Marshall Lord went mad and systematically butchered everyone in this house. India Lord, the sole survivor, blamed it on the witch and mistakenly killed a woman in her hysteria. She lived out the rest of her life in the asylum. Marshall never got over what he had done, even though he had no recollection of it. My father often said that when that wing of the house sank into the ground, it trapped the souls of the dead inside forever." Joshua finished.

"If we could find the sealed off rooms we might be able to free the souls locked in." Toni rose as she concluded.
#
At last Jenna came too. It took her a few moments to adjust her eyes as the darkness seemed to swallow everything. The murky quarters were covered in cobwebs; floorboards were rotted as well as certain parts of the walls. Broken rafters fell from the ceiling and the whole first floor smelled like mud.

"I need to get out of here." She whined as she stood in the center of the drawing room.

"Find the necklace, Jenna." That familiar voice called from nowhere,

"Where, I don't know where to look?" She said, spinning around to look for the voice.

"Follow your instincts, little one, follow your instincts."

"Wow, that was a big help." She said, sarcastically. The girl found she was not as scared as she thought she would be and began to move about the room as her eyes attuned to her surroundings. Spreading out the double doors she stepped out into the entrance hall, which was in worse condition than the drawing room. She had to go up the stairs to search the second floor, but the stairwell to the upstairs rooms had collapsed and as far she could tell there was no other way up.

"How am I supposed to get up there?" She stated, sitting down in the center of floor trying figure out her next move.
#
Sutton passed Brandon's bedroom and found Andrea sitting at the edge of his bed, playing some video game from the looks of it, she had mastered the level. Sutton took this opportunity to search her room in hopes of finding something that would tell him exactly what she was up to.

The moment Andrea Sullivan came home to Windwood he knew she would be nothing but trouble.

Switching on the lights he began to rummage through her dresser drawers, chest of drawers and desk. Moving on to the closet, he searched through all the shoe boxes, garment bags, coats and hats and found nothing. As he searched the room, he made sure everything was exactly as he found it for if anything was out of place she would know.

Closing the closet door, he caught something yellow out of the corner of his eye sticking out of the fica tree by the window. Sutton hurried over to the tree and found all her tablets of Risperdal buried in the soil.

"I knew it!" Sutton exclaimed as he rushed over to the phone on the desk. Thankfully, he didn't move too fast, or he would have fallen flat on his face when he tripped over a barbell under the bed.

"What are you doing in here?" Loretta barked from the doorway.

"Your job," Sutton snapped as he showed her the yellow pill.

"Where did you get that?" Loretta demanded, coming into the room.

"From the fica tree she had them hidden in the soil." He said, pointing to the tree. Loretta looked completely surprised and then angry at having the wool pulled over her eyes.

"Son of a bitch," She mumbled as she sat down on the bed.

"Time and time again, I've warned you people not to let her out. She's unstable and should not be allowed to roam free, yet you didn't listen and now she places everyone in this house in danger."

"I believe you're overreacting just because she didn't take her medicine a few times doesn't make her homicidal maniac." She said, dismissing his allegations.

"Then what do you call this?" He said, picking up the barbell to show her. "Looks to me like somebody's been working out? If she wasn't up to something, then why does she have this?" Sutton continued.

"I'm going to have to call this in. You might want to get out of here before she gets back." Loretta said, getting up and walking over to the phone.

"Let me tell you something Mrs. Caulfield, if anything happens to this family because of your negligence it'll be your head." He said, storming out.

Loretta tried to hold back the tears. How could they have been so wrong? Andrea was put on a strict medication regimen and aftercare services, hell she even fooled the facilities top psychiatrists.

"Operator, can you connect me to Riverview Sanitarium in Rock Hill." Loretta said, with her back to the doorway, unaware that Andrea listened from the hall

Author Notes Joshua Lord-Heir to Lord Shipbuilding and Windwood. Father of Brandon and Jenna. Married To Donna.

Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Andrea Lord- Mother of Joshua and Simon. She has been institutionalized since she shot Simon.

Jenna Lord- Joshua and Donna's youngest. Plagued by dreams of a witch being hung she also hears voices.

Brandon Lord-Joshua and Donna's son. Resembles his late grandfather and its unknown if he carries the werewolf gene.

Aaron Sutton- Trusted and revered servant who has served the Lord family for decades.

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Zita Corsini- She was born into the aristocratic Karnstein family notorious for dabbling in black magic and devil worship. After being scorched by Flora Lord in the 18th century she placed the curse that haunts them now.

Loretta Caulfield- Nurse who takes care of Andrea.


Chapter 20
Thrill Of The Hunt

By Jackreese

Previous Chapter

Sutton closed the closet door, he caught something yellow out of the corner of his eye sticking out of the Fica tree by the window. Sutton hurried over to the tree and found all her tablets of Risperdal buried in the soil.

"I knew it!" Sutton exclaimed as he rushed over to the phone on the desk. Thankfully, he didn't move too fast, or he would have fallen flat on his face when he tripped over a barbell under the bed.

"What are you doing in here?" Loretta barked from the doorway.

"Your job," Sutton snapped as he showed her the yellow pill.

"Where did you get that?" Loretta demanded, coming into the room.

"From the Fica tree she had them hidden in the soil." He said, pointing to the tree. Loretta looked completely surprised and then somewhat angry at having the wool pulled over her eyes.

"Son of a bitch," She mumbled as she sat down on the bed.

"Time and time again, I've warned you people not to let her out. She's unstable and should not be allowed to roam free, yet you didn't listen and now she places everyone in this house in danger."

"I believe you're overreacting just because she didn't take her medicine a few times doesn't make her homicidal maniac." She said, dismissing his allegations.

"Then what do you call this?" He said, picking up the barbell to show her. "Looks to me like somebody's been working out? If she wasn't up to something, then why does she have this?" Sutton continued.

"I'm going to have to call this in. You might want to get out of here before she gets back." Loretta said, getting up and walking over to the phone.

"Let me tell you something Mrs. Caulfield, if anything happens to this family because of your negligence it'll be your head." He said, storming out.

Loretta tried to hold back the tears. How could they have been so wrong? Andrea was put on a strict medication regimen and aftercare services, hell she even fooled the facilities top psychiatrists.

"Operator, can you connect me to Riverview Sanitarium in Rock Hill." Loretta said, with her back to the doorway, unaware that Andrea listened from the hall
#

It had been days since Nola had seen anyone, and from what she could tell no one had come after her. Her feet hurt and her stomach rumbled as she pushed on through the forest trying to set out as far away from Wolves Den as possible. Even though she wanted to stop, she knew better, because the moment she did Channing's goons would be on her.

The whole time Nola had been running she felt so bad for what she did to Colum she almost turned back to check on him. If it weren't for the fact that she was truly in love with Gideon, she would have. Finding Gideon was all that mattered, and stopping Channing from hurting him was her number one goal. The sun was beating down on her. The humidity was unbearable and wreaked havoc on her on her pallid skin color.

Briefly, she leaned against a Sourwood tree to get some respite from the sunlight when she heard the sound of running water a few feet out. Running as fast as her tired feet would take her, she came through a clearing and to a little stream. Head first she dove right into the cool water and immediately felt refreshed as she splashed, flipped and swam along the current. The tranquility of it all relaxed her enough, she almost fell asleep while she lay with her head back and eyes closed. Opening her eyes and staring up at the sky, she noticed a hawk circling above.

"Great. They found me." Nola said, bolting out of the water and back into the woods. The hawk gave chase and followed her, knowing she could never outrun it, she shifted into a beautiful red wolf and surpassed the hawk in a matter of minutes.
#
Bo and Reginald came to Franklin County once a month to hunt coyote and take a break from life. They were best friends growing up together, worked together and lived on the same block.

Quietly they walked through the woods, while keeping an eye on their surroundings. It had been years since they caught anything and they found themselves arguing over why they even came.

"I don't know why I let you talk me into coming?" Reginald griped.

"Wow, if I wanted to hear bitching I would've stayed home with my wife." Bo fired back.

"If you did that I wouldn't be out here freezing my ass off for nothing." Reginald said, stopping to light a cigarette."

"I thought you were quitting those?" He said, giving him a disapproving look.

"Now, who's bitching?" He said, blowing the smoke in Bo's face.

"When you're on an iron lung I don't want to hear it."

"And then when you're...

"Did you hear that?" Bo asked while moving away in the direction he heard the sound.

"Hear what?"

"Something's coming." Bo peeked through the brush to find a fine-looking red wolf prancing toward them. He raised his rifle and fired, hitting the beast in the chest. He looked on as the beast collapsed. "Yeah, I got it." He said proudly as he jumped in the air." And who didn't want to come?"

"It only took it 10 years." Reginald said snidely as he came to get a good look at his friends catch. "Oh my God, what have you done?" He said, passing through the glade.

"I shot a wolf."

"No you didn't, you idiot you shot a woman." He said, darting over to stare down at a naked woman with a platinum blonde hair and a bullet wound to the chest. "Hurry call an ambulance.

"I didn't mean to do it. I saw a wolf." He said, shaking so badly he couldn't dial the numbers on his phone. "Dammit, I can't draw a signal." Bo said feeling dizzy.

"Hurry, go fetch the truck were running out of time. If we don't get her to the hospital soon she's going to die." He said taking his flannel off and putting it on the wound while trying to apply pressure.

"I'm gonna be sick."

"It's going to be all right. Just relax, I can't have you going to pieces and having to take care of the both of you. Let's just focus on getting her to the hospital." Reginald reassured. Bo nodded and took off toward the truck.

The hawk that had been circling earlier landed on a branch nearby and looked on as the boys placed Nola's listless body in the truck.
#

Back at the house, Toni could no longer sit by and do nothing decided she was going to try and find Jenna herself. She went out the front door to get some air when she saw the spirit of Annabelle crying.

"Annabelle what's the matter?"

"The pain won't go away," the spirit wailed.

"What pain?"

"The pain of being trapped within the walls of this house forever, many of us have been here since our deaths. We suffered brutal fates and our souls must be released so we may rest in peace. Toni, you must find my remains and give me a proper burial to end my torment and also exorcise the lost wing of the mansion so we all can finally be free from the evil forces that are still working against us."

Quickly, after speaking, Annabelle vanished, leaving Toni in the dark and intrigued by the quest ahead of her; she began to look for the long-forgotten wing, to banish Annabelle's soul permanently.
#
After spending an hour trying to get upstairs Jenna at last found a route through the cobwebs, broken railings and fallen mortar that took her to the second floor which looked basically unscathed. The upstairs rooms were freezing and the ceiling dripped all the doors were closed. An ungodly smell surrounded her a small mouse scurried across her foot, causing her to scream triggering more of the ceiling to collapse.

Knowing time was running out Jenna searched high and low and came across nothing of use. She crossed over to the other side of the hall and came across what had once been a woman's room, consisting of a wrought-iron bed, small table and tiny closet; a bible lay open on the table next to a single candle. Across from her were more living quarters, this one by far the most elegant of all. The walls were ivory white and the drapery red velvet, the floor polished hardwood with throw rugs. The bed was fit for a queen and portraits of more ancestors accented the walls, with a granite fireplace to give the room warmth.

It was a bright room with many windows. A wall-size vanity was filled with brushes, combs, cosmetics, powders and perfumes galore. The bed had many fluffy pillows, with the red bed curtains pulled back. There were no dressers or trunks; every article of clothing or accessory she owned was in the gigantic closet at the foot of the bed.

A portrait hung above the fireplace mantel. The subject was Landon Rutherford Lord. He was quite handsome and, unlike some of their other relatives, he was depicted as smiling.

Jenna finished and ran across the hallway to what had been another bedroom. This bedroom was the dreariest of all she had seen thus far.

A bearskin rug was sprawled on the floor. Animal heads from moose to elephant decorated the walls. Had it not been for the broken-down vanity table, you would have never known a woman shared the room. Pistols and rifles took up two display cases. Jenna rooted through the trunks at the end of the bed and turned up empty-handed.

Jenna came out of the room and passed some more empty ones before finally stumbling upon the room of Annabelle. Gazing around, Jenna saw many mirrors, a large crimson settee and a flowered basin. A pleasant scent of roses still lingered in the air. The lovely ivory bed had velvet crimson blankets and pillows and a veil-like curtain hung from the canopy.

"At last, you've come to help." The grateful apparition of Annabelle cried. Jenna took one look at the specter and hit the floor.

Author Notes Characters

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Jenna Lord- Joshua and Donna's youngest. Plagued by dreams of a witch being hung she also hears voices.

Nola O'grady- Gideon's sidekick and ladylove who was kidnapped by Gideon's son, Channing the night of Simon and Georgia's wedding.


Chapter 21
A Moment in Time

By Jackreese

Previous Chapter

Jenna came out of the room and passed some more empty ones before finally stumbling upon the room of Annabelle. Gazing around, Jenna saw many mirrors, a large crimson settee and a flowered basin. A pleasant scent of roses still lingered in the air. The lovely ivory bed had velvet crimson blankets and pillows and a veil-like curtain hung from the canopy.

"At last, you've come to help." The grateful apparition of Annabelle cried. Jenna took one look at the specter and hit the floor.
#
By this point Toni had given up on finding the child began the long trek back to the house. Every sound, every movement began to give her the creeps she began to move faster and in typical klutz, fashion, tripped over her own two feet and wound up eating grass.

As she got up, she noticed a piece of Jenna's shirt snared in the bushes, on further inspection, she found the hole when she fell into it, the whole way down she felt like she was on a water slide as she skidded down the chimney.

Inside the air was damp and stale. She groped around in darkness for a few seconds, feeling her way around. She used the tiny light from her key chain to light her way. It shed a minimal amount of light on the room. Toni could still see the grandfather clock in the corner and a beautiful oil painting of Windwood hanging over the fireplace mantle. She found some matches and a candle on the mantle after she lit the wick she was confronted by eight specters.

"Don't be frightened we will not harm you. Please sit." An older woman said with an air of elegance

Toni just stood, amazed by what she was witnessing.

"I am Katherine Lord." She continued. "Welcome to my home. Permit me to present to you the remainder of my household. The one seated at the window is my daughter-in-law, Diana; the twin girls playing the clavichord are my great-granddaughters, Lorna and Lana."

Slapping her hands together, she turned to the young girls and scolded them for stopping.

The room they were standing in was prettier than the drawing room that the family currently used. The parlor was laid out in the Georgian fashion; the curtains hanging in the window were light lime green, pulled back on both ends.

Katherine had a warm, motherly look about her. Her gray hair, tinted with white, was pinned to a plum satin bonnet. The old woman's skirt was of the same color.

"The rest of my family is: my daughter Deborah, the men on the circular sofa are Mr. Alden Pierce and my son Nelson, and I presume you already know of our Annabelle."

"How did you all end up here? The truth about what happened here that night were covered and forgotten."

"Lana and Lorna were found floating in the Aurora because of Deborah, who at the time was under the influence of the witch. Deborah even poisoned her own mother with cyanide," Katherine muttered.

"I died by my own hand. One by one, we all succumbed to tragic ends. Once the good Lord called my beloved Annabelle home, I gave up and found myself in the attic. I attached a rope to the rafters and jumped," Diana blurted.

"Marshall murdered me in my sleep. Before Zita tired of my body, she took his. Coming to me in the middle of the night, he bludgeoned me to death with an ax," Deborah said in a spine-tingling tone, her eyes filled with anger and torment.

"My wife Olympia and I were sailing on a warm day in late July. Olympia hated the water and didn't know how to swim. Like a fool, I stood up and began to rock the boat and I fell in; the mast hit me in the head. Well, I trust you can judge for yourself what happened next," Nelson acknowledged.

"My dear, you are now on your own. If this is to work you must do it alone. Farewell, Toni, thank you!" Katherine said moments before they disappeared.
#

When the girl came to this time she noticed the trunks hidden under some clothing that was strewn about over one hundred years earlier and remained there until today. Jenna cried out, terrified, at the discovery of the skeletal remains of Alden and his lady love, Annabelle, in the hope chest.

"Hold on sweetie, Nona's coming." Toni said after she heard the shriek.

The poor kid tried to grapple with what she saw, Jenna was almost afraid to reach into the trunk, until she found the blue diamond necklace sticking out from underneath the trunk. She sat down on the floor and used both legs to push the trunk, however the necklace was caught. She yanked it with all her might and when it gave she ran back into the hallway and collided with Toni.

"Am I glad to see you?" Toni said, getting down on her knees and taking the girl into her arms. "The whole house has been out of their minds with worry." She said, fighting back tears. "Are you all right?"

"I just want to go home." Jenna sighed as she clutched the necklace in her palm all the while keeping it in her pocket and out of sight.

"We will, but I have to do something first. Can you do me a favor and just sit here on the steps till I come back?" Jenna nodded. "Good. I'll be back in a few minutes." Toni then returned to Annabelle's room to retrieve the remains from the trunk.

Jenna pulled the clunky silver necklace out of her light pink shorts pocket and began to stare into the deep blue gem until an image appeared inside. She saw a beautiful woman lying on a straw mattress. A wealthy woman comes in and snatches the baby out of her arms, then sets fire to the small shack trapping the woman inside.

"You will pay for that." Jenna declared as she felt a strange rage erupt within her.

"Who are you talking too?" Toni asked, coming down the hall with the bones wrapped in a blanket.

"Huh, I didn't say anything." The girl said already forgetting what the pendant showed her.

Suddenly, there was a loud rumble as the roof gave way. In an effort to shield the girl, Toni leapt on top of her and took the brunt of the trauma.

"Are you okay?" Toni asked, pushing a rafter, off herself and then brushing Jenna off as she turned her around to make sure she was not hurt.

"I'm okay. Can we go, now?" She said, moving towards the stairs.

A few moments later they were downstairs Toni stood in the middle of the foyer and began to dig a hole between the broken floor boards which was easy after being sopping wet underneath for over a century. Carefully, she lay the bones gently in the hole, then covered them in a thunderous voice she began to chant a prayer that would expel the spirits from Windwood.

With that the phantoms of the distant past were laid to rest forever. A gust of wind blew past Toni's ears and she swore she heard Annabelle's sweet voice whisper "Thank you."

"Nona look, there's an opening in the wall. It must've happened when the ceiling collapsed. I think we can get out that way." Jenna said excitedly, as she rushed over to what she hoped was their exit.

"Jenna, wait for me, you could get hurt." Toni scolded.

"See, it leads right to the basement." The girl said matter of factly.

"So it does." Toni said, surprised. "I'll go first to make sure it's safe, and once it is you can follow." In a few seconds she slipped through found everything in order and allowed Jenna to enter.

Donna took one look at her daughter and lost it, sobbing and crying as she held the girl in her arms. Even Joshua had tears glistening in his eyes as he stroked his daughter's hair.

"I'm sorry I didn't mean to upset everyone." Jenna whispered a bit shakily.

"We're just glad to have you home." Donna soothed. "You've had a long day, so let's get you upstairs into the bath and then to bed." She said, picking her up in her arms and carrying her out into the foyer.

"Thanks for bringing her back Toni. I don't know what we would've done if..." Toni put her hands to Joshua's mouth before he could finish.

"She's home now, that's all that matters." She poured herself a brandy and sat down on the sofa. "I'm glad I could do it." Sadness washed over her as she remembered Carla and how she could do nothing to save her.

"Stop fussing with me and go spend time with that precious little girl." She said taking a swig of the brandy.

"You really are wonderful." Joshua said, kissing her on the cheek before heading upstairs.

"Happy birthday, Carla wherever you are." She said, raising her glass in the air.

A few moments later she nodded off on the couch with the tumbler still in her hand.
#

Lila did as Channing asked and continued to watch the cottage through the night. Finally, in the early hours of the morning dawn under the guise of a field mouse, Lila squeezed through an opening underneath the door.

Once inside she saw Gideon fast asleep on the couch watching an old sitcom on TV she continued down the hall to the bedroom that Georgia and Simon shared and found them sleeping as well. A photo of the couple the day they got married, sat next to the bed in a sterling silver frame a woman in the background of the picture caught her attention.

This woman had bronze skin, black as night hair and a genuine, motherly look about her. For some reason, Lila felt like she knew this woman and the more she stared at her, the more she felt it to be true.

Out of the blue she saw this woman again sitting at a table in a kitchen amongst an array of nail polish in a flash, the memory took hold as Lila was about to remember something from her past.
#
Toni had been up all night taking care of the bar and making sure everything was just right so she could take the day off and attend the wedding of Simon and Georgia. She had to make it Rosa Lord was one of her best friends and in some ways considered the Lords, to be part of her own family, especially Joshua.

Ever since he was a boy he always went out of his way to help her, whether it be with the trash or sweeping and sometimes he would come just to listen to her talk. He even sweet talked her into closing down the inn so Simon could have his bachelor lunch there.

Toni put her cigarette in the ashtray and got up from the table to check on the cherry Cassata torte she made special for Simon, since it was always his favorite. She pulled the dessert out of the oven, gently and placed it on the counter to cool off; she looked up at the clock over the stove it was already after four o'clock.

She sat back down for a minute poured herself some more red wine and tried to enjoy the rest of her cigarette. All she had to do now was shower, dress and finish her hair, then get this dessert over to Windwood before someone else namely, Carla ate it.

"Ooh, my favorite." Carla said coming into the room and trying to touch the torte.

"That's not for you." She said, slapping her hand away. "Wow, you look beautiful." Toni exclaimed when she saw her wearing a beautiful black mini dress her gold locks were layered around the bangs and face than it was curled and teased giving it lots of volume. Black diamond earrings hung from each lobe and a necklace of the same caliber brought attention to her plunging neckline. "I think if I'm not careful I'm gonna have to beat the men off with a stick."

"Do you really think I look good or are you saying because you're my grandmother?"

"Ah, my little Stellina you will shine so bright you may eclipse the bride. You're missing something?" Toni said, rummaging through all the cosmetics she had spread out on the table and reached for a bright red lipstick. "Now you're perfect," She said after applying it. "Look!" Toni said, holding up a hand mirror.

"I look like I could be a model." She smiled.

"I've always said you had a million dollar smile." She said, putting her hands on her granddaughter's shoulder and staring into the mirror too.

"Nona I was thinking about maybe going to see Marie." Carla said hesitantly and turning around to face Toni, who seemed upset just at the mention of her name.

"If you really want to go see your mother we can go first thing Saturday morning. If she's still at that address in Florence we could be there in a matter of hours, but I can't stress enough to you that if she's using again it may not be a pretty sight." Toni warned.

"I'm well aware of that and everything else she's done, including swindling you and Nonno's life savings and trying to sell me to that poor couple that couldn't have kids, nonetheless she is my mother and deserves a second chance.

Author Notes Characters

Jenna Lord- Joshua and Donna's youngest. Plagued by dreams of a witch being hung she also hears voices.

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Carla Romano- Toni's granddaughter vanished without a trace the night of Simon and Georgia's wedding 20 years ago.

Lila- Channing's right hand womman and go to girl.


Chapter 22
In Another Life

By Jackreese

Previous Chapter

"Nona I was thinking about maybe going to see Marie." Carla said hesitantly, turning around to face Toni, who seemed upset just at the mention of her name.

"If you really want to go see your mother we can go first thing Saturday morning." Toni said . "If she's still at that address in Florence we could be there in a matter of hours, but I can't stress enough to you that if she's using again it may not be a pretty sight."

"I'm well aware of that and everything else she's done, including swindling you and Nonno's life savings and trying to sell me to that poor couple that couldn't have kids, nonetheless she is my mother and deserves a second chance.

New Post

Toni saw so much of her Marie in Carla that sometimes it was like they were one in the same. If Marie had lived they could easily pass for twins instead of mother and daughter.


"You remind me more and more of her every day. I have no problems with you seeing her or even letting her back into your life I just don't want you getting hurt again like the last time. We almost lost you and I promised myself I'd never let her do that to you again."

"I promised you and Nonno that I'd never try to take my own life again."

"If this is really what you want, then I'm ok with it. Now I have to go finish getting ready I should've delivered this torte over three hours ago." She said, placing the sweet course into the plastic cake holder carrier.

"I'll take it over for you. I want to go now and make sure I get a good seat. I still can't believe it, Simon Lord is actually married." She grinned as she took the cake holder from the counter and clutched her purse in the other hand.

"Save me a seat," Toni called after her.

It was a mild evening with just a slight breeze blowing. She opened the trunk and placed the cake in the back of her Buick LeSabre jumped in the car and sped off toward Windwood. She cracked the windows slightly to avoid messing up her hair, then fiddled around with the radio until she found a suitable song, Whams Careless Whisper.

Carla continued on down Route 7 when she saw a muscular man with a shaved head standing in the street trying to flag someone down. Cautiously, she slowed down and pulled up beside him.

"Are you in some sort of trouble, Sir?" She asked as she came to a stop, rolled down her window and looked up at the giant.

"Damn raccoons, I'm afraid I was flying down the road not paying attention when one of them things came out onto the street. I tried to avoid it swerved, out of the way  just to end up in this ditch. Now I'm stuck and can't get out." He complained as he looked down at her.

"If you like I could give you a ride into town. I'm going that way anyway." She said as she unlocked the door.

"I'd appreciate it. That would be a big help to me. It's not often you run into decent folk anymore."

"You from around here?" She inquired, while keeping her eyes on the road.

"Nope, born and raised in West Virginia." He said, slapping his knee.

"What brings you to Solomon's Wake?"

"You," The man reached into his pocket and pulled out a plastic bag of what looked like yellow dust. "I need a witch to help me, and you're perfect for the job. The Corsini, witches are famous. I've heard all the stories about how you can shape shift, heal the sick and even cure a curse." He looked at her impishly.

"I'd sooner die than help you, wolf." She said after noticing the canine trait his eyes had. A mere mortal would never have been able to see it. She started to go out of the car."

"Oh, but you will. See this little bag here?" He said, pointing to the yellow concoction. "It's memory dust. Once I blow this in your face life as you know it is over and Carla Romano is no more."

"Fuck you," Carla screamed as she put her foot on the gas and sped towards the same ditch. The two bounced around the car like a fish out of water until the Lesabre slammed into the trench.

Carla had a deep gash on her head and the man flew out the front seat and through the windshield.

A bit dazed and not seeing clearly, she fumbled with the lock and managed to open the door. She could see the man lying face down on the hood of the car. Her instincts told her to run and to forget about him, but she wanted to make sure he was dead or unconscious.

Carla stared down at him and before she knew it, he twisted around to blow the dust right into her face. She began to choke and cough memories of her life began to fade and the woman who had raised her since she was three her beloved Nona was now just a stranger on the street.

Her vision was blurred her head felt like it had been hit by a sledgehammer. Pain radiated from her chest, where the steering wheel smashed into her. As she fought to stay awake, she could hear the footsteps get closer and a very gruff voice called out to her.

"Lila, you okay can you hear me?" The broad-shouldered man said, poking his head into the car.

"What happened?"

"You were following me when all of a sudden a raccoon, made his way out onto the street. I swerved to miss it, that's when you sideswiped me and we went off the road. Do you think you can stand?" He asked as he opened the door.

"I don't know," The young woman answered. He reached out his hand to assist her out of the automobile. At first, she was a bit wobbly, but eventually was able to stand without any help.

"You don't remember me do you? I was afraid of this happening. I think you hit your head pretty hard." He said looking down at the young woman who sat on the curb staring blankly.

"I'm afraid I don't. I don't remember anything." She said, choking up and put her hands on her face. Her blonde hair was now wet and flat clinging to the sides of her face traces of dried blood was caked above her temple.

"My name is Channing I've been your boss and friend for the past 15 years." He said sliding down next to her on the curb. She proceeded to gaze at his handsome face in search of answers, but found none.

"I'm sorry, I have no recollection."

"Don't force yourself, your memories will come back to you in due time." He stated, placing his arm around her neck and drawing her close.

"What is it exactly I do for you?"

"You, my dear Lila are a shape shifter. The best one I have. You're the only one I can count on to get the job done." He said smiling at her.

"And we were going to a job tonight?"

"Yes, we were on our way to cause chaos at a wedding." Channing said standing up to light a cigarette.

"Why?"

"Let's just say payback 's a bitch."

"Well, if that's what we were going to do, then let's finish the job." She said getting up, obviously feeling better.

"No, the job can wait. We need to get you to a hospital and checked out. You've suffered a concussion and memory loss. I think it may be serious." Channing warned.

"I'm fine, I feel much better honest, I'm even starting to remember you. So if I said I was going to help you tonight, then I'm not going to."

"All right, I'm not going to fight with you. As soon as we get my car out of this ditch were on our way."

"And where precisely is that?"

"To a house called, Windwood.
#
Carla fell back as the memories flooded back with the picture still clutched to her chest she began crying. For a minute she forgot where she was, until Simon stirred in bed. She stopped dead like a statue in a department store window until it was clear he was still asleep.

"Nona, I've missed you." She whimpered as the tears hit the glass of the picture frame. I don't care how long it takes I will find my way back to you." Without warning, her head felt like it was going to explode blood began to seep out of her nose it was to the point where she felt like she was going to pass out or die.

She shut her eyes for a minute and then it all ended.

"Mama don't shoot." Simon yelled in his sleep, then rolled over onto his left side.

"Get it together, Lila, before one of them wakes up." She stated to herself as she set the photo back on the night stand.

She shifted back into a mouse and scuttled out of the same hole she had come in through once outside, and in human form she walked over to the garage, which was connected to the small cottage, inside was a baby blue 1967 Camaro.

"This is perfect." The driver side door was unlocked. Still, the keys were nowhere to be found. "Guess I have to do this the hard way." She began to fiddle with the wires underneath the steering wheel and in a matter of minutes, the engine came to life. "Pleasant dreams," Lila said, coming out of the car and closing the garage doorway, leaving the carbon monoxide to fill the home.
#
Donna stayed by her daughter's side, the whole night, unable to take her eyes off her. The idea of losing her awoke so many dormant feelings, feelings that were shut down the minute she became a vampire. Emotions she had hoped to never feel again.

A knock on the door brought her out of her thoughts.

"We're ready whenever you are." Sutton said from the door frame.

"All right, let's do it." She said excitedly, as the day finally came to clean and organize the attic.
Since she returned to Windwood all she wanted to do was restore the majesty of this once great plantation and that's what she was going to do from top to bottom. Toni, Brandon and Sutton stood outside with mops, buckets and brooms diligently awaiting their next orders.

After they climbed the massive wooden steps, they paused in front of a rusted iron door. The knob squeaked back to life when Donna turned the handle. They poked their heads inside and saw miles of cobwebs and inch-thick layers of dust on everything. Rodents scampered across the floorboards and pigeons used the rafters for home. The windows were so filthy; the rays of the sun were forever blocked out.

"When was the last time anyone was up here?" Brandon said, wiping at the cobwebs that hid the doorway.

"1910." Toni said jokingly.

"This is going to take all day." Brandon mocked.

"Oh, then it's a good thing we all don't have plans." Donna said, going in first Toni and Brandon just stared at each other while Sutton brought up the rear.

The vast attic was a treasure trove of forgotten treasures, the more they cleaned the more they found. Old clothing, silver, furniture and just about anything else in between.

"Mom, do you have any idea who this woman could be?" Brandon asked, he held out to her a very old painting of a woman with piercing, green eyes, creamy white skin and auburn hair. She wore a kind, most noble, grin.

"Where'd you get that?" Donna asked almost in tears.

"It was next to this diary on a shelf at the back of the attic."

"That woman's our ancestor, Flora Lord, according to family folklore; she was the Grand Duchess to the country of Marin and wife of Solomon Lord founder of this town. In 1812, she was found near the swamp ripped apart by alligators after catching her husband with another woman." Tears begin to sting at her eyes as she remembered the horrible events that led up to her mother's death.

Toni noticing that, Donna was about to lose it quickly changed the subject.

"Can you go see if Aaron needs help moving the trunks?" She stated.

"Why's it always me?" He stated, throwing up his arms and walking out.

"Are you okay?" Toni asked, placing a reassuring hand on her shoulder.

"This is the first time I've seen her in over 200 years." Donna said choked up as tears flowed down her face. "I almost forgot what she looked like." She continued to stare at the portrait.

"Have you ever read this?" Toni said, holding up the diary.

"No, I didn't know she kept one." Donna said, taking it from Toni and skimming the pages.

"Well, maybe, just maybe, you can get to know your mother again through her journal." Toni smiled and walked off. Unaware that Sutton had heard the whole exchange.
 

Author Notes Characters

Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Andrea Lord- Mother of Joshua and Simon. She has been institutionalized since she shot Simon.

Brandon Lord-Joshua and Donna's son. Resembles his late grandfather and its unknown if he carries the werewolf gene.

Aaron Sutton- Trusted and revered servant who has served the Lord family for decades.

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Carla Romano- Toni's granddaughter vanished without a trace the night of Simon and Georgia's wedding 20 years ago.

Lila- Channing's right hand woman and go to girl.


Chapter 23
Origins

By Jackreese

A few hours later, after they'd finished with the attic, Donna took the diary up to her room so she could be alone. She sat at the desk, flipped the lamp on and placed a piping hot cup of coffee to the left of her.

She was almost afraid to open the book out of fear, the pages would fall apart, with careful hands, she opened the diary and saw that it was written in her mother's hand. She took a sip of coffee, then leaned back into the chair to learn all she could about the mother she adored.
#
Windwood, Plantion
Circa 1781
The day began like any other day at Windwood the slaves were in the tobacco fields, the house slaves were buzzing about the mansion and Caleb Lord went for his ride at 6:45, as he had every day since he was old enough to ride.

A very expecting Flora, Solomon as well as his sister Regina had just sat down to breakfast in the dining room when one of the field slaves named Toby came flying up the front flagstones all flustered and out of breath screaming for Solomon.

"Massa Solomon, its Mr. Caleb. He's been hurt real bad." He said, bolting into the dining room. Solomon pushed out his chair and stormed outside. Flora sobbed in her chair as Nessy and Porter fanned her while Regina put a cold compress on her head.

"What happened?" Solomon asked from the porch when he saw overseer Burton carrying the lifeless body of his boy. Blood poured out of the wound on the side of his head.

"I'm not quite sure, Sir." Burton answered. "I found him in the field after he had been thrown from his horse; he struck his head on a tree." The overseer said with a strong southern drawl.

Burton was an older man with a large scar down his with and hands the size of cinder blocks which he would use from time to time on the slaves. He was tall, dark, mean and would take a bullet for, Solomon.

"Hurry up and get him upstairs into his room and into bed." Flora demanded as she came up beside Solomon.

"He's going to be fine my dear." Solomon said in an effort to convince her as well as himself. Flora squeezed Solomon's hand as she followed the men into the house when she suddenly doubled over and watched as her water broke all over the entrance hall floor.

"Solomon the baby's coming. Something's wrong, it's too early." Flora wailed as she doubled over again, this time blood was spotted between her legs.

"Regina help Nessy take Flora upstairs." Solomon took a deep breath and closed his eyes while trying hard to fight back the tears.
#
Flora's screams trickled out from the second floor bedroom. Outside the master bedroom Solomon paced back and forth as he waited for news on his wife's condition. Regina sat patiently in a chair outside the door.

"Calm yourself brother. I don't know what's getting to me more Flora's screaming or your pacing."

Minutes turned into hours and by eight o'clock that night Solomon's grief overwhelmed him. Nessy brought out some Jambalaya, corn bread and mint julep on a tray. Solomon jumped up, yelled and sent the tray flying into the wall before storming off.

"Parker, fetch Massa Solomon the baby's here." Aunty said as she came out of the bedroom with blood splattered all over her white apron. "It's a boy." Tears welled in her eyes and the normal smile she greeted everyone with was nowhere to be found.

"Aunty, what happened in there? What's my sister in-laws condition? Where's the midwife and how come I don't hear the baby?" Nessy and Toby looked at Aunty who completely crumbled.

Solomon stopped at the top of the stairs, after seeing Aunty sobbing; He rushed into the master bedroom. Flora lay propped up on large, fluffy feather pillows, her eyes were closed. Lots of blood and afterbirth littered the king size bed the smell of childbirth hung heavy in the bedroom.

"Where's the child?" Solomon asked the midwife who had her back to him.

"Right here Mr. Lord." The midwife handed the wrapped up child to his father. "The boy was stillborn. Mrs. Lord lost a lot of blood. The strain of the delivery may have weakened her heart. I suggest you have Dr. DuPont examine her when he's done with your son. She's sleeping now and may sleep for hours." Grabbing her things from the floor the midwife left.

"Flora, I warned you about having another child at your age. You were so animate I couldn't refuse. What did it get us more heartbreak and you near death?" Solomon looked down at the angelic face of his son and cried.

Regina lingered in the doorframe.

"Is there anything I can do? Maybe get Nessy or Parker to bring you something else to eat? A breeze is blowing in from the Aurora; maybe I could open up the windows or the gallery door and let some air in." Regina said moving toward the window.

"I would like to be alone with my wife and son."

Regina nodded and closed the bedroom doors.

Out in the hall Parker the butler and Nessy were consoling a hysterical Aunty, who seemed to be on the verge of fainting. Nessy fanned her while Parker made her sip from a glass of water.

"You's didn't see it poor, Miss Flora struggling for breath and screamin like I ain't ever heard. The midwife said the baby been dead for weeks inside Miss Flora." Aunty began to blubber some more.

A few moments later, Dr. DuPont came out of Caleb's room the grim news was written across his aging face. He looked at the group with sad eyes and tried to find the words to say when he saw the anguish in Solomon face, he knew this was going to be harder than he thought.

"Sorry, Mr. Lord your son is dead. The head injury was traumatic his skull fractured he slipped into a coma and passed away about five minutes ago. I am truly sorry I did all I could." He said sympathetically before leaving down the back stairs.

Solomon fell to the floor and sobbed like a baby, Regina tried to comfort him and he shoved her away even, Aunty tried, but his heartbreak got the best of him. They left him alone on the floor to deal with the harsh reality that in just one day he had lost two sons and almost his wife.

Flora might as well have died along with the baby they named Jacob and her beloved, Caleb that day. Her torment suffocated her keeping her from the life she once loved. Solomon tried to reach through the barrier his wife created, causing her only to slip further and further away.
Dr. DuPont suggested maybe an almshouse would suit her needs better, Solomon responded by punching him in the nose and chasing him off Windwood under no circumstances would the former Grand Duchess of Marin be subjected to one of those places.

Regina assumed all of Flora's duties including hostess. The Lord cotillion the social event of the season would be upon them before they knew it and this year Regina was at the helm. All Solomon's Wake waited with batted breath to see if Regina had what it took to follow in her sister in-laws footsteps and make the event a success.

Solomon had no worries about his sister's capabilities after all as the crown princess of Marin she was bred for just this. Even though the monarchy fell and their royal titles in America couldn't carry water, Solomon still ran his house like their former palace expecting his wife and sister to act like the princess's they were born to be, plus deep down inside he believed someday they would return to the throne.

Feeling sorry for himself, Solomon sat in the gallery with a bottle of whiskey in his hand, taking in all of the wonderful aromas that made him love South Carolina. Here in the Grand Duke's new domain, Solomon got to live the life he grew accustomed while being a sovereign.

Intoxication got the best of the former monarch; He began firing his pistol into the night sky than at the slaves on the ground all the while laughing like a banshee. Wearing his military uniform he always pulled out of the closet whenever he felt down.

"Massa, Solomon you's gonna fall." Aunty cried as she watched Solomon teeter on the edge of the balcony.

"Solomon, come down from there this instance." Regina hollered. She couldn't take her eyes off of him standing up there with his red jacket amid all his war decorations. He looked so refined with is silver hair pulled back into a ponytail.

"Why don't you come up and get me." He said, bowing and almost losing his balance, the crowd gasped.

"Stop fooling around and go back inside before you hurt yourself." Regina said, staring up at him from the ground.

"If I wanted to go inside I would." He barked.

"Please Solomon, get down." Regina said nervous, while keeping her beady eyes on her brother.

"All right mother hen I'll get down." He said, saluting the air as drops of whiskey landed on his sisters, wavy hair. Once he stepped down his ,right foot got caught under the railing and he fell face first onto the floor, smashing one of the wooden chairs in the process, as well as his ankle.

Taking her burgundy velvet dress into her hands Regina ran up the stairs with Parker and Nessy in tow. The hallway remained dark the ledges and railings were sticky from the humidity. Regina opened the door and found Solomon sprawled out on the floor, blood gushed from his nose and his ankle was so twisted she thought it was broken.

"Parker, let's get him on the bed." She commanded.

"Is everything all right in here?" A dazed Flora asked from the door with hair wild, skin white as snow. The green robe looked like it had been in a firing squad.

"Everything is under control. Aunty please take Mrs. Lord back to her room and fix her a nice cup of tea while I tend to my brother's wounds." Regina said as she lifted Solomon's leg onto the bed.

"Yesum," Aunty's heart broke seeing the mistress of the house so devastated it brought tears to her quarter size brown eyes. "Let's get you back in bed than ill brings ya some of that chamomile tea you loves so much." She said as she led Flora toward her bedroom.

"There will be no more happiness in this house." Solomon stammered from the bed. He reached underneath the bed and pulled out a near empty bottle of bourbon downed it quickly, then threw the tumbler at a portrait of Flora. Shards of glass sprayed the air and the floor, leaving the portrait ruined and discolored. Regina set out to clean the mess up when her brother seized her wrist.

Author Notes Characters

Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord, who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Solomon Lord- Exiled monarch of the Grand Duchy of Marin. Founder of Solomon's Wake and builder of Windwood.

Flora Lord-Wife of Solomon, Mother of Caleb and mistress of Windwood.

Regina Lord- Solomon's sister.

Caleb Lord- Heir to the throne of Marin.

Aunty-House slave whose main job is to care for Caleb and housekeeper.

Nessy-House slave.

Parker-House slave.



Chapter 24
The Beginning of the End

By Jackreese

Previous Chapter

"Everything is under control. Aunty please take Mrs. Lord back to her room and fix her a nice cup of tea while I tend to my brother's wounds." Regina said as she lifted Solomon's leg onto the bed.

"Yesum," Aunty's heart broke seeing the mistress of the house so devastated it brought tears to her quarter size brown eyes. "Let's get you back in bed than ill brings ya some of that chamomile tea you loves so much." She said as she led Flora toward her bedroom.

"There will be no more happiness in this house." Solomon stammered from the bed. He reached underneath the bed and pulled out a near empty bottle of bourbon downed it quickly, then threw the tumbler at a portrait of Flora. Shards of glass sprayed the air and the floor, leaving the portrait ruined and discolored.

Regina set out to clean the mess up when her brother seized her wrist.
#

"Let one of the house slaves clean it up." He growled.

"At least let me see to your wounds. You're bleeding." He nodded and Regina sat down beside him. Nessy filled the wash basin with water and handed it to Regina using a rag she began cleaning his knuckles. Solomon sat silently not even looking at her. The devils brew as Flora called any type of adult beverage do to its tendency to give the beneficiary loose lips as Regina was soon to learn.

"Flora used to be a good woman. Now she won't even look at me or let me touch her. When we ruled we ruled together as equals. I always allowed her to speak freely and do whatever she saw fit. From me letting her have a free reign, she thinks she can shut me out. I would give everything I have to see her smile or laugh again, I'd even sell my soul to Satan himself to give her another child if it would make her happy again." He said before passing out.
#
Dawn broke over Windwood beginning another day and with it a very hungover and aching Solomon. An opportunity will present itself that will change all their lives forever.
Sometime after ten that morning Solomon began to stir feeling like someone was bowling inside his head and slamming a spike into his ankle. He shifted his legs over the side of the bed, stepped down on his right foot it too felt like every bone in his foot cracked. He left out a small cry and sat back down on the bed.

"You're lucky it's not broken." Regina scolded from a chair near the side of the bed.

"It feels like it is." He sat hunched over with his hands on his silver head.

'"Maybe next time you'll lay off the booze and not carry on like a commoner." She said keeping her brown eyes glued to him, all the while continuing with her crocheting.

"I don't think you have to worry about that for a long while." He said, leaning over to grab a glass of water from the nightstand. "Have Nessy bring me something to eat, I'm starving." Solomon ordered as he reached for his glasses. Regina called out to someone in the hall to have someone bring the food.

"What was that all about last night? It's not like you." She said, shoving the door.

"I really don't know. I see her so despondent and miserable it breaks my heart. I've tried everything to reach her. I don't know what else to do. I'm afraid I will lose her if I don't do something." He looked to his sister with tears welling in his cerulean eyes. There was a slight knock on the door and Nessy entered with a tray of fried chicken collard greens and for dessert chocolate, doughnuts.

"There is something you can do. Go out to the swamp and look for Zita, she can help you." Nessy dropped the tray upon hearing this, sending the chicken to the floor and collard greens all over the wall.

"I's so sorry." She cried as she immediately began to clean up the mess. I'll Gets, Parker to fetch another try."

"That won't be necessary." Solomon said, putting up his hand. "What is it that's got you so spooked?" He asked.

"Nothin, Massa I's just a klutz." Nessy said, keeping her eyes on the floor and the mess she made.

"I don't believe you." He barked.

"Don't be afraid child tell the truth." Regina soothed.

"She's wicked and don't help nobody without a price. Dicey over at the Caulfield plantation tole me that the mistress of Noble Oaks couldn't pays her back, Zita put something in the water and mades all her hair fall out and she tooks one of her cherished spaniels and ate it. Worst of all Dicey say she turned one her daughters into a wolf"

"Thank you Nessy for your honesty. We can manage from here you can come back and clean this up later." Regina said as Nessy gathered as much of the broken glass and smashed up food as she could in her apron and slipped out the door.

"And you want me to go see this woman?" Solomon said, lying back down on the bed frustrated.

"You don't believe all this mumbo-jumbo. Do you? It's just slave talk nothing more, nothing less."

"Maybe so sister, but she was to be executed for witchcraft in Italy. Rumor has it she is a Karnstein by birth, which means she had the powers of darkness on her side.

Regina looked like she was going to faint just by hearing the name. "The vampire family from Austria I thought they died out years ago?"

"No one knows for sure what really happened to them. Zita was married off to a Duke of Tuscany. Many of the servants claimed she never gave up her evil ways and continued to practice the black arts. Her husband was found a few years later drained of blood, she was put on trial. Another powerful baron fell under her spell and helped her escape to America before she could be hanged. Not to mention her bewitching beauty which is so renowned as some are calling her the new Helen of Troy."

"So that's it? You're just going to give up?" Regina scolded.

"What choice do I have I cannot combat such evil?"

"Please, Solomon you must do it for me." Flora beseeched as she stumbled into the bedroom. "If she can give me another child, you have to do it or I will die. Every day that goes by is harder than the last and almost unbearable for me to live. I'm empty and nothing can help me except a new baby. If you don't get me a child, I will take my own life." She said, falling to her knees and begging some more.

"Flora you don't know what you're asking." He said, staring down at the stranger who had become his wife. "What you want is sacrilegious if we cannot pay her back then what?" He said, yanking her up and forcing her to look at him. "If we do this it will bring about our downfall."
He said staring into her clouded eyes. "I love you and would move heaven and earth to make you happy, but this I cannot condone." He said sternly as Regina looked on.

"No, no, no." Flora flared as she began to beat Solomon's chest. She then ran from his arms over to the window. "I will jump if you don't relent on this Parker and Nessy will be cleaning me off the flagstones for a week." She said throwing the windows open and stepping out onto the ledge.

"First, you and now her I swear the two of you are going to be the downfall of me not a witch. I'm going to have Aunty summon the doctor." Regina went to open the door when Solomon stopped her.

"No this is a family matter that stays between us. Just leave us alone for a while."

"If you cannot control your wife than might I suggest you find someone who can." She said going out into the hall.

"Mind your tongue woman or I will put you out of this house. Do I make myself clear?" He thundered.

"Yes." She bowed and went out into the hall.

"Flora please come inside." He said softly as he straddled the floor and the ledge. With his right hand grasping the crown molding, he used his left to reach for her. She in turn moved further away.

"Either you agree or I jump." Flora wailed. Without warning, she lost her balance and wobbled on the edge before falling. Solomon sprang into action and caught her by the wrist, all the while keeping his good ankle locked on the window ledge. Aunty watching everything from below wept as it looked like her beloved mistress was about to meet her maker.

"I've got you Flora hold on." He said as he used all his might to pull her up. Flora tried to wriggle out of his grasp.

"Please Solomon, let me die." Solomon looked into her tortured jade eyes, and ultimately yielded.

"As you wish, my sweet, first thing in the morning I will look for Zita." He said hesitantly as Flora let him pull her to safety.

"Thank you. Thank you." Flora cried ecstatically as she threw up her arms and wrapped them tightly around Solomon's neck while kissing his cheek and lips. For the first time in months he caught a brief glimpse of the woman he married.

"Don't thank me yet. I can't help feeling that this is a mistake and we're all going to pay for it." He said leading her back through the window where Aunty and Nessy awaited one with a blanket to wrap her and the other a cup of her favorite tea.

"Take Mrs. Lord back to her room. I'll be back to talk to you later" He commanded than kissed her on the cheek.

"I's got some more piping hot tea for ya in your room." Aunty said as she placed her left arm about Flora's waist to help steady her. Nessy stood dutifully behind the duo in case her mistress fell backward.

Solomon sat down in the corner chair next to the window and let out a heavy sigh as he stretched his legs out. With all the excitement today he had almost forgotten about his foot as he looked down, he could see it was still very swollen and bruised.

"You should elevate that." Regina said entering the room.

"Do you know how to knock?" He growled.

"I want to go with you tomorrow when you see the witch." She said, sliding a little stool under his leg and ignoring his earlier comment.

"That is out of the question." He snapped.

"Why?" She persisted.

"The swamp is no place for a former Princess."

"Well then, at the same time it isn't a place for a former Grand Duke, either." Regina persisted.

"This discussion is closed you are not going besides, I am going to pay a visit to the Caulfield plantation first to see what I can find out."

"Noble Oaks there's not much left of it but a few slaves and the loony owner. The mistress ran off after she tried to burn the house down and most of the slaves ran off that night." Regina said standing up and lighting a few candles in the room.

"I need to know what I'm getting our family into."

"Make sure you take a couple of slaves with you, Matthew Caulfield's been known to take out his shotgun and use it on anything that moves." She said, blowing out the match.

"I'm well aware of that sister and that's just exactly what I'm going to do. Is there anything else you'd like to advise me on, perhaps how to run my house, my marriage or the family purse strings?"

"I was worried for your well-being that's all."

"Your concern touches me, now, if you'll excuse me, I have a long day ahead of me and I need my rest."

Curtsying Regina left the room, leaving Solomon to stir in his thoughts

Author Notes Characters
Solomon Lord- Exiled monarch of the Grand Duchy of Marin. Founder of Solomon's Wake and builder of Windwood.

Flora Lord-Wife of Solomon, Mother of Caleb and mistress of Windwood.

Regina Lord- Solomon's sister.

Caleb Lord- Heir to the throne of Marin.

Aunty-House slave whose main job is to care for Caleb.

Nessy-House slave

Parker-House slave.



Chapter 25
Noble Oaks

By Jackreese

Previous Chapter
"Noble Oaks there's not much left of it but a few slaves and the loony owner. The mistress ran off after she tried to burn the house down and most of the slaves ran off that night." Regina said standing up and lighting a few candles in the room.

"I need to know what I'm getting our family into."

"Make sure you take a couple of slaves with you, Matthew Caulfield's been known to take out his shotgun and use it on anything that moves." She said, blowing out the match.

"I'm well aware of that sister and that's just exactly what I'm going to do. Is there anything else you'd like to advise me on, perhaps how to run my house, my marriage or the family purse strings?"

"I was worried for your well-being that's all."

"Your concern touches me, now, if you'll excuse me, I have a long day ahead of me and I need my rest."

Curtsying Regina left the room, leaving Solomon to stir in his thoughts
#
Just before cockcrow, Solomon gathered Toby and Parker in the entry hall. Kissed Flora, tipped his hat and set out for Noble Oaks. As the wagon prodded along the macadam the men sat silently as trees, houses and soon the Aurora River disappeared.

Solomon stopped to stare at the mansion, it wasn't the palace he grew up in none the less it was magnificent. The two story clapboard federal style house with a low pitched roof and large Palladian windows afforded a view of the palmetto and oak trees draped in Spanish moss.

About forty five minutes later the burnt out shell that was Noble Oaks came into view as the coach progressed down the shaded path provided by the live oaks, Solomon could see that this once great plantation known for its fine indigo was now nothing but a wasteland.

The coach continued on through the rusted and fallen apart gate to the front porch where an older white haired caramel skinned woman stood, sweeping she looked to them then back to the floor.

"Is your master home?" Solomon said cautiously approaching the front stairs.

"Whatcha want Lord?" A gruff voice said hidden in the shadows of the entry hall.

"I would like to have a word with you if I may?"

"Don't come any further." A crazed Matthew Caulfield hollered as he thrust open the screen door and faced Solomon down with a pistol. "Why, so you can go back into town and tell everyone that you got to see Loony Matthew Caulfield or maybe you're here steal whatever little bit I have left." He flared still pointing the gun at Solomon.

"Actually, I'd like to talk to you about the witch, Zita." He spoke softly. Matthew's face softened and he lowered the musket.

"You believe me?" He said almost euphorically. "Dicey fetch the horses some water and see if you can muster up a little grub for me and Mr. Lord." He said, stepping aside and motioning with his hand for Solomon to enter the house.

The mansion was bare apart from a few rockers and crates they used as tables scattered about. Stray cats littered the winding staircase and old newspapers were scattered throughout the downstairs, windows were broken and the doors were off their hinges.

"I know she's in a sad state a far cry from the jewel she once was." Matthew said as he scooted an orange tabby cat from one of the rockers. "Please sit." He motioned as he sat down in the other rocker to left of Solomon. "What is it you wanna know about the witch?"

"Anything you can tell me. My wife is overwrought with grief and Zita may be the only one who can help snap her out of it."

"Whatever you do, don't go to her." He said almost afraid.

"I don't know what else to do." Solomon said, looking over to Matthew, who had his head laid back and eyes shut.

Matthew was about twenty years younger than Solomon yet he looked thirty years older. His blonde hair had turned white he wore a patch over his left eye ever since he lost it in a duel and his face was furrowed, worn and tortured all in one. One of the many cats that roamed the house jumped up and settled into its owner's lap.

"Isn't she a beauty?" He said getting off topic and scratching the calico under the neck.

"You were saying about Zita."

"She will promise you the world and fool you into believing all her assurances. She will ask you to give her something in return for what she offers and the moment you can't fulfill your obligation her vile nature will be revealed and she will destroy your family and take everything that ever meant anything to you. Look around you, do I look like I have the world at my feet, an adoring wife or thriving plantation? All this was her doing." He said waving his hand indicating the dilapidated condition of Noble Oaks.

Dicey entered the parlor very slowly carrying a tray of two tea cakes and two cups of tea. The old woman placed the tray down in front of them and almost toppled over in the process, then as she turned to leave tripped again over one of the felines.

"You be needin anything else?" She asked.

"That will be all." Matthew yelled so loud all the cats scattered. "Dicey's hard of hearing." He said, handing Solomon a cup of tea. "I'm sorry I don't have much else to offer"

"This is fine, thank you." Solomon answered. "I know this is a sore subject, and I don't mean any harm, but I really must find Zita."

"That does it, get out." Matthew roared jumped up, sending the tea all over his pants and the cats running for shelter. "Have you not been listening? I will not tell you. In the long run you will thank me." He said storming off outside.

"Great, now what," Solomon said, putting his cup back on the tray and finishing his little cake

"Psst!" Dicey called from the shadows of the hallway.

He threw his napkin down, looked to make sure Matthew was nowhere in sight and slowly followed her out into the hallway. Dicey stared at him with bright eyes and a smooth, gentle face, she seemed almost frightened to talk to him.

"I shouldn't be tellin you none of this." Dicey said, continuing down the hall, stopping in front of a large oak door.

"What really happened here the night of the fire?" He asked, looking down at the tiny woman.

"I's tell ya if ya do somethin for me." She said running her hand lovingly on the door.

"What is it you would like?"

"The key for this here door." She said quickly. "My baby girl in there and I wants her out."

"Why is he keeping his daughter in there?"

"Get the key and I tells ya." She repeated.

"Where can I find this key?" He said as he watched Dicey continued to stare at the door.

"It's a skeleton key Massa keeps it around his neck. About now he should be, passed out upstairs on the bed. Every day, it the same thing with him, he drink too much then goes to sleep it off."

"I'll do my best to get it. Are you ready to face the consequences for what we're about to do?"

"Yesum, you's tryin to save your family and I's trying to save mine. When the girls were born into this world I's the one that diapered them. When theys got sick with the Diphtheria I's nursed them back and after Miss Mae left poor Miss Pammy was swallowed by darkness. Then her sister, Miss Lizzy breathed her last breath and my sweet girl slipped further away. Massa kept her under lock and key out of fear, she bring shame to the family it ain't right keeping that sweet girl in there.

"All right, I'll do my best to get the key and get her out." He patted her shoulder made a left down a hall then up the wooden stairs.

"Holds on sugar plum helps on the way." Dicey yelled through the door.

Upstairs, the fire had ravaged every nook and cranny of the second floor. It still smelled like smoke and the inside of a chimney. Black soot stuck to the walls like gum. The cool winds from the outside chilled the air as he got to the end of the hall. He saw Matthew's room and could hear him snoring.

Solomon cautiously approached the room and across from it, he saw the room where the fire had started. The room had been burnt to a crisp and was nothing more than an eyesore.

He poked his head inside Matthew's room through the open doorway and found this room was barely touched by the fire. Matthew was sleeping like a baby on his back with his mouth wide open. As Solomon drew nearer, he noticed the key was not around Matthew's neck. Alarmed, he turned to run out of the room when he noticed an open Chippendale desk to the left of the door.

At first look, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. There were books behind the glass and papers scattered on the desktop. He approached the desk and began to rummage through the mess before him. He stopped searching when he came across a golden locket. He hesitated before he picked it up. Underneath the locket, he found the key. He picked up the key but looked closer at the locket. It was encrusted with rubies. He open it up by pressing the latch at the top of the locket. A picture of a beautiful fair skinned woman with fiery hair was inside.

With sudden haste, he hurried out of the room, down the stairs, and back to the central hallway where Dicey had fallen asleep on the floor with her back against the door. As he watched the woman sleep, he began to have doubts about giving her the key. He began to question weather or not he would be able to pay whatever price Zita will demand for her help.

"You gots the key." Dicey smiled wide revealing a set of beautiful white choppers. She jumped up from the floor as if she was a teenager and went for the key.

"You're not getting this until you tell me everything I need to know," he said, dangling the key in front of her.

"Alright, I tells ya." She sat back down on the stairwell. She took in a deep breath, sighed and began. "Miss Mae wanted to gives Massa Matthew a male chile. But at her age, there was no way she'd bear him a healthy boy. She begs me to talk to the conjurer and I's did. But he couldn't help her. But he told me of someone who could. Zita, the witch. Zita shacked up out in the swamp off of Huntoon Drive. You needs a rowboat to get there." Dicey paused to take a breath. "We defied Massa Matthew's orders and went in the dark of night with just a whale-oil lamp to guides us. Her little wooden shack was lit up all like a Chrissen tree and she sat with her legs all out on display plucking a fiddle and waling some song in some language I ain't never heard of before. I's covered Miss Mae's eyes cause it ain't fittin' for a woman of Miss Mae's breedin' to sees that kind of trash on display. I's cleared my throat to let her know we was there and the most beautiful woman I ever seens in my life looked at us."

"I did not realize Zita lived that close by." He uttered as he sat beside her.

"Zita invited us up intos her shack and gave us some kind of concoction she had a brewing in a cauldron. Right aways, she knew we wanted something. Miss Mae tolds her what she wanted and Zita agreed, as long as she gots a chile in return. We went home and Miss Mae simmered over it. When she approached Massa with it, he went mad and left the house for days. At last, when he came back, he told Miss Mae to do it and everything was fine. Miss Mae delivered a beautiful baby names Bronson. Then the unthinkable happens. The child Zita had, died.

"Is she the reason the house burned down?"

"No, that was all Miss Mae. Zita demanded she be paid back and Massa Matthew says no. That's when things started to get crazy round here. It begans when Miss Mae's hair falled out. Her beloved spaniels was found ate out in the stable. And then baby Bronson was found dead. Miss Lizzy and Miss Pammy was found in the woods. Poor Miss Lizzie was cold as a wagon wheel and Miss Pammy was cut so bad I's thought she would die."

"I thought Lizzie died from a fever?"

"Nuh-uh, she was killed bys a wild animal. Miss Mae says it was part of Zita's revenge and later she began to believes her own daughter was a wolf so much so she sets fire to Noble Oaks in hopes of killing her and prit'near everybody else." Dicey appeared to choke up at the memory.

"Why is she still in there?"

"You have to the count of three to give me back my key and get out of here," Matthew said creeping up behind them and pointing the gun at the back of his head.

"I just wanted..."

"Get out of my house and don't ever think of coming back," he demanded, motioning him to leave while keeping the gun aimed at him. Solomon reluctantly turned to leave. Dicey was still sitting on the stairs. Solomon stopped and turned back. He heard Matthew cock the trigger.

"I's sorry Massa!" Dicey wailed.

"You're gonna be."

Author Notes Characters
Solomon Lord- Exiled monarch of the Grand Duchy of Marin. Founder of Solomon's Wake and builder of Windwood.

Flora Lord-Wife of Solomon, Mother of Caleb and mistress of Windwood.

Matthew Caulfield- Owner of Noble Oaks Plantation. Believed mad after insisting a witch cursed his family and turned them into werewolves.

Dicey- Beloved Mammy to the Caulfield girls


Chapter 26
Zita

By Jackreese

Previous Chapter

You have to the count of three to give me back my key and get out of here," Matthew said creeping up behind them and pointing the gun at the back of his head.

"I just wanted..."

"Get out of my house and don't ever think of coming back," he demanded, motioning him to leave while keeping the gun aimed at him. Solomon reluctantly turned to leave. Dicey was still sitting on the stairs. Solomon stopped and turned back. He heard Matthew cock the trigger.

"I's sorry Massa!" Dicey wailed.

"You're gonna be."
#
Huntoon drive was dark and desolate when they finally got there. Solomon stopped the carriage and gave orders to Toby and Parker to stay and if he was not back in an hour to return to Windwood and let Flora know what happened.

A small wooden rowboat was moored in the swamp, it had been years since he used one, but he believed he could still maneuver it.

The dark waters of the bog were still as he glided along toward Zita's shack there was no wind, no moon or even signs of wildlife it was very unreal. At last the wooden structure appeared in the middle of nowhere lit up by candles and a large fire with a cauldron atop it just like Dicey described.

No sooner had he secured the boat and began to ascend the ladder. When she poked her head down it was as if she had expected him the whole time. Solomon froze and just eyed the beauty before him never in all his years as he seen a woman so perfect, her hair was dark as night she had thin, dark eyes and skin so soft and tan he wanted to run his hands across it.

"Are you going to admire me from down there all night or are you going to come up?" She said in a heavy Italian dialect.

"I'm sorry I did not mean to offend." He said continuing up the ladder.

"The only time anyone comes out here to see me is when they want something from me." She said, blowing on the fire that had seemed to go out and in an instant she had it roaring.

"Yes, I am afraid I need your help."

"My help is not cheap and it will cost you depending on what is." She said, sitting down on a rocking chair in front of the fire.

"I am well aware of that." He said focusing his attention on her bare leg.

"They've been talking about me in town again. I am glad they are afraid of me as they should be." She pulled out what looked like a pipe and began to smoke it. "What is it you want from, Zita?" She continued blowing a plume of smoke into the air.

"I want you to help my wife conceive a child." He acknowledged as she stared at him a few feet away in the rocker.

"The price for that will be your seed." She continued to puff on her pipe. "If you refuse I will not give you what you need for your wife.

"I need to discuss this further with her I cannot just..."

"Mr. Lord this is the only opportunity you have if you walk away now, there will not be another chance." Zita warned as she stood up from the chair to face the night sky and began to cry out in Latin.

"I should not have come this was a mistake." Solomon was about to leave when the image of a broken Flora invaded his thoughts.

"Are you sure you want to leave?" Zita asked in a familiar voice.

He turned to find his wife standing in the moonlight, looking as she did when he first courted her over thirty years ago. Solomon made the sign of the cross and inched away from her.

"What kind of devilry is this?" He hollered as Zita continued to pursue him.

"I'm just giving you what you want. There's nothing evil about it. You may do with me what you want."

Not knowing what came over him, Solomon ripped the front of Zita's dress com-pletely off exposing her bronzed bosom.

"Take me, I'm yours." Zita said sultry as she slipped off the rest of her dress and lead the Grand Duke onto the bed.
#
True to her word, Zita had given him Flora's favorite lavender bath oil. Once she soaked in it. It would only be a matter of time before the rest happened.

As he sat in the carriage on the way back to Windwood he felt so guilty and ashamed for what he had done to his wife. He should have been stronger in his faith and his love to resist the ways of the witch.

As the coach took the usual bend, Solomon could see Flora, Regina and Aunty through the trees waiting patiently for their beloved patriarch to return.

"Welcome home, Husband." Flora chirped. "You must be famished after such a long journey? Parker take Mr. Lord's belongings back to his room and Aunty go into the kitchen and see if you can rustle up some dinner for Mr. Lord and my dear sweet sister in-law could you pour us a couple of brandy's please." She said taking his belongings and placing them on the entry hall table.

"Certainly," Regina replied.

"Is that for me?" She squealed when she saw the bath oil.

"Before you get too excited I need to talk you about something." He said taking her hands into his. Flora, however, was not hearing anything he said.

"Nessy," She called out into the hall. "Draw me a bath and put lots of these in it." She said, handing her the bottle than ripping her clothes off in the middle of the entry hall.

"Flora I must speak with you." He persisted.

"Can we discuss this later? I want to start this straight away." She said heading toward the stairs with Nessy in tow.

"Nessy can you give mistress and I a moment?" Without looking up Nessy slipped out from behind Flora and scuttled off to the bedroom with the oil in hand.

"Really, Solomon whatever you must tell me could have waited a little while longer." Flora said, obviously annoyed as she continued up the wooden stairs to the dark second floor.

"Would you please stop walking?" He grumbled as she neared the bedroom. Flora acted as if she hadn't heard a word he said. Solomon grabbed her and spun her around.

"I don't want to know." She said as she turned back to the door.

"You must." He said, seizing her wrist and making her face him. The look in her eyes said it all and it was at that moment he realized he made a grave mistake. "I had to bed the witch in order to deliver the bath oil." Flora continued to stare at him as though he were a stranger. "Are you hearing me?" He said shaking her.

"I told you to do whatever you saw fit." She said unfazed. Opening the door bed-room door, she peeled her clothes off and slipped into the water, letting out such a sigh Solomon blushed.
Solomon could not take his eyes off of her.

At her age her skin was still flawless and smooth as silk; her hair was full, luxurious and shone a bright auburn, her breasts were voluptuous. While he gazed upon her he felt like the happiest man in the world and decided not say anything about the other baby.

Author Notes Characters
Solomon Lord- Exiled monarch of the Grand Duchy of Marin. Founder of Solomon's Wake and builder of Windwood.

Flora Lord-Wife of Solomon, Mother of Caleb and mistress of Windwood.

Regina Lord- Solomon's sister.

Zita Corsini- Born into the aristocratic Karnstein family notorious for dabbling in black magic and devil worship. After being scorched by Flora Lord in the 18th century she placed the curse that haunts them now.

Aunty-House slave whose main job is to care for Caleb.

Nessy-House slave

Parker-House slave.


Chapter 27
A Woman Scorned

By Jackreese

Previous Post

"Would you please stop walking?" He grumbled as she neared the bedroom. Flora acted as if she hadn't heard a word he said. Solomon grabbed her and spun her around.

"I don't want to know." She said as she turned back to the door.

"You must." He said, seizing her wrist and making her face him. The look in her eyes said it all and it was at that moment he realized he made a grave mistake. "I had to bed the witch in order to deliver the bath oil." Flora continued to stare at him as though he were a stranger. "Are you hearing me?" He said shaking her.

"I told you to do whatever you saw fit." She said unfazed. Opening the bedroom door, she peeled her clothes off and slipped into the water, letting out such a sigh Solomon blushed.
Solomon could not take his eyes off of her.

At her age her skin was still flawless and smooth as silk; her hair was full, luxurious and shone a bright auburn, her breasts were voluptuous. While he gazed upon her he felt like the happiest man in the world and decided not say anything about the other baby.
#
New post

Zita's potion worked and Flora found herself pregnant. After a relatively easy pregnancy, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl, HRH Princess Martha Jeanette Amelia, heiress to the Grand Ducal throne of Marin. Solomon was so ecstatic, not only did he change the laws of succession to allow Martha to ascend the throne after his passing, he also lead a grand parade through town riding his stallion in full military regalia while Flora, Regina, and the new princess rode in a newly purchased ivory carriage with gold trim.

When darkness fell, the sky lit up in green, red, blue and gold as fireworks were set off in honor of the birth followed by cannon fire across the Aurora to let the town and the world know that an heir had finally come.

The family had been the happiest it had been in years, even Regina, who had a natural standoff nature, fell in love with the new addition and offered many a night to watch her while husband and wife enjoyed some alone time.

It was on this particular night as they walked along the river Solomon's lies caught up to him and his one night of passion sets off a wicked curse that knows no bounds, whose fury reaches out from beyond the grave to seek out and destroy anyone with the last name Lord.

"It's such a beautiful night out, my dear," Solomon exclaimed as they walked arm in arm along the river with a lantern and a few slaves behind them.

"Even the air smells sweet." Flora drew in a deep breath through her nose. "I love the scent of Carolina Jessamine," she said, lightly brushing her fingers across the yellow flower.

"It's so good to see you smile again." He squeezed her hand and gently kissed it.

"I have a lot more reasons to these days. I was watching Martha the other day and I swear I saw her follow Aunty all over the room with her eyes, and every time she came back into the room, she would smile."

"Already dazzling the masses and she's not even one." Solomon beamed.

"Solomon," a voice called out from the darkness. Flora almost jumped out of her skin and Solomon stood in front of his wife in an effort to protect her.

"Who's there?" He said trying to see through the obscurity.

"Something's wrong with the baby." A disheveled, weak, and perspiring Zita came out from behind a live oak, holding an infant girl. Solomon blanched and felt the heat rise in his face.

"Who is this woman?" Flora asked as she stared her down from head to toe.

"I am the mother of his other daughter," Zita blurted as she returned Flora's glare. The witch relished in Flora's pain as it clearly stung at her heart and cut her worse than Zita ever could.

"Solomon, is this true?"

When he didn't look her directly in the eyes, she had her answer. Undaunted by her husband's betrayal, she took the child from her mother and began charging through the woods. Zita began to scream like a wild woman as she followed her into the night, every now and then clawing at her in an attempt to reach the baby.

"Have you lost your mind, woman?" Solomon scolded as he caught up with Flora. He stepped in front of his wife to stop her from running.

"Solomon, this child is another heir and a living breathing person. What kind of Christian woman would I'd be if I didn't try and help?" She said at length, stepping around Solomon as she set to find Zita's shack.

"Why not return to Windwood? I don't see the point in going to that awful shack?" Solomon had said in hopes of dissuading his headstrong wife.

"Time is of the essence and this child will die if we don't do something soon," Flora warned.

"Do whatever you must save my baby," a weakened Zita uttered as she slowly brought up the rear.

"Is it much further?" Flora asked out of breath while continuing to hold the girl to her bosom.

"Just about another half mile through the woods," Zita said, stopping to lean against a tree. The moonlight radiated off her like a beacon and Solomon took notice much to Flora's chagrin. To get through this ordeal, Flora just prayed and left it in God's hands, that alone was enough to give her strength.

"Solomon, go back to Windwood and bring the carriage to the swamp, so when the baby is strong enough we can leave straight away."

"I can't just leave you in the middle of nowhere?" He persisted.

"For once, husband, just do as I ask. I will be fine, unlike the child if we don't get back to that shack."

"There it is," Zita exclaimed.

"I will be home in a matter of days, promise." Flora pecked his cheek real quick and hurried over to the row boat. Once inside, Solomon pushed the wooden boat and watched them until he couldn't see them anymore.

The women sat in silence the entire ride to the shack. The little one remained still as well. Zita tied the boat, took the baby, and flew up the ladder before Flora was even out of the boat. The whole structure looked like it would tumble into the swamp at any given second. For a woman who did not frighten, this was enough to shake her.

"Are you going to stay down there?" Zita called down.

"Just a moment." With a deep breath, she began to ascend the ladder.

The southern air was stifling and the swamp surrounding them was eerily quiet and obscure. Even the locusts were still. Zita continued to keep the fire under her cauldron going.

"When did you notice the child wasn't herself?" Flora ripped a piece of her dress off and soaked in the water from under the hut.

"This morning. She wouldn't eat and became very ornery. When she wouldn't stop crying, I picked her up and noticed she was burning up."

"Is that when you decided to bring her ashore?"

"I didn't know what else to do. I've already lost a child and could not bear to lose another. You of all people should know how that feels."

"I do. I lost both my boys on the same day. If it wasn't for Martha coming along, I would be lying in the mausoleum with them." She sighed as she took the baby back from Zita. "Why don't you go get some rest while I stay with the baby? You look exhausted and quite frankly you will not be any good to her in this state."

"I could use some rest, thank you."

Zita scuttled off toward the back of the shack, while Flora sat in the rocker and began to sing a lullaby to the baby, who seemed to be resting comfortably. She was so tiny and looked angelic, she stole Flora's heart .

She continued to look down at the baby. "I don't even know your name."

Flora heard something splash in the water below, and in that moment realized where she was and came to the conclusion that the shack and the swamp was no place for the descendent of a former monarch to live. Getting the child away from Zita was not going to be an easy task and could end up being her death, but she had to try.

Looking around, all she saw was open space and the radiance of the flame that kept her cauldron warm and supplied the ignition source for her pipe. Keeping the child close to her bosom, she made her way over to the ladder and was about to climb down the ladder, when Zita came back out.

"Going somewhere?"

"I was just...," Flora stammered.

"Give me back my daughter," she demanded. Her face became dark, her lips curled and her eyes blazed red as she staggered toward Flora. "I'm afraid, my lady, you've toyed with the wrong woman."

Suddenly, a dense black smoke began to envelope the shack as Zita cried out some words in Italian and slowly began changing into a giant cobra. Unable to move out of fear, the Grand Duchess watched as the witch grew bigger and bigger.

The baby wailed loudly, bringing Flora back to reality. Her eyes then fell on the cauldron and to the fire a few feet from her.

"Go back to the depths of hell where you belong, witch!" Flora kicked the cauldron over. The boiling brew burned Zita, transforming her back into a woman. Zita screamed in agony as the brew seared her exposed skin and then fire began to claim the shack.

The fire spread rapidly, trapping Zita behind a wall of flames, allowing Flora to take leave with the baby. Zita's screams trickled out as the shack burned. Soon the roof collapsed on the witch and the flames devoured the rest of the hut.

Flora and the baby just made it away in time, for the foundation gave way and crashed into the muddy swamp water, causing a surge that nearly flipped the little boat and propelled them back to land in seconds.

A worried Solomon came out from the shadows with Martha in his arms. "What have you done?"
Flora didn't answer him right away. "Flora?" He repeated more firmly,

Author Notes Characters
Solomon Lord- Exiled monarch of the Grand Duchy of Marin. Founder of Solomon's Wake and builder of Windwood.

Flora Lord-Wife of Solomon, Mother of Caleb and Martha. Mistress of Windwood.

Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord, who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Zita Corsini- Mother of Eleanor Lord. Born into the aristocratic Karnstein family notorious for dabbling in black magic and devil worship. After being scorched by Flora Lord in the 18th century, she placed the curse that haunts them now.

Eleanor Lord-Stolen by Flora as a baby. She is raised side by side with Martha. Flora's treats her as her own.


Chapter 28
What's Done Is Done

By Jackreese

Flora looked at him with a stone cold glare and pursed lips. "I did what I had to. Why do you have Martha?" Her tone was almost chilling. It took Solomon by surprise.

"She was being ornery. I presumed it was because she wanted her mother." He faltered as she continued to leer at him, as if he had done something incorrect. "You did not answer my question." He found his spine and asked her again, only this time he was more resolute. "What did you do?"

"What have I done? This is your daughter, husband, your child that you were going to leave to be raised in the swamp by a witch whose own lineage dates back to Satan himself. How would that look to our subjects? Or what could it do to our chances of reclaiming the throne? Do you think Mairn would welcome us back with open arms, knowing that the second in line to succeed you is a product of your affair with a condemned witch? Not just any witch, but a Karnstein? That name alone is enough to strike fear in the hearts of the most valiant of men," Flora concluded as she made a few silly faces at Martha to make her laugh.

"That's just hearsay." Solomon knew she spoke the truth, but hoped this answer would be enough to stifle his wife's tirade.

"Perhaps. Then answer me true. Why was Karnstein Castle almost burned to the ground? And why did that general also say he staked them all while they slept in their tombs? I'm sure if we went to Vienna we could find more information about them in the imperial library."

A red faced Solomon fired back. "What do you want me to say, Flora? It's not true or tell you that it's all in your head? I told you this was a bad idea, yet you insisted. As you so eloquently put it, she was a Karnstein who you set on fire. Did you ever think there would be reprisals for killing her and taking her baby? When I went to Noble Oaks, I found out that the fire, the death of the Caulfield girl, and the reason Mae ran off was because of Zita. They neglected to pay her back and as a result paid the price, and now my dear so shall we."

Martha began to cry as she didn't like the loudness of her parents' voices. "It's ok princess, papa's here," he soothed as he rocked the girl in his arms.

"Oh Solomon, I didn't.." Flora couldn't finish her sentence. She slipped down to sit on the ground. She continued to cradle the baby as she looked out at the remnants of the shack. The logs that were its foundation now floated on the water, giving them the appearance of an alligator under the light of the full moon.

"What's done is done," Solomon said softly. " I think we should be on our way." He offered his hand to her and she eagerly accepted it. "I think when we get back to the house, we need to come up with a name for her."

"I would like to call her Eleanor after my mother," she added as they walked toward the road.

"Eleanor it is," he affirmed as he helped Flora over a fallen tree. The forest was dense and treacherous at night and there was no telling what other animals lurked in the shadows.

"How far is the carriage?"

"It's just through that clearing."

A howl filled the air, followed by another and then another.

"Solomon, what was that?" Flora asked as she gripped his hand tighter.

"I don't know. Let's not wait around and find out."

"I'm frightened."

"Look, you can see the carriage from here," Solomon announced after they cleared another ditch.

"Thank the good Lord," Flora exclaimed as she saw the white doors and the lanterns ablaze.

Another howl sounding closer filled the night air spooking the horses resulting in them kicking and neighing until they broke free from the carriage. Parker and Toby chased after them, trying to get hold of the reigns.

Toby was able to get his hands on Moonshadow, a beautiful white American Quarter horse, the older of the steeds who had a wild streak. Only Toby seemed to be able to control him. The other, a female of the same breed named Lace, was nowhere to be found.

Toby let out a sigh of relief, "Alright boy, take it easy," he said as he held tight to the leather bridle. "Eryting goan be jis' fine." Moonshadow nuzzled his head into Toby's hand.

No sooner had the stallion calmed, an eruption about an acre away created a crimson hue that lit up the sky for miles. Large plumes of gray and white smoke drifted up toward the heavens and engulfed the area with the smell of burnt oak.

Flora gasped, "Solomon," grasping his hand tightly.

Moonshadow broke free again, but this time, he reared and came down on Toby's foot. Toby screamed in agony as he felt the full weight of the horse. His bones crushed underneath Moonshadow's right hoof. He dropped to the ground like a sack of rice. Moonshadow galloped down the path at lightning speed just as Parker came out of the clearing. The stallion rammed into him, sending him into the air and into the brush where he lay motionless.

"I think we need to move." Solomon took Eleanor from Flora. Now, both girls were crying in his arms as they hurried down the path that was fully lit from the fire.

"What could cause such a pyre?" Flora asked. Her auburn hair broke free and was wild cascading down her back.

"I think it's Noble Oaks. It has to be. It's the only thing big enough to cause such an inferno."
Another howl tore through the woods, only this time it was a lot closer.

"Did you hear that?" Flora whispered.

Both froze in their tracks as they saw the bushes up ahead moving. A baby fawn trotted out and they both giggled and breathed a sigh of relief until a huge silver wolf bolted out behind her, taking the fawn in its steel-like jaws, mashing it to pieces.

The wolf stopped and stared at them. It snarled and growled as it advanced toward the hapless family. Flora screamed as the beast inched closer to her and the girls. Solomon tried to intervene, but with a quick flip of the paw, it sent Solomon into a nearby hemlock tree.

It was so close to her face, she could see right into its nostrils, and even saw the fawn's fur still in its teeth. Flora thought she was a goner and closed her eyes and made the sign of the cross.

A shot rang out and the wolf yelped as a bullet pierced the side of its rib cage. The beast collapsed in a heap and, in falling, revealed Mae Caulfield standing behind it looking stone cold and about as friendly as a viper.

"Silver gets them everytime," she said dryly, with an air of regality as she stepped over the carcass. Her blond hair was brushed back from her oval face and her small green eyes glistened with tears yet to flow.

"What was that thing?" Flora asked as she tended to the girls. Solomon placed them behind a large rock shortly before they were attacked.

"You're looking at what remains of my little girl, Pamela." Mae continued to fight back tears. "I warned Matthew that we had to destroy her, but he could not be reasoned with. He locked her in a room downstairs and used silver shackles to keep her there and kept the only key. With no choice, I...," she trailed off.

"Set fire to Noble Oaks," Flora finished.

"I did what I felt was best. I could not let that thing get out and spread this disease. I failed the last time, but tonight I succeeded. I returned home to find Pamela escaped. She killed Matthew and severely injured Dicey. This time I made sure the house..." Before she could finish, the wolf sprang up and clamped its mouth down on Mae's neck and dug her claws into her shoulders.

"Shoot me," she grimaced as Pamela continued to gnaw on her mother's throat. "Don't let me become one of them." Pamela threw her aside like a frisbee and then set her sights on Flora.

Pamela rushed at her with the speed of a cheetah. Flora watched in horror as Pamela leapt into the air to pounce on her when another bullet was fired.

Solomon fired from the rifle that Mae dropped and shot Pamela in the head. When she crashed to the ground, a beautiful young blond woman had replaced the wicked beast.

Pamela lay a few feet from where the girls were.

"Flora, are you hurt?" Solomon ran up to her and encircled her in his arms while kissing her on the head. "Let me see you." He took her hands and looked over them.

"I am fine, just a little shaken," she said with an unsteady voice while looking down at the body of the Caulfield girl.

"Let's get the girls and go home." He put his arm about her waist and they moved slowly toward the girls. Toby and Parker, though banged up and pretty defeated, ambled along the path back toward their master.

"Kill me," a slightly conscious Mae muttered as she lay dying on the ground a few feet from her daughter. Blood trickled down the corner of her mouth, her neck continued to bleed out. "Do not let me become one of them," she said, keeping her eyes on Solomon.

"Flora, don't look," he commanded. The moment she turned around, he fired on Mae, hitting her directly between the eyes.

Flora reached down to pick up Eleanor and noticed a little scratch on her cheek.

"Solomon, look!" She pointed to a tiny mark that barely broke the skin.

"It's nothing. I'm sure it's nothing. We can have the doctor examine her when we get back to Windwood."
#
Donna pushed away the journal and let out a large sigh before slamming her fist down on the desk. "All these years, it was you that started all this!" She looked at the portrait of her mother that rested against the wall in front of her. "I will never forgive you for this." She took the little bit of coffee she had left and threw it on the painting.

Author Notes Characters
Solomon Lord- Exiled monarch of the Grand Duchy of Marin. Founder of Solomon's Wake and builder of Windwood.

Flora Lord-Wife of Solomon, Mother of Caleb and Martha. Mistress of Windwood.

Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord, who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Eleanor Lord-Stolen by Flora as a baby. She is raised side by side with Martha. Flora's treats her as her own.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.


Chapter 29
Dangerous Times

By Jackreese

Previous Chapter
Flora reached down to pick up Eleanor and noticed a little scratch on her cheek.

"Solomon, look!" She pointed to a very little mark that barely broke the skin.

"It's nothing. I'm sure it's nothing. We can have the doctor examine her when we get back to Windwood."
#
Donna pushed away the journal and let out a large sigh before slamming her fist down on the desk. "All these years, it was you that started all this!" She looked the portrait of her mother that rested against the wall in front of her. "I will never forgive you for this." She took the little bit of coffee she had left and threw it on the painting.
#
After a long day at the hospital, Bo and Reginald left around nine o'clock. The doctor said there was nothing else they could do for the woman they brought in earlier. Bo continued to beat himself up for shooting her in the first place.

"I'm telling you Reg, it was a wolf," he said as he pressed the big button with the big white G on it as the elevator doors closed.

"I think you need to go have your eyes checked. That was clearly a woman."

"I know what I saw. I don't need glasses." Bo fumed.

"Just make sure next time we go hunting you don't mistake me for a wild turkey or a cougar," Reg said in jest while patting Bo on the back.

"I'm not going hunting again. I almost murdered someone tonight and you're going to joke?" Bo said, unamused. The doors opened and they entered the car garage.

"Look, I didn't mean..." His phone began to vibrate. "It's the wife, I gotta take it," Reginald said putting the phone to his ear and walking over to the soda machine.

Bo opened the truck door and sat in the driver's seat, stuck the key in the ignition, turned it, and waited. Nothing. He tried again. Nothing. He flung open the door and kicked the side of the car.

"Now? Of all times?"

"Maybe I can help," Channing said, approaching.

"Yeah, you got a new starter?"

"Where's the wolf?" Channing said. Bo hit Channing square in the face and almost broke his hand. Channing caught him by the throat and squeezed until the poor guy began to turn blue.

"What the hell are you doing?" Reginald yelled after he hung up the phone and approached the car.

"I want the girl your friend shot earlier." He growled, discarding Bo as if he were a piece of trash, sending him flying into a Mazda five cars over.

"What the hell are you?" He stared at him wide eyed as Channing changed into a large black and gray wolf and pounced on Reginald until he backed him into a wall.

"I will ask you one more time," the wolf said breathing his hot breath all over Reg's face. His white fangs were exposed and almost glistening under the overhead lights of the garage.

"She's upstairs on the third floor, three doors down from reception," he said, grimacing as Channing's face inched closer to his.

"That wasn't so hard, was it?" He said, patting the top of Reginald's head. Channing turned and trotted away, allowing Reginald to breathe a sigh of relief. He hurried over to Bo, who was lying on the floor bleeding from his ears, nose, and mouth. He felt for a pulse and found none.

Quickly, he reached into his pocket for his phone and began to call the police when Channing appeared and smacked the phone out of his hand.

"I can't let you go." Using his left paw, Channing struck Reginald on the face. Blood gushed out from the deep scratch marks on his skin. He was dead before he hit the ground.

Channing changed back to human form and put on the clothes Reginald was wearing and then headed for the elevator.
#
The trio watched as the house exploded from the top of the hill, shaking the foundation of the town and leveling anything nearby. Gideon was so overcome with emotion, he could barely talk. That cabin was the place he and his late wife would come to escape the real world, and for a time, it was the home they first brought Georgia to. Upstairs was where Ginny was conceived.

"Thank god you smelled the exhaust or we'd all be hot dogs," Georgia said to Simon.

"Not funny," Gideon said, eyes still fixed on the inferno below.

"It's not, Daddy, it's actually quite sad, but what else do we got? If I can't laugh, I'm gonna cry. We've lost everything and that's about all I have left."

"Maybe we should get moving? Whoever did this may still be down there," Simon said coming back from the embankment.

"Channing will not get away with this. I will end this once and for all before anyone else gets hurt," Gideon vowed as he stared down at what was once his home.

"Let's get going," Simon yelled from the car.

"He's right, Dad, we can discuss it in the car," Georgia said, trying to coerce him into the vehicle.

"All your Mom's things were in there."

"C'mon," Simon yelled.

"Dad, we have to go," Georgia said, pulling on his arm. Gideon didn't put up a fight, but he continued to stare at the ruins.
#
Being in the house again was beginning to get to Andrea. Every time she turned around, she saw something that reminded her of Calvin, whether it be a photograph, his favorite umbrella or TV show, which was Dallas. A few times she had gone into his room just to smell the half empty bottle of Aramis that sat on the dresser next to a framed photo of a much younger looking Rosalie.

She found it hard to sleep this night and after making some warm milk, she returned to Calvin's room just to be near to him.

Andrea opened the closet door, took his robe from the hook, and wrapped herself in it. To her pleasant surprise, she found a rerun of Dallas on the TV In this episode, the Ewing's were attending the Oil Barron's Ball, which to her, was almost identical to their Tuggy awards.

On more than one occasion the cops were called to break up a fight, women were known to end up in the pool after one accuses the other of flirting with their man, and she was pretty sure more than a child or two was conceived on this night.

"Those were the.." She stopped in midsentence when she heard sirens and commotion going on downstairs. The widow Lord opened the bedroom door, stepped out into the hallway and saw through the mirror, she was wearing the Royal blue gown she wore to Simons wedding. Even her hair was the same. "What in the world?" She rubbed her hands down her dress and through her hair.

"Look at you standing there, admiring yourself when your husband and sons are God knows where," Rosa barked, slithering out of the shadows. Her hair was down, her eyes were puffy and she wore no makeup.

"Not now Rosa," Andrea said, annoyed, and worked her way to the attic with the gun still tucked underneath her dress.

"Don't you walk away from me when I'm talking to you!" Rosa continued to follow her into the vestibule and up the long narrow staircase.

"Blow it out your ass, crone." She was surprised at how easy the words rolled off her tongue and the relief she felt at saying it.

"How dare you!" Rosa continued to berate and tear into her daughter in law. Andrea finally had enough and blew up.

"You snide bitch, do you ever shut up?" Andrea said through clenched teeth as she spun around to glare at the old lady. For the first time, Rosa found herself frightened of her.

"Because of you, my daughter has completely lost her mind. I will never forgive you for this, and once things die down, I will tell Calvin exactly what type of woman you really are. My poor Helena has to spend her life in a padded cell, while you roam free. It's not right, it should've been you in that room. " Rosa fumed, refusing to back down.

"Let me tell you something, Rosalie Giovanni Lord, you're not gonna get a chance to say anything ."

"I beg your pardon." Rosa stood, stunned, as Andrea shoved her so hard the old woman fell backward and all the way down the stairs, breaking her neck instantly and dying before she reached the bottom of the steps, where Sutton would later found her. Rosa's death would be ruled a heart attack brought on from the stress of the night's events.

Andrea smiled as she looked down at Rosa, who lay on her back and whose eyes were blank and wide opened.

"My how the mighty have fallen," she said almost triumphantly as she continued on up the stairs.

Andrea bolted up in bed after the shriek she let out woke her up. She was relieved to find herself in her room and her bed. She dropped her legs over the side and stared at the window and the shadow that danced across her ceiling.

"Mama, are you all right?" Joshua said, barging in and flicking on the light. He eased down beside her on the large four poster bed.

"I'm sorry, son. I just experienced one of my nightmares. I didn't intend to wake anyone," Andrea said a bit shakily.

"No need to be sorry. I'm glad it was nothing serious," he said, putting his hand over his mothers. Andrea thought her heart would burst through her chest. Had Joshua finally forgiven her? "Can I bring you anything? Water, tea, or a wet rag?"

"I'm fine. Honest. You go on back to bed." He got up and headed toward the door. "Before I forget, the sheriff was out here again looking for Loretta. Her family is starting to worry. Are you sure she didn't mention where she was going?"

"I'm positive. All she said was that she had to go into town and that was it."

"Okay Mamma, good night. I'll see about getting another nurse in the morning. I'm glad you're okay."

She feigned a smile as he shut the door.

"So the cracks in the dam begin to break," a familiar voice taunted. Andrea hopped out of bed to find Rosa, who began goading her from in front of the fireplace. "It's only a matter of time before your son and the whole town finds out you killed me and that poor helpless nurse."

"Go to hell..." Andrea closed her eyes picked up a vase full of white roses that was on her nightstand and hurled it at the fireplace. When she opened her eyes, Rosa was gone. "It was just your imagination, Andrea, pull yourself together. No one could possibly know you killed the old lady or the nurse."

Author Notes Characters
Andrea Lord- Wife of Calvin. Mother of Joshua and Simon.

Joshua Lord-Youngest child of Andrea and Calvin. Wants to get out of Solomon's Wake and away from the Lord name.

Nola O'grady- Gideon's sidekick and ladylove who was kidnapped by Gideon's son, Channing the night of Simon and Georgia's wedding.

Channing Blake- The son of Gideon and Iris Lord who, was imprisoned under the lake with most of his pack. His only goal in life is to make his father suffer and to kill his sister, Georgia.

Bo- Hunter who shot Nola.

Reginald-Bo's friend and hunting partner.

Rosa Lord-Mother of Calvin. Grandmother to Simon and Joshua. Hates Andrea with a passion.


Chapter 30
Cat and Mouse

By Jackreese

Previous Chapter
I'm fine. Honest. You go on back to bed." He got up and headed toward the door. "Before I forget, the sheriff was out here again looking for Loretta. Her family is starting to worry. Are you sure she didn't mention where she was going?"

"I'm positive. All she said was that she had to go into town and that was it."

"Okay Mamma, good night. I'll see about getting another nurse in the morning. I'm glad you're okay."

She feigned a smile as he shut the door.

"So the cracks in the dam begin to break," a familiar voice taunted. Andrea hopped out of bed to find Rosa, who began goading her from in front of the fireplace. "It's only a matter of time before your son and the whole town finds out you killed me and that poor helpless nurse."

"Go to hell..." Andrea closed her eyes picked up a vase full of white roses that was on her nightstand and hurled it at the fireplace. When she opened her eyes, Rosa was gone. "It was just your imagination, Andrea, pull yourself together. No one could possibly know you killed the old lady or the nurse."
#
After stopping off in the Mens room on the way up to the third floor, Channing cleaned himself up and donned the white doctor's lab coat he stole from the guy in the stall next to him after snapped his neck and propped him up nicely against the metal frame of the stall.

He looked at himself one more time in the mirror and chuckled when he realized that once he put the lab coat on he looked like he could be Mr. Clean, or better yet, his more handsom brother. Channing made sure his buttons were correct and everything was tucked in before he reached for the door. Happy with what he saw, he gave a quick wink to himself and then entered the hallway.

All kinds of gurneys, machines, and wheelchairs lined up on both sides of the brightly lit corridor. It was a busy night he thought as he walked by the waiting room and saw it was filled to capacity people had to stand outside. A young woman in her twenties had more kids with her than the old woman that lived in the shoe. They were all different ages. Instead of watching them, she was on the phone talking to another woman about her husband jumping bail and being shot and having to spend the next umpteenth hours here waiting, while she left the oldest "watch" them.

Her youngest, a boy about five, was running up and down the corridor hollering, running into people, and then playing with the TV. He threw the magazines on the floor along with the pillows, then he kicked a lady's purse on the floor. The little brat came flying out of the waiting room laughing and making the motions like he was flying and collided right into Channing.

Channing gripped him by the arm and stared at him until his eyes began to glow and a small growl emitted from the bowels of his insides. The boy froze and almost burst into tears before running over to the nearest chair where he sat without moving a muscle.

"No wonder we eat our young," he said to himself. He approached the woman who had been on the phone, snatched her cell phone and crumbled it to dust in his left hand. "How 'bout instead of spending your time on the phone you watch your kid instead of letting him run amok and cause problems for everyone else," he said to the elation of those in the waiting room as he continued strutting down the hall like a boss.

Channing knew he was getting closer to her. He could smell her scent everywhere. The closer he got toward the end of the hall, the stronger it became. He took a left and then walked a couple feet until he found himself in front of her door.

Slowly, he opened the door and found Nola in an induced sleep from all the medicine and sedatives she was given. Seeing her like that almost panged at his heart, but then he realized it was just gas. A tiny light the size of a flashlight bulb illuminated Nola's small face. He took the lab coat off and threw it in the dirty linen basket.

"Did you really think I'd be stupid enough to use the virus on one of my own pack members? Tsk tsk." He shook his head and made a pouty face. "You know me better than that. Well, I thought you did anyway." He stared down at her virtuous face and stroked her cheek gently with his left hand.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to intrude." A middle age nurse entered, moving closer to check the IV's and Nola's blood pressure. She smiled at Channing and left.

"Now where were we? Oh yeah, right. I let you get away. I wanted you to believe I wanted to kill you because I knew you'd lead me right to dear old Dad. And then you go ahead and get yourself shot." He bent down, took off his shoe, pulled back the sole and took out a vial of clear liquid.

"She's still sleeping?" A young black man asked with her dinner tray in his hand. Channing nodded. "All right, I will leave it right here so she can have it when she awakens. I will also leave the menu here so she can pick her options for breakfast." With that, the orderly left.

"Once I put this in your IV, I'll be able to track your every move. Once you reach Gideon, I'll be waiting." He found a bunch of wrapped syringes near the sink next to some latex gloves. Quickly, he unwrapped the syringe, filled it, and injected the IV. No sooner had he injected the tube, the alarms went off throughout the hospital. "That's my 'Q' to leave."

He walked over to the window, forced it open, and jumped out, transforming into the wolf in mid air.
#
Sutton was more determined than ever to find out what Donna was hiding. After hearing her exchange with Toni in the attic, he knew there was more to Donna Lord than meets the eye. He had turned up empty handed at the library, and now, was going to see what he could dig up at the Solomon's Wake Historical Society.

The building was an old red brick structure with a high pitched slate roof and large windows. It was probably a school at one time and built when Solomon founded the town. The wooden porch creaked as he climbed the stairs to the front door that had a big open sign hanging on the glass. A bell chimed when he opened the door, signaling to a woman behind a large redwood desk that she had company.

"I would like to see anything you have on the Lord family from about 1780 to 1830".

"Everything is on the microfilm rolls in date order in large metal drawers down in the basement." She was an elderly woman with white as snow hair, a small frame, and old fashioned cat's eye glasses that rested on the bridge of her nose. She wore a white blouse with a cameo brooch at her neck and a pencil above her ear.

"Follow me."

Sutton followed her to the back and down a flight of stairs. Dust was all over everything. Cobwebs shrouded furniture, windows, and ceiling. A dim light flickered. Sutton saw row upon row of bookshelves piled high with mismatched encyclopedias, magazines, books, and old newspapers.

"The last aisle in the back should be where you'll find it. The instructions for the microfilm machine are written and taped to the side of the machine. If you don't mind my asking, why are you so interested in the Lord family? There are a lot of other well-to-do families here in Solomon's Wake."

"I am a novelist, hired by one Joshua Lord, to do a biography of the family."

"I see. Well, I hope you find what you need. If I can be of further assistance, I am at the top of the steps."

Sutton nodded.

One by one, he began to scroll through piles of microfiche. A half hour went by and he still he came up empty handed before finally striking gold.

54 Year Old Flora Lord Gives Birth To 7LB 6oz Baby Girl

After reading the article he came across a few others on Martha, and then they stopped. The next article he picked up read in bold print.

Eleanor Rose Lord Ties the Knot at 18

As he read on, he learned that Eleanor had married her cousin Richard in 1813 and had given birth to Benjamin Phillip Lord a year later. Eleanor had been a busy girl. She was one of the first women in South Carolina to open a finishing school. Most of the articles were about her sister or her father. Then he read about what would lead to the family's downfall.

Animal Attacks Continue Across Solomon Wake

The town had been placed under a curfew until further notice as the body count reached 25.

Alligators Take The Life of Grand Duchess Flora

Flora's mangled body was found out near the swamp by her daughter Martha.

Eleanor Lord Dies at 22, Leaving Martha Sole Heir

A year later, Eleanor lost her life in a tragic accident.

Martha Lord shot her sister believing her to be a werewolf. During the trial of Zita, it had come out she was Eleanor's birth mother. In her grief, she supposedly called on her Karnstein ancestors to curse Mar-tha before the noose broke her neck.

23 Year Old Martha Lord Dies

Martha was found in her bedroom drained of all blood and white as a sheet. Her beloved Aunty had said it was a vampire shortly after she was found her body disappeared and was not buried in the Lord mausoleum.

"I'm not sure if you are interested in these paintings I have back here." The woman said coming up behind Sutton. " Rosa Lord donated them to the society back in the 80's, but we never did anything with them."

He followed her to the far end of the room to a wall that had tons of sleeves that contained hundreds of paintings the society collected over the years.

"I have to go back upstairs, but you are more than welcome to take a look." She pulled a portrait out from the first pocket. "Here you go." He watched her walk away before he took it out completely.

"What do we have here?" He said, holding it up to get a better look at it. The inscription stated he was Marshall Lord painted in 1855. He took out another of Theodore Lord followed by Iris Lord and then a picture with no date or anything.

Sutton had to reach all the way to get the last painting and almost fell over when he saw the portrait of Martha Lord from 1812 and the uncanny resemblance to Donna.

"I knew it you're the same person and it's only a matter of time before I expose you to the world." He fished into his pocket for his cell and took a picture of the painting before shoving it back into the sleeve.

Author Notes Characters
Nola O'grady- Gideon's sidekick and ladylove who was kidnapped by Gideon's son, Channing the night of Simon and Georgia's wedding.

Channing Blake- The son of Gideon and Iris Lord who, was imprisoned under the lake with most of his pack. His only goal in life is to make his father suffer and to kill his sister, Georgia.

Aaron Sutton- Trusted and revered butler who has served the Lord family for decades.


Chapter 31
The Raging Storm

By Jackreese

Previous Chapter
"I'm not sure if you are interested in these paintings I have back here." The woman said coming up behind Sutton. " Rosa Lord donated them to the society back in the 80's, but we never did anything with them."

He followed her to the far end of the room to a wall that had tons of sleeves that contained hundreds of paintings the society collected over the years.

"I have to go back upstairs, but you are more than welcome to take a look." She pulled a portrait out from the first pocket. "Here you go." He watched her walk away before he took it out completely.

"What do we have here?" He said, holding it up to get a better look at it. The inscription stated he was Marshall Lord painted in 1855. He took out another of Theodore Lord followed by Iris Lord and then a picture with no date or anything.

Sutton had to reach all the way to get the last painting and almost fell over when he saw the portrait of Martha Lord from 1812 and the uncanny resemblance to Donna.

"I knew it you're the same person and it's only a matter of time before I expose you to the world." He fished into his pocket for his cell and took a picture of the painting before shoving it back into the sleeve.
#
The Black Sedan glided along the dark stretch of 95 with Georgia at the wheel, Gideon asleep in the back and Simon zonked in the passenger seat. It had been hours since anyone had spoken and they had not made a pit stop since Virginia.

In sleep she came to him dressed in Edwardian fashion, he reached for her and she moved further away, he tried again and she slipped out of his grasp once more. Finally finding his voice he called to her.

"Ginny don't go!" He searched for her through the darkness that enveloped them.

"Help me Daddy, please. I'm scared and it's dark." The young woman cried.

"I don't know what to do? Tell me what to do?" Gideon implored as he reached for her hand.

"You must come back. You must come back." She said in a distant tone right before being sucked out of his grasp.

"Ginny!!!" He yelled waking up from the dream in the back seat with the morning sun is streaming down on his face.

"Bad dream?" Georgia asked, looking at him through the rear view mirror.

"I'll be fine. "He said, squinting. "What time is it?"

"10:30 you've slept through North Carolina, Virginia. You've had me worried there, Daddy." Georgia said switching lanes so she could pass a furniture truck.

"Where are we?" He said rolling down the window to light up a smoke.

"We're about three hours or so from Windwood. Do you want to talk about the dream you were having?" She said looking at him the way a nun did right before she cracked you on the knuckles
with a ruler.

"It was Ginny. She was trying to tell me something. Only I have no idea what she means by it." He folded his arms and settled back into the seat.

"What did she say?"

"You must come back."

"That's easy she's telling you to go to Windwood just like Simon said" Georgia stated swerving into the left lane to go around an elderly man doing 35 in a fifty mile hour zone.

"How do you know?"

"Woman's intuition. You hungry? We can stop at Denny's." She said, slowing up.

"Sure. I need to stretch my legs."

#

Toni was awakened by a soft tap on her door. She rolled over and saw the clock on the nightstand it was about quarter after two and her room was dark aside from the night light plugged in by the bathroom so she could see where she was going and not break her neck. When she had lived in Venice she had gotten up one night and tripped over a pair of shoes she broke her wrist and sprained her neck she had to wear a brace.

"I'm coming," She reached for her pink robe before flicking on the light. She opened the door slowly to see a tear streak faced Donna standing there. "What's the matter?" She opened the door all the way and ushered her in.

"It's all her fault. Everything that has happened to this family is a direct result of my mother and what she did to Zita." Donna cried as she threw herself down on Toni's bed.

Toni moved to comfort her. "What did she do?"

"She stole Eleanor from Zita and burned her hut down, causing her to be disfigured. If she hadn't done that none of this would've happened, there'd be no curse and I wouldn't be a vampire and I just took the last of my pills." Donna wailed in Toni's arms.

"I am going to try and enter the cavern to get the blood root as soon as
I can. Until then I will set up a room in the basement that you can use to rest during the day. We'll tell Joshua that you are helping me look for a new house and then we'll take a few days and go to Myrtle Beach for a few days for a woman's getaway."

"I don't want to become that woman again. I am a danger to you my children and husband." Donna got up from the bed and went over to the window and stared up at the moon hanging in the sky. "I need to get used to seeing that again." She said defeated.

"It will not come to that. I promise it'll be a couple days at the most. I want you to go out tonight and celebrate your anniversary." Donna looked at her surprised. "Yes, I remembered and I'll watch the kids so you too can have some fun for a change and you can say your goodbyes till we can figure something out."

#

Sutton went into the parlor to tidy it up when he found Jenna staring out the window. At first he went about his business polishing, arranging the magazines neatly on the table, picking the dead flowers out of the vase and fluffing the pillows on the sofa.

"I saw Nona and Mom move a coffin into the basement." The girl said from behind the long crimson curtain.

The butler looked at her with his mouth agape and his head cocked. "I think someone's been watching too much Vampire Diaries." He said dismissively.

Jenna came out from the curtain with her hair pulled back into a neat ponytail. Her purple and white Nikes were so white they put his polished kitchen floor to shame and the blue diamond she wore gleamed as the light from the window made it dance across the walls.

"I would put that back before your mother knows you have it. You know she doesn't like you rummaging through her jewelry box." He said beginning to wipe down the mirrors in the room.

"Oh no," Jenna cried.

"What?" He said, putting down the paper towels and glass cleaner.

Jenna cried, looking down at the floor where the necklace lay. "The necklace broke."

"The clasp's just loose, see." He picked it up and used his forefinger and thumb to lock it back in place. He handed it back to Jenna.

"Oh no I think I chipped it. Mama's gonna kill me."

"I'm sure it's fine, honey." He took it back and walked over to the window to get a better look at it. "I don't see anything wrong." Sutton held it in his old hands and continued to scrutinize the gem.

"Look deeper," Jenna said in Zita's voice. "You are now in my control and you will serve me until death. "Do I make myself clear?" Sutton nodded. "I need you to go down into the basement and find a coffin hidden long ago. Once you locate it come back and see me."

"Jenna go put this back before your mother notices it's gone and you do break it." He handed the necklace back with no recollection of the conversation.
"I will thanks, Sutton." She said, strolling off into the foyer.

The old man sat down in one of the chairs feeling a little woozy and tired with a sudden urge to roam around the basement.

#

Andrea sat on a white lounge chair in front of the Olympic size swimming pool with an iced tea and a romance novel in her lap. The dark sunglasses kept the bright sun out of her eyes and an oversized sun hat protected her fair skin along with sunblock she loaded up on.

She had forgotten how beautiful and tranquil the estate was and all the good times they used to have. For a brief moment she could smell the burgers and dogs, Calvin insisted on cooking himself with his top of the line grill, then he would grab her and pull her in slowly to dance to their song "Can't Help Falling In Love" by the King. Joshua would be splashing around on the steps with his colorful inner tube and Simon would be doing laps up and down the length of the pool.

The sound of the gate closing brought her back from her memories.

"I'm sorry I didn't know you were here." Toni said closing it. She stopped to stare at Andrea. "I'll come back later." She threw the red towel that had Myrtle Beach scrawled across it in gold letters over her shoulder.

"You don't have to leave on my account." Andrea sipped some tea and motioned Toni to sit in the empty recliner next to her.

"That's okay. You looked like you were in your own little world." Toni turned back to the gate and had her hand on the knob when Andrea said something that caused Toni to unload.

"You don't like me much, do you?"

"No, I don't." She said abruptly turning back to face her. "You single handily destroyed this family in one night. You shot and killed your son while your other one watched him fall out a window. My best friend, Rosa died cause of the stress your actions caused. So excuse me if I don't welcome you home with open arms." Toni was so hot the pool couldn't even cool her off

"Rosa was a bitch who has had it in for me since day one. As for Simon I made my peace with that." She picked up the novel in an effort to cut off the debate.

"You may have made peace with what you did to him, but I haven't. Simon was a fun loving, handsome man who had the world at his feet. I would've traded places with you and been his mom in a heartbeat. I would've loved him unconditionally werewolf or not." She was about to say more when Brandon came out with his headphones on and an inner tube around his waist..

"Nona you coming in too?" He yelled at the top of his lungs.

The two women continued to exchange hostile glances.

"No, sweetheart, I've had enough sun." She answered after pulling the earbud out of his right ear. "I'll see you later." She kissed him on the top of his head and exited the gate.

"Mom and dad are going out tonight for their anniversary. Do you think we could rent some movies and stay up all night?"

"I think we'll be able to come up with something."

The wheels in Andrea's mind began to turn with everyone being out of the house tonight she was presented the perfect opportunity to kill Brandon.

#

Sutton still did not know why he was crawling all over the basement and ripping everything apart. The old man knew every inch, corner and spot on the floor, ceiling and walls there really wasn't anything about Windwood he didn't know.

Frustrated, he leaned against the wall shut his eyes and tried to think. There were so many hidden passages and tunnels under the house he could be here for days. Not helping matters was the fact he didn't know exactly what he was looking for.

Something rather big rubbed up against his leg. His heart beat so fast he thought he was going to pass out he was afraid to look at what it was until he heard the meow. Sutton looked down to see Hank the brown and black Tomcat that had made the estate his home about five years go. "I thought you ran away." He said, picking him up as he purred and rubbed up against is cheek.

A mouse scurried across his foot Hank dug his claws into Sutton's shoulder and sprang off his chest like a diving board doing a twist in the air and landing on all fours licking his chops.

"I would've gotten you something to eat in a minute." He said, rubbing his shoulder. The mouse was too fast and shot off down the corridor Hank gave chase and Sutton followed. "I can't run that fast." He complained while trying to catch up.

Down the endless dark passageway he always seemed to fall a few feet behind Hank. He finally ended up in front of a door that was hidden behind a metal rack.

"I'll be damned." He uttered. Poor Hank lost his prey when it slipped through a crack under the door now, he just stared at the door.

He slid the rack away from the door easily and found that was the only thing easy about it. The door was locked and looked like it was nailed shut. Someone went through a great deal of trouble to keep this room off limits.

"I don't suppose you have a key?" He said mockingly to Hank, who still kept his eyes on the door. "Let's go upstairs and find you something to eat and something to open this door.

Author Notes Characters

Andrea Lord- Wife of Calvin. Mother of Joshua and Simon.

Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord, who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Brandon Lord-Joshua and Donna's son. Resembles his late grandfather and its unknown if he carries the werewolf gene.

Jenna Lord- Joshua and Donna's youngest. Plagued by dreams of a witch being hung she also hears voices

Nola O'grady- Gideon's sidekick and ladylove who was kidnapped by Gideon's son, Channing the night of Simon and Georgia's wedding.

Channing Blake- The son of Gideon and Iris Lord who, was imprisoned under the lake with most of his pack. His only goal in life is to make his father suffer and to kill his sister, Georgia.

Aaron Sutton- Trusted and revered butler who has served the Lord family for decades


Chapter 32
The Facade Crumbles

By Jackreese

Previous Chapter

Down the endless dark passageway he always seemed to fall a few feet behind Hank. He finally ended up in front of a door that was hidden behind a metal rack.

"I'll be damned," he uttered. Poor Hank lost his prey when it slipped through a crack under the door. Now, Hank  just stared at the door and meowed.

He slid the rack away from the door easily and found that was the only thing easy about it. The door was locked and looked like it was nailed shut. Someone went through a great deal of trouble to keep this room off limits.

"I don't suppose you have a key?" He said mockingly to Hank, who still kept his eyes on the door. "Let's go upstairs and find you something to eat and something to open this door.
#
Donna looked over herself in the mirror and immediately began to have reservations about going out. She sat down on her vanity chair and began to take her shoes off when, Joshua came out of the bathroom all freshly shaven.

"No way, I have been looking forward to this all day. We barely ever have time to ourselves I'm not gonna let you bail on me now." He moaned as he sat on the bed to put his sneakers on.

"I just have a bad feeling."

"Everything is gonna be fine. Sutton's here, Mom and Toni. I'm sure Brandon will be glued to his video game and won't ever come out of his room. Jenna will be out like a light by 7." He got up from the bed, walked over to the vanity and put his hands on her shoulders and began to massage her.

"How about we stay in and you do that all night?"She sighed obviously enjoying it.

"Meet me downstairs in 5." He kissed the top of her head and went out into the hall.

Jenna spied him from the keyhole in the door and smiled, knowing that they would be out soon and Sutton would get the door open to the hidden room

Andrea listened as Joshua went over the rules with Toni on what time, Jenna needed to be in bed, no drinks after a certain time and to make sure Brandon takes a break from his game to give his eyes a rest. Once she knew Toni wasn't looking she dropped one of her Elavil tablets into her tea.

"We got it under control, don't we, Andrea?" Toni said, looking over shoulder at Andrea who sat in a chair by the fireplace.

"Yes, now you kids go and have a good time."

Toni waved from the door as the couple left in Joshua's silver Bentley. She returned to the parlor and sat across from Andrea on the new baby blue love seat, Donna ordered along with the same color sofa, new curtains and end tables. She even got the new rugs to match the curtains to a T and a giant new flat screen TV.

"Windwood is starting to look like it did in the old days isn't it?" Andrea chirped as she fiddled with the remote. "I will never understand technology." She said, tossing it over to the empty couch.

"Look, we agreed to watch the children that's it. We are not friends and never will be. I don't trust you as far as I can throw you, so you just stay out of my way and I'll stay out of yours." Toni said calmly as she returned to her needlepoint and taking a big gulp of tea.
#
Sutton took a large crowbar from the garage and returned to the basement to have at the door again. He tried multiple times to open it, but it just wouldn't budge. Throwing his arms up he dropped the crowbar and made his way back upstairs when Jenna blocked him.

"Jenna what are you doing down here? If your grandmothers find you down here it'll be my hide." He grabbed her by the arm and directed her toward the steps when he noticed the necklace, instantly he became transfixed and under its control once more.

"The both of us should be able to get a rotting, splintering door open." Jenna barked as she reached for the crowbar.

"What's so important about this door?" Sutton fished.

"Never you mind, just help me get it opened."
#
Toni fell asleep in a matter of minutes with her needlepoint still in hand. She began the trek up the dark stairs toward Brandons room. Like she had with Toni, Andrea placed the same amount of Elavil in his soda. She could already see from the door that he passed out on the floor with the video controller in one hand and a gamer magazine in the other a half drank bottle of soda was in front of him.

"I am so sorry." Andrea cried as she took a pillow from the bed and began to smother Brandon with it.
#
The decaying door was no match for them and gave in with very little effort. A rush of dank air escaped and caught in their throats a putrid odor burned their eyes. It was dark and near impossible to see what was inside.

"What is that smell?" Sutton complained.

"Quit being a sissy and get inside," Jenna demanded while giving him a little shove.

"Is someone there?" A woman's voice called out.

"My god there's someone in there." Sutton hurried through the open door and crashed right into a metal table or shelf in the center of the room.

With a flick of Jenna's wrist the room illuminated to reveal a chained coffin.

"That's a coffin," He stammered.

"Yes, it is."

This time with a wave of the hand the chains came off the lid popped open and the woman inside was on Sutton like bees to honey.

"Hello Kara." Jenna acknowledged after the vampire let Sutton fall to the floor.
#
They arrived at Anthony's shortly before ten smiling, laughing, and feeling like school kids again, both grateful to Toni and Andrea for offering to watch Jenna so they could celebrate their anniversary. Donna looked amazing. Her hair was wavy and down, she had the right amount of make up on and a dab of Obsession.

A simple choker graced her neck and the mauve summer dress hugged her nicely. Joshua, on the other hand, felt underdressed in his Nike's, jeans, and T-shirt. However, he did get a haircut and shaved for the occasion. When they got into the car he gave her a dozen roses and the emerald earrings she wanted.

The small bar and grill was filled to capacity as those young and old crammed in to watch the Phillies and Braves go head to head while enjoying a beer or two. Others were singing karaoke out in the bar. It was eighties night and such hits as Video Killed the Radio Star and Take Me Home Tonight filled the room.

"You look beautiful," he said as he reached for her hand after they sat down. "I feel kind of naked," he said with a smirk.

"I knew I married you for a reason." She winked at him. "I think you look like you did the night I met you and you're still as handsome," Donna said while watching a group of college girls doing Blow Job shots at the bar while being cheered on by their beaus.

"Not so long ago we would've been able to drink them under the table," he said with a hint of jealousy.

"They were the good old days. Remember when you use to run up to the stage, grab the microphone and sing to me? " Donna said still looking at the girls while taking a brief trip down memory lane. "The one time you were so drunk you fell asleep in mid song." Donna let out a boisterous laugh.

"Wasn't that the same night you saw Sheila Gilroy making eyes at me? Later on, when we were all skinny dipping at the lake you hid her clothes."

"I don't know if she ever found them." They both laughed again.

"I'm going to get a beer, do you want anything?" Joshua said, getting up.

"A glass of Moscato would be nice. It's such a beautiful night I think I want to sit on the deck."

"Your wish is my command. I'll meet you out there." He disappeared into the crowd.

She strode toward the exit that lead out to the patio. Joshua soon followed and nearly got his ear clipped by a dart when he cut right through two drunk guys in the middle of a match.

The song Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now played. He watched as his wife swayed to the music looking like a ghost under the glow of the moon. He came up behind her, placed his arm around her chest and began to move with her while his lips grazed her ear.

"I love this song," she whispered as she relaxed into her husband's embrace.

"I remember. You used to blare it every time it came on the radio or TV and you were just as bad with the movie."

"What can I say I like the classics?" She giggled. "I don't want this night to end."

"You ready to go back in and sit?"

"Yes, I'm feeling a bit woozy from the wine. I'm not used to it anymore."

Joshua led her back inside to a small table for two at the back of the room. It was still loud, but at least the music wasn't on top of them and they could hear each other. When the waitress came by he ordered a shot of vodka with a Bud chaser and despite feeling buzzed, Donna ordered another Moscato.

"Do you remember what our friends used to call us?" She looked up at him and without missing a beat replied.

"Paul and Linda because we were always together," she said still looking deep into his eyes. Joshua jumped up from the table and went up front to the Karaoke machine, whispered something to the DJ, and then took the microphone.

"This is for the lovely Donna Lord," Joshua said, taking the microphone and pointing at her. The music began to play and he began to sing the lyrics to Paul McCartney and Wings' Silly Love Songs.

Soon everyone was on their feet singing along with him clapping and shouting even lighting their lighters and waving them in the air.

"You are one lucky lady," some young girl with a pierced nose and pink hair whispered in her ear when he had finished.

"Yes, I am," she said gushing.

One thing was certain she loved him as much as she did the day she laid eyes on him. While the patrons were busy congratulating him and patting him on the back, Donna made her way to the bar to get her man another drink, when she noticed the TV above the bar was tuned to Fox news the scroll across the bottom stated that the people of the village of Karnstein in Austria had voted overwhelmingly to change their name to Stroudsburg.

"It's a step in the right direction if you ask me. Maybe now they can put all this vampire talk behind them," the older bartender said handing her the beer.

Tears welled up in her eyes when it dawned on her that by this time tomorrow she'd be a vampire once more and didn't know when she'd see Joshua again.

"You ready to get out of here?" Joshua asked when he made it back.

"Yeah, give me a Sec to freshen up," she said with her back to him wiping the tears out of her eyes. Donna made her way through the throngs of drunkards toward the woman's bathroom, which was next to the jukebox and coat rack.

As she put her hand on the door, she looked back at Joshua, who was talking to the bartender when she felt a blunt object dig into her side.

Donna was shocked to find a detached Sutton was the culprit.

"Don't say a word or I will pull the trigger and splatter you all over the wall. Make your way outside without turning back or bringing attention to us. Move," he said, jabbing the gun into her back.

"Why are you doing this?" She wailed as he ushered her out into the night.

All was quiet except for the music coming from inside the bar. There were no cars on the road, no people anywhere, and the lamp posts had broken bulbs rendering them useless.

"I know what you are." He sneered as he led her further and further away from the bar to an open field and an awaiting truck. "For some reason the men in this family are blinded by beauty and don't see the evil that lurks on the inside of that prettiness. Joshua, Calvin, and to an extent, Simon, all paid the price for loving the wrong woman. Andrea is just crazy, Georgia is a werewolf and you're a vampire. I am tired of being the one to clean up the mess you broads leave behind. Nothing good could ever come from loving you women."

"I think you're as crazy as Andrea if you believe any of what you're saying," she retorted and stopped when she saw the coffin in the back of the truck.

"The look on your face says it all, Martha."

"Please don't make me get in there." She pleaded, as the fear of being locked inside began to cripple her.

"I'm sorry I can't allow you to roam about. I heard you tell Toni that your pills were about to run out and when they did, you would be a vampire again. I admire Joshua too much to let you hurt him. He deserves better." Sutton seethed as he opened the lid.

"Oh my god I never saw it until now. You're in love with my husband and that's why you want me out of the way." He shepherded her into the coffin. "I'll die in there. I'm not a vampire yet, please Sutton think this through."

"I have," he said, slamming the lid shut. "This is something I should have done a long time ago." He could hear her screams as he climbed into the front seat and started the truck.
 

Author Notes Andrea Lord- Wife of Calvin. Mother of Joshua and Simon.

Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord, who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita, who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Brandon Lord-Joshua and Donna's son. Resembles his late grandfather and its unknown if he carries the werewolf gene.

Jenna Lord- Joshua and Donna's youngest. Plagued by dreams of a witch being hung she also hears voices

Aaron Sutton- Trusted and revered butler who has served the Lord family for decades


Chapter 33
Trapped

By Jackreese

Previous Chapter

As she put her hand on the door, she looked back at Joshua, who was talking to the bartender when she felt a blunt object dig into her side.

Donna was shocked to find a detached Sutton was the culprit.

"Don't say a word or I will pull the trigger and splatter you all over the wall. Make your way outside without turning back or bringing attention to us. Move," he said, jabbing the gun into her back.

"Why are you doing this?" She wailed as he ushered her out into the night.

All was quiet except for the music coming from inside the bar. There were no cars on the road, no people anywhere, and the lamp posts had broken bulbs rendering them useless.

"I know what you are." He sneered as he led her further and further away from the bar to an open field and an awaiting truck. "For some reason the men in this family are blinded by beauty and don't see the evil that lurks on the inside of that prettiness. Joshua, Calvin, and to an extent, Simon, all paid the price for loving the wrong woman. Andrea is just crazy, Georgia is a werewolf and you're a vampire. I am tired of being the one to clean up the mess you broads leave behind. Nothing good could ever come from loving you women."

"I think you're as crazy as Andrea if you believe any of what you're saying," she retorted and stopped when she saw the coffin in the back of the truck.

"The look on your face says it all, Martha."

"Please don't make me get in there." She pleaded, as the fear of being locked inside began to cripple her.

"I'm sorry I can't allow you to roam about. I heard you tell Toni that your pills were about to run out and when they did, you would be a vampire again. I admire Joshua too much to let you hurt him. He deserves better." Sutton seethed as he opened the lid.

"Oh my god I never saw it until now. You're in love with my husband and that's why you want me out of the way." He shepherded her into the coffin. "I'll die in there. I'm not a vampire yet, please Sutton think this through."

"I have," he said, slamming the lid shut. "This is something I should have done a long time ago." He could hear her screams as he climbed into the front seat and started the truck.
*****
New Chapter
Nola could hear the voices as she began to come too, but was unable to open her eyes. Their hands were cold as they changed her gown and checked her vitals. One nurse changed her IV while the other typed the info into the computer.

"You were so lucky you weren't here yesterday, Margo." The younger brunette said matter-of-factly while keeping her eyes on the info she typed.

"I heard. It was all over the news, internet and papers." Margo answered, taking off her gloves and tossing them in the trash.

"They found the poor guy crumpled in a stall in the men's bathroom you know the one on the first floor around the corner from reception. The body was so mutilated they said it looked like a wild animal could've done it. What makes it even scarier is they saw him enter this room and never come out." She looked to Margo who stared at her wide-eyed.

"Get out,"

"I swear to god it's true or my name ain't Tiffany Marie Baker."

"Wow, how did it get out of this room if the hospital was on lockdown?" Margo uttered as she played with her stethoscope. "I am beyond creeped out, now."

"It seemed to vanish into thin air." Tiffany finished.

"How about the patient, were there any marks or anything on her?"

"Not even a scratch, which makes it even odder." Tiffany took the computer and began to wheel it out onto the floor.

"What if it comes back?" Margo asked close behind.

"I heard through the grapevine corporates going to post a guard outside starting tonight."

The two stepped out in the hallway when Tiffany realized she left her badge by the bedside. She turned to go back inside only to find the patient gone. She looked in the bathroom and pulled the shower curtain back, under the bed and closet, nothing.

"What's the hold up?" Margo asked, bouncing back into the room immediately noticing the empty bed. "Where did she go?" She threw her hands up and began to panic.

"How does a whole body disappear?" Tiffany wondered as she sat down on the bed.

"This happens in the movies not in small in the middle of nowhere towns." Margo articulated as she reached for the phone. "I have to call this in."
*****
Donna's eyes opened to the purple satin lining of her coffin when she saw a silver crucifix strapped to the inside of the lid. She reached her right hand up to push open the lid only to find it had been chained. She screamed, cried and howled while she fought with all her might to raise the coffin lid, her fingertips bled and her eyes clouded over in a dazed frenzy at the thought of being trapped again.

"Don't try and fight it, dear creator, it's no use." A woman said as she sat on top of the coffin, laughing wickedly while Sutton stood behind her ever the obedient servant. Donna knew that voice and was confronted by Kara someone she thought she'd never see again. She tried to claw at Kara's legs, but could not get her arm out far enough to do so.

"When I get out of this which I will you'd better hope I don't find you. For when I do, I'll drain every last ounce of blood from your body, then I'll bury you from the neck down till the sun ravages your face beyond recognition. I won't have to scatter your ashes because a youngling like you can't survive direct sunlight, so there's no need for me to worry about you coming back to haunt me. I promise you, Kara let me out and I'll teach you all that I know." Donna pleaded. Kara continued to sit on the casket pre-tending to examine her nails.

"Sorry, no can do. I got orders from Zita herself that if I lift a finger to help you I'll wander the underworld forever and we both know she has the power to do it." Kara said as she slid down. "Why would I help you after you left me to die in that room for decades?"

"You threatened to attack my family. You would've done the same if the shoe was on the other
foot. Now it all makes sense, Sutton is under your control, you're feeding him your blood that's why he's suddenly so strong. Up until the other day he couldn't walk up the stairs without being out of breath."

"Enough chatter..." Zita's voice cut her off.

Donna could see Zita in the guise of Jenna. Her heart broke knowing her daughter was under the witch's spell. She chose to try and reach her daughter. It was worth a shot.

"Jenna I know you can hear me. I need you to be strong for me so you must fight Zita with all you have. Listen to my voice and find your way back." Donna watched as her little girl's eyes closed and fluttered.

"Mommy?" Jenna sweet face stared back at her and a few moments later she erupted in a fit of laughter. "Did you honestly think I would let you run around the estate? I told you over 200 years ago, I'd take my revenge and tonight I shall. You're going back into the ground and this time it will be for good. Get her out of here!" Zita said, throwing her arms up. Donna's muffled cries could be heard as they carried her out of the truck and into the dark.
#
Nola ran as far and as fast as she could from the hospital. Knowing Channing was in her room, standing over her made her skin crawl and stomach turn. What was he up to? Why was he there? All this raced through her mind as she sprinted down the street. The bullet wound was still sore and she felt feverish, but all she could think about was getting back to Gideon.

She found the nearest bus station and lumbered over to the ticket counter and purchased a one-way ticket to Solomon's Wake in hopes he'd be there. Unfortunately, the bus wasn't leaving for another six hours and since the town was about the size of a small boat all she could do was wait.

Luckily, she snatched the purse of the one nurse and with it her American Ex-press, so she could at least get something to eat and buy some new clothes. The blue scrubs she wore made her skin itch and felt like sandpaper given that she didn't have any undergarments on.

The only thing opened at this hour was a small 24-hour gift shop/restaurant in the deserted terminal. Her stomach won out and she decided to eat first. Every trucker this side of Dixie was inside along with a few drunks who seemed to think the party was still going on.

"Table or booth," Wanda a blue haired woman in her mid-sixties asked. Her pink and white checkered uniform was too big for her and her soda bottle lenses made her eyes look too big for her face.

"A booth is fine." Wanda led her over to a booth by the door. She threw the menu down and was about to go over the specials when one of the drunks vomited all over the floor.

"I just mopped that floor." She complained before charging over to the table of college kids.
Nola shook her head picked up the menu and began to scroll through it ignorant to the fact Channing watched her from the plate glass storefront.
#
Joshua realized something was amiss when, after twenty minutes Donna didn't return. He asked one of the waitresses to check the woman's room for her.

When the waitress returned to deliver the news she wasn't in there his heart sank there was no way Donna would've just left.

By this point the bar had emptied out and last call would soon be called. He checked his cell again, no calls or texts. Grabbing his keys, he decided to go back to Windwood in hopes she'd be there.

Author Notes Characters
Joshua Lord-Heir to Lord Shipbuilding and Windwood. Father of Brandon and Jenna. Married To Donna.

Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord, who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Jenna Lord- Joshua and Donna's youngest. Plagued by dreams of a witch being hung she also hears voices

Nola O'grady- Gideon's sidekick and ladylove who was kidnapped by Gideon's son, Channing the night of Simon and Georgia's wedding.

Channing Blake- The son of Gideon and Iris Lord who, was imprisoned under the lake with most of his pack. His only goal in life is to make his father suffer and to kill his sister, Georgia.

Zita Corsini- Mother of Eleanor Lord. Born into the aristocratic Karnstein family notorious for dabbling in black magic and devil worship. After being scorched by Flora Lord in the 18th century, she placed the curse that haunts them now.

Aaron Sutton- Trusted and revered butler who has served the Lord family for decades


Chapter 34
Full Circle

By Jackreese

Previous Chapter
Joshua realized something was amiss when, after twenty minutes, Donna didn't return. He asked one of the waitresses to check the woman's room for her.

When the waitress returned to deliver the news that she wasn't in there, his heart sank. There was no way Donna would've just left.

By this point the bar had emptied out and last call would soon be called. He checked his cell again. No calls or texts. Grabbing his keys, he decided to go back to Windwood in hopes she'd be there.
#
New Post
The trio pulled into Windwood's long drive. The sky was clear as hundreds of stars danced and twinkled across the stratosphere. A gentle wind rustled through the trees and carried with it the scent of southern magnolia.

Simon got out of the car first and stared at the house. It was still an imposing monument. His eyes scanned the front porch, and from there he followed the white pillars up to the second floor around the side of the house to the balcony that had been Rosa's room.

The red Pyracantha still clung to the west side wall and seemed to completely overtake the trellis as it made its way toward the third floor. From the balcony, his eyes followed the Pyracantha to the attic, and then the cupola.

Georgia put a reassuring hand on his shoulder. "We don't have to do this right now. We can come back in the morning." She took him by the sleeve while he continued to stare up at the cupola.

"My mother has gotten away with what she did for years, it's time she pays." He charged off toward the front door.

"Simon, you don't even know if she's in there," Georgia hollered as she tried to catch up with him.

Gideon too had a tough time going inside. His mind kept returning to Ginny and the night she disappeared.

So many lives were destroyed because of this house and the secrets it contained. He couldn't help but wonder if the same was going to ring true tonight. With a deep breath, he followed suit and stood with Simon and Georgia in the foyer.

"Where is everybody?" Georgia said, looking down the long hall that led to the kitchen and servant's quarters.

"Something's not right," Gideon said as he opened the double doors to the parlor. "Can I get some help in here?" He called out after finding Toni slumped over in a chair.

"Georgia, call the police," Simon ordered as he started for the upstairs.

"Wait for the police to get here." Georgia grabbed his arm and stopped him on the third step. "Simon, I just got you back, I'm not going to let you make me a widow again. Please let the police handle this." She sniveled.

Simon swiped at a piece of her copper locks from her brow before pulling her into a passionate kiss.

"This time I'm coming back, I promise." He flashed his pearly whites as he bolted up the stairs.

She reached for her cell and dialed 911 as her eyes settled on the portrait of Andrea across from her in the parlor.
#
Andrea stood over Brandon and didn't feel at all triumphant, but, instead, found herself second guessing her decision. At least with Simon she knew without a shadow of a doubt he was a werewolf. She couldn't say the same about Brandon. As she looked down at his face, the tears began to flow.

"I'm so sorry, but I have to make sure for all our sakes that this plague that's infected our family forever is finally snuffed out." She wiped her eyes with her sleeve and reached for the pillow she dropped earlier. Andrea drew a deep breath and placed the pillow over his face determined to finish what she started.

"What are you doing, Mama?" Simon hollered as he entered the bedroom and saw what she was about to do Brandon.

Andrea's blood ran cold. She stopped dead, unable to turn around to face her greatest fear. She closed her eyes as tight as she could just like the doctor told her to do whenever she was having one of her delusions. "This is not real. It's all in your head." She began to breathe in and out like she was in labor. "When you open your eyes, he will be gone." She told herself.

With his left hand, he reached out and touched his mother on the shoulder, "I assure you I am real."

Andrea shuddered and scrambled to her feet, then darted to the doorway. Simon was too quick and stepped right in front of her. Their eyes locked, the fear dripped off her like beads at Mardi Gras. He could hear her heart beating then as he moved closer. Andrea gasped as she lost control of her bodily fluids leaving a puddle by her feet.

"They make adult underwear for that problem." He laughed.

"I killed you." She murmured unable to comprehend how he survived. Her mind was swimming as memories of the asylum took over triggering her body to twitch, then her eyes rolled into the back of her head.

"Mama, I have waited a long time for this. I will not let you zone out on me now," Simon snarled as he scurried over, took her in his two hands and began to shake her.

"Get your fucking filthy wolf hands off me." Andrea screeched as she forcefully shrugged him off.

The look she gave him was the same calculating insane look that had haunted him for over two decades. Five seconds ago, she peed her pants at the sight of him now she was ready to slit his throat.

"I was left to rot behind the walls of that sanitarium for murdering my son. Your father locked me up and threw away the key." Andrea seethed. "I watched as he remarried, had another child, and I lost my Joshy. What was it for? NOTHING?" She squealed as she slammed her fists into her sides and kept her piercing eyes on Simon.

Tears began to well in his eyes, his heart sank as he fought back the nausea that was creeping up into his throat. He had hoped that after all these years she would've been happy to see him or shown some remorse. They were so close at one time how could she just turn her emotions off like a switch and forget that she was the one person who should love him unconditionally.

Andrea continued to glare at him like a serpent ready to strike. "I never realized how much you look like that, bitch, Rosa."

Something snapped inside Simon and before he knew it, he had his mother by the throat.

"Don't you ever talk about my Nana like that again." He warned. "Rosa Lord was ten times the woman you'd ever be and she had more class in her pinky than you have in your whole body. I loved that woman with all my heart and if you ever disrespect her again, I'll snap your neck." Andrea stared at him with such hatred he released her.

"She was a bully who controlled everyone and everything. When I killed her, I did the world a favor."

"What?" Simon felt like he was in a bad dream, everything was moving in slowmotion and Andrea's voice sounded like a slowdown cassette tape.

"That's right, your precious cow of a grandmother pushed me a little too hard and I, in turn, pushed her down the steps." She giggled as she picked up the glass Brandon drank from and smashed it on the TV cart.

With a bloody hand, she lunged for Simon a giant shard poised to slice his jugular. "Aargh,"

Simon instinctively reached out his fist and cold cocked her with a right hook. Andrea went down faster than Monica Lewinsky and didn't move a muscle. He stared down at her a moment and felt nothing but pity. He stepped over her and made his way to the door.

"Wait," she called as he was about to step into the corridor.

"I'm done waiting for you. Save whatever you have to say for your lawyer." Simon raged.

"Please," she cried as she tried to crawl over to him. Her cheek was swollen and beginning to bruise where he had struck her.

He hesitated at the door and observed as she struggled to make her way over to him. She was still so beautiful for her age and for a fleeting moment he saw the woman he adored and, despite all she's done, still did. Against his better judgement, he yielded and reached his hand down to help her up.

"Simon, the police are on the way," Georgia interrupted.

Andrea, who still had the large piece of glass in her hand shoved Simon and slashed Georgia across the arm. Georgia kicked at her, but Andrea was relentless. Her mother in-law pinned her against a wall.

"I will never go back to that place." Andrea said through gnashed teeth. Georgia closed her eyes as Andrea prepared to stab her again.

Without hesitation, Simon sprang into action and charged his mother. Andrea's eyes widened as his head smashed into her gut she fell back hitting head on the wall and slipping down to the floor the piece of glass flew across the room and out of her hand.

Georgia got to her feet her right hand covered the gash inflicted by Andrea.

"You okay?" He rushed over to Georgia. "Let me see." He looked over the wound. "You might need stitches." Simon felt a sharp pain in his left side as his mother repeatedly drove a fork left over from Brandon's dinner into his back. The burning sensation travelled up his spine. His arms flailed for the fork, but he couldn't reach it.

Simons vision began to blur as he toppled over. The last thing he saw was a demented Andrea springing at him with the shard of glass again. Seconds later he lost consciousness.

"Leave him alone!" Georgia screamed as she tried to wrestle the glass out of Andrea's hand.

Andrea struck back by kicking her in the shin.

Georgia, in turn, kicked her back harder.

With one good shove, Georgia stumbled back. Horrified, she watched as her mother-in-law was about to cut into Simon like a turkey. It was at that moment Georgia knew this was not going to end well.

"Are you deaf? I said leave him the fuck alone!" Like a brahma bull Georgia rushed at Andrea and only stopped when she heard her screaming as she plunged out the bedroom window.

The whole way home Joshua kept trying Donna's cell, Andrea's, and Toni's. No one was answering. Now he knew something was wrong as he turned onto the drive. The red and blue lights from the ambulance and paddy wagons lit up the white stucco of Windwood. There were cops and paramedics all over the porch. He was so worked up, he almost jumped out of the car before putting it in park.

Broken glass sprayed across the front lawn as the body of Andrea Lord crash landed onto the hood of Joshua's car.
#
"Hi Mommy." A little girl dressed in a white cotton dress with pink flowers said cheerfully.

"Amber?" Andrea felt a happiness unlike any other. She saw her mangled body as the paramedics placing the sheet over it.

"It's time to go." Andrea gladly took the child's hand and walked toward the fog and for the first time in years found peace.


Author Notes Characters
Joshua Lord-Heir to Lord Shipbuilding and Windwood. Father of Brandon and Jenna. Married To Donna.

Andrea Lord- Wife of Calvin. Mother of Joshua and Simon.

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita, who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Brandon Lord-Joshua and Donna's son. Resembles his late grandfather and its unknown if he carries the werewolf gene.

Simon Lord-Joshua's older brother. Simon was born a werewolf because of a curse and was shot by his mother, Andrea, for being a werewolf. After 20 years in a coma he wakes up. Everyone believes him to be dead.

Georgia Lord- Simon's wife. Georgia was born from two werewolf parents and can change at will, unlike Simon who can only change by the full moon.

Gideon Blake- Centuries old werewolf, father of Ginny and Georgia. Hates the Lord family and is another member of the order.


Chapter 35
Picking Up The Pieces

By Jackreese

Previous Chapter
Broken glass sprayed across the front lawn as the body of Andrea Lord crash landed onto the hood of Joshua's car.
#
"Hi Mommy." A little girl dressed in a white cotton dress with pink flowers said cheerfully.

"Amber?" Andrea felt a happiness unlike any other. She saw her mangled body as the paramedics were placing the sheet over it.

"It's time to go." Andrea gladly took the child's hand and walked toward the fog and for the first time in years found peace.
#
New Post
Kara and Sutton buried Donna as far down as they could in the middle of nowhere, far from Windwood. Donna pleaded while they dug, and even after the two covered her coffin with dirt, she implored them one last time to let her out. Both ignored her and continued to bury the casket. Kara patted the dirt with the shovel one last time than jumped into the awaiting pick-up with Sutton and they sped off.

As she lay in the darkness of her tomb, it dawned on her that the one person who could save her was Julian. With all her might Donna called to him in hopes he'd save her again.

"Hear my voice, Julian, through the void of time, which separates us, and by the bind of our devotion which carries on, return to me, my love, return to me." With that, all she could do was wait. Toni's words still worried her, but she had no choice. If Julian didn't come, she would die or if the others found out, she could die. Either way, it was a catch 22 and somebody was gonna get hurt.
#

Andrea literally broke when she slammed into the hood. She hit it with such a force the engine fell out of the bottom and all the windows blew out. The sight of his mother laying across the hood of the car with blood coming out of every orifice of her body, including her eyes, was too much for him. Joshua opened the driver side door and vomited.

He began to cry like he had the night of Simon and Georgia's wedding when Andrea shot Simon and Calvin. His world was thrown into a tailspin that night. Had it not been for the love of Donna and the kids, he would be a much different man today. Once again, he felt alone and when they brought the gurney though the front door and down the steps with the white sheet covering the corpse, he let out a wail so tragic Donna heard it in the ground,

"Who is it?" He demanded as he reached to pull the sheet off. The coroner and a deputy tried to stop him, but Joshua persisted until he succeeded in yanking it off. To his surprise, underneath the sheet was Loretta Caulfield. He couldn't help but smile and giggle as his defense mechanism kicked in, thankful it wasn't his family.

"Are you, all, right?" The young deputy asked.

Joshua just shooed him away with his hands.

"No, no my baby boy!" A familiar voice shrieked as another victim was brought out of the house.

Recognizing Toni's voice, Joshua leapt out from behind the car to see his son being wheeled out next. Brandon was being fed oxygen as they hurried him into the ambulance.

"Brandon what did they do to you?" The tears stung at his eyes and for a moment he couldn't find his voice. He stroked his son's head and clung to his clammy hand.

"Mr. Lord, we have to get him to the hospital. Your son has lost a tremendous amount of oxygen to his brain. We must find out exactly what's wrong and time is crucial." The mid aged paramedic said as he and another younger woman loaded the boy into the back.

"May I ride with him?" He asked the girl.

"Of course." She motioned with her left hand for him to climb in.

"Brother," Simon called as he placed his right hand on Joshua's shoulder.

Slowly Joshua turned to see his older brother alive and in the flesh. Joshua closed his eyes tight since insanity runs in the family. Right now he felt he was on the cusp of losing it too.

"Mr. Lord, we have to go." The man said about to close the back.

"Josh, go. We'll be here when you get back," Georgia spoke softly as she put her hand on his face.

Joshua's eyes rolled into the back of his head, he fell back and hit his head on the bumper and was knocked unconscious. Simon tried to catch him when he saw his eyes gloss over, but wasn't fast enough.

"Take care of your brother." Toni demanded as she came out of nowhere. "I'll go with Brandon." She said very hoarsely as she climbed into the back.

"I'll go too." Gideon said following suit. "When he comes to, you guys are going to have a lot to explain. It would be better if I wasn't here. He's already had enough excitement for one day," he said, kissing Georgia and getting into the ambulance.
#

Joshua awoke in his giant four poster king size bed with his sister in-law at the foot of his bed. His brother sat beside him holding his hand. He rubbed his eyes, shook his head, and even pinched himself when he saw Simon.

"Is that really you?" Joshua said as he used his elbows to sit up all the while keeping his eyes locked on his brother.

"Yes, yes, it is." Simon said as he moved closer to the head of the bed. He knelt close to Joshua's face to give him a better look.

"God, you sure are ugly." They both laughed. It hurt his head, but he didn't care.

"I ought to knock your block off for that."

"I don't understand. Where have you been all this time?" Joshua quizzed. The mood turned serious again.

"Get some rest, you had quite a shock." He gently pushed his head down on the pillow. "I promise I'll be back to see you."

"Simon," he called, as Simon opened the bedroom door. Simon closed the door and moved back to his brother's bedside.

"What is it, now. You're like a little kid stalling on Christmas Eve."

"I missed you, man." Joshua still had enough strength to pull Simon into a bear hug bringing tears to both their eyes.

"Stop being mushy and get some sleep," he said when Joshua let him go. "I won't leave you again," he whispered, closing the door. He looked up and thanked God that the bond he had with Joshua wasn't broken.
#
Toni was still sitting Indian style on the beige sofa with her eyes closed in the waiting room of Wake General. Gideon stood in front of her with a white Styrofoam cup in one hand and a magazine that was a few years old in the other. He watched, amazed by how she could sit so still and quiet. Five minutes like that would buckle his legs when he got up. She's been like that almost an hour.

"Take a picture it'll last longer," she quipped.

"Ah, there she is. I knew I'd find the real Toni in there," he said, plopping down beside her. "I was beginning to think you've gone soft."

"Don't you have anything to do besides bug me? How long has it been since we saw the doctor?" she said, standing up and immediately starting to wear a hole in the floor.

"About twenty minutes since the last time you asked," he said, sipping from the cup.

"I should've known better than to let that woman anywhere near them." She complained as she ran her hands through her dark tresses. "What if he doesn't make it?" Toni's tough exterior began to crumble as she feared the worst.

"Let the doctors do their job." He soothed as he took her into his arms. Toni relaxed in his embrace and let it all out. Gideon remained silent as she sobbed. Once finished, they remained silent.

"Thanks for what you did for me tonight. If you hadn't come along, who knows how much worse it could've been." She admitted as she gave him a little nudge.

"If I didn't know better I'd think you're beginning to like me," he said in jest, with his right eye closed and his head cocked to the side.

"Nah, I still hate you, but I'm glad you're home."

"I'm happy to be back even if I have to look at a crone like you." He winked. "As much as I hated this place, it is home and I could never stay away long. Besides, you'd be lost without me."

"I'm already regretting saying anything."

"Ms. Corsini?" the doctor asked as he came out of the large double doors.

Toni squeezed Gideon's hand so tight he winced.

Author Notes Characters
Joshua Lord-Heir to Lord Shipbuilding and Windwood. Father of Brandon and Jenna. Married To Donna.

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita, who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Brandon Lord-Joshua and Donna's son. Resembles his late grandfather and its unknown if he carries the werewolf gene.

Simon Lord-Joshua's older brother. Simon was born a werewolf because of a curse and was shot by his mother, Andrea, for being a werewolf. After 20 years in a coma he wakes up. Everyone believes him to be dead.

Georgia Lord- Simon's wife. Georgia was born from two werewolf parents and can change at will, unlike Simon who can only change by the full moon.

Gideon Blake- Centuries old werewolf, father of Ginny and Georgia. Hates the Lord family and is another member of the order.





Chapter 36
Awakenings

By Jackreese

Previous Chapter
Toni was still sitting Indian style on the beige sofa with her eyes closed in the waiting room of Wake General. Gideon stood in front of her with a white Styrofoam cup in one hand and a magazine in the other. He watched, amazed by how she could sit so still and quiet. Five minutes like that would buckle his legs when he got up. She's been like that almost an hour.

"Take a picture it'll last longer," she quipped.

"Ah, there she is. I knew I'd find the real Toni in there," he said, plopping down beside her. "I was beginning to think you've gone soft."

"Don't you have anything to do besides bug me? How long has it been since we saw the doctor?" she said, standing up and immediately starting to wear a hole in the floor.

"It's been a while," he said, sipping from the cup.

"I should've known better than to let that woman anywhere near them." She complained as she ran her hands through her dark tresses. "What if he doesn't make it?" Toni's tough exterior began to crumble as she feared the worst.

"Let the doctors do their job." He soothed as he took her into his arms. Toni relaxed in his embrace and let it all out. Gideon remained silent as she sobbed. Once finished, they remained silent.

"Thanks for what you did for me tonight. If you hadn't come along, who knows how much worse it could've been." She admitted as she gave him a little nudge.

"If I didn't know better I'd think you're beginning to like me," he said in jest, with his right eye closed and his head cocked to the side.

"Nah, I still hate you, but I'm glad you're home."

"I'm happy to be back even if I have to look at a crone like you." He winked. "As much as I hated this place, it is home and I could never stay away long. Besides, you'd be lost without me."

"I'm already regretting saying anything."

"Ms. Corsini?" the doctor asked as he came out of the large double doors.

Toni squeezed Gideon's hand so tight he winced.
#
New Chapter
Joshua lay on his back in a deep sleep, thanks to the drugs and knot on the back of his head. A fog began to seep in from under the bedroom door. A spectral figure hovered above him within an inch of his face.

He let out a deep breath as he rolled over onto his right side, allowing the being to enter his body through his mouth. His eyes opened, he sat up slowly as his eyes adjusted to the darkness that surrounded him. He stuck out his arms to make sure they were there, then he dropped his legs over the side of the bed slowly getting to his feet.

He opened the bedroom door and was blinded by the lights overhead and staggered a moment. Using his right hand to steady himself on a small oak table, he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror hanging above the table.

"Julian's on the way," he said, turning and heading down the stairs. Halfway down, he heard voices.

"Are you sure you weren't followed?" Zita asked through Jenna. Her little head bobbed as she stood with her hands on her hips.

"Positive," Sutton assured. "I buried her in a part of town that's been abandoned since the second world war." His hair was mussed and the flannel was soiled and muddy from the dirt.

"Why don't you go clean up before everyone gets back. I'm gonna go check on Joshua." She started to go back upstairs and turned back. "Where's Kara?"

"I don't know, she was right behind me."

"Go find her before she ruins everything," the girl barked at Sutton who raced off like a dog with his tail between his legs.

Julian waited by the stairs and as Jenna rounded the corner to ascend the steps he jumped out, startling her. Using a brooch he found in Donna's room, he dipped it into a green liquid he got from Toni's room and used it to put the child out of commission. Once the brooch pieced the skin, she was out in seconds.

Next, he grabbed the duct tape that he took from the junk drawer in the kitchen earlier and began to bind her legs and hands. Jenna's eyes opened as he finished taping her mouth.

"Hello Zita, we're going for a walk." He threw Jenna over his shoulders and carried her wiggling down the front steps and out the door.
#
Julian had been digging for hours. His arms ached and his fingers cramped, but he had to keep going. She needed him.

"See Zita, not even you could stop us this time," he said, climbing out of the hole to fetch the wire cutters in the satchel next to her bound body. Julian grabbed the wire cutters, then jumped back down into the hole where he began to carve through the chains that held her prisoner.

Finally, after a bit of effort he got the links off and pulled back the lid to find a wild Donna. The vampire's eyes were glazed over, her fangs were out and her fingernails were broken and bloody from trying to get out.

"Martha," Julian said, reaching in to touch her face. In a matter of seconds, she shot upward and bore down on his neck and fed until she nearly sucked him dry. Jenna began to laugh madly, snapping Donna out of her bloodlust. Realizing she almost killed Joshua, she let out an ear-piercing cry as tears of blood trickled down her cheeks.

Wiping the red from her lips with the back of her hand, she whirled around, her eyes were black as she unleashed a tirade on the possessed child.

"This ends tonight. I will not let you take him from me again, Zita. I will finish you off once and for all, even if it kills me in the process." She looked down lovingly at Joshua, who was so pale he made a vampire look tan.

Zita glared up at her unable to speak cause of the tape over his mouth.

"I'm so cold." Joshua uttered so weakly. He soon blacked out. Donna knew if she waited any longer without doing something she would lose him. His chestnut hair appeared almost red in contrast to his colorless skin. His breathing was labored. She could feel his life-force slipping away.

"You'll pay for this. I promise." She yelled, turning back to Zita "Hold on, babe," she said, plopping down on the grass, sliding over to Joshua and pulling him into her lap. "Please, work." She bit down on her wrist till the blood flowed then she placed the opened wound over his mouth and let the blood do its magic.

Then, the ghost of Julian appeared to her wearing a large grin. With tears in her eyes, she looked at the spirit as he began to fade.

"I will always be by your side and forever in your heart." His voice echoed in her head.

"Goodbye my love, thank you!" She heard footsteps and turned in time to see Sutton running off with Jenna. Hoisting Joshua over her left shoulder, she set out for Windwood intent on stopping the witch once and for all.
#
Simon sat in Calvin's office chair just staring at the portrait of Rosa while nursing a tumbler of his grandfather Teddy's favorite Bourbon. He hadn't been home a whole 24 hours and already Windwood claimed his mother and looks like his nephew, too. He wasn't sure if it was the booze or if he was just tired, but he thought he saw a woman run by the window with Joshua over her shoulder.

"Help," Donna screamed as she rushed through the front door.

"What happened to my brother?" Simon choked.

"Simon?" Donna said surprised.

"I can't leave you alone for five minutes," a worn Toni chastised from the front door, as she returned from the hospital with Gideon.

"Let's get him upstairs." Simon said, taking him from Donna. "Gideon, could you help me?" Gideon picked up his legs and started up the stairs.

Donna ran right into Toni's arms and just sobbed.

"Jenna's been possessed by Zita and she put Sutton under her spell. Sutton, with the help of a woman I turned, buried me. I summoned Julian, who possessed Joshua long enough to save me and reveal that Jenna is the culprit. In my madness, I attacked Josh." She continued to sob, staining Toni's sky-blue shirt with the blood of her tears.

"I need you to listen to me," she wept as she took Donna's hands and sat down on the sofa. "While you were gone, something happened to Brandon." Toni broke down before she could finish.

"Accident? What happened to my boy? I knew it. When I was in the coffin, I heard Joshua's cries." She crumpled to the floor and wailed so loud the transom above the door cracked as did a vase on the parlor table, and the overhead light bulbs in the chandelier broke.

"I need you to be strong and return to your coffin. There is nothing you can do for Josh, Brandon, or Jenna until tomorrow night," Toni pleaded as the sky began to explode in orange and blue.

"Please, watch over and protect them, and whatever you do, do not let Sutton back in this house." Donna made her way to the basement door, down the steps, and to the room that housed her coffin.
#
Kara knew she had a few more minutes at most to find shelter or the rays of the sun would finish her off, but she pressed on, knowing what was in there was worth a thousand burns. She knew the hidden cavern was close and could get rest there. Out of nowhere, she saw a large circular cement wall with a steel grate over it a few yards away and a ladder going up the side.

"That has to be it!" She made a dash for it, just as the sun began to rise. Her skin began to burn and smoke as the sun continued to set her insides on fire. It was becoming harder for her to walk as the flames engulfed her whole body. Kara collapsed in front of the ladder.

A figure covered her with a blanket and herded her into an awaiting van. When she pulled the blanket back, she was greeted by Channing, Lila, and another scrawnier man who looked like a mouse. Knowing she was surrounded by two werewolves and a shape shifter, she bared her fangs.

"Ooh, we got a wild one here," the mousy guy mocked.

"I don't believe it. I thought the last vampire died at the turn of the century." Lila uttered, amazed by the undead creature before them.

Kara continued to hiss and pinned the scrawny guy against the van wall where she ripped open his collar and almost bit him. Channing injected her with silver and she collapsed.

"That was close." The guy rubbed his throat as Channing snapped his neck.

"Whatcha do that for?" Lila bemoaned as she looked at the body.

"He was weak and could've gotten us all killed. I don't have patience for fuck ups."

"That was just wrong" Lila continued to voice her outrage.

"You could always join him." He said, opening the door and tossing the body out. "Everyone is expendable, including you." Channing warned. His bald head was glistening from sweat, which also rolled down his neck to his back creating a smiley face on his shirt.

"What about her?" She pointed to Kara, who was still unconscious and face down on the van floor.

"We are going to drain her. Vampire blood goes for10 million an ounce. It's the only cure for the virus and if one of us is bit, it could save our lives."
With that, he produced a butterfly knife from his pocket and sliced Kara open.

Lila turned away in disgust, kicked open the van doors and exited the vehicle, stepping over the carcass of her comrade. She felt bad she didn't know his name or where he came from or why it affected her so much that she was crying.

"Where are you going?" Channing barked.

"I need to get some air." She wiped away the tears with the back of her hand.

"Here, take this." He handed her a wooden stake tipped with silver. "There could be more."

Reluctantly, she took them and walked away.

Lila didn't know where she was going and didn't care. All she knew was she had to get away from him.

Author Notes Characters
Joshua Lord-Heir to Lord Shipbuilding and Windwood. Father of Brandon and Jenna. Married To Donna.

Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord, who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita, who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Brandon Lord-Joshua and Donna's son. Resembles his late grandfather and its unknown if he carries the werewolf gene.

Simon Lord-Joshua's older brother. Simon was born a werewolf because of a curse and was shot by his mother, Andrea, for being a werewolf. After 20 years in a coma he wakes up. Everyone believes him to be dead.

Channing Blake- The son of Gideon and Iris Lord who, was imprisoned under the lake with most of his pack. His only goal in life is to make his father suffer and to kill his sister, Georgia.

Zita Corsini- Mother of Eleanor Lord. Born into the aristocratic Karnstein family notorious for dabbling in black magic and devil worship. After being scorched by Flora Lord in the 18th century, she placed the curse that haunts them now.

Julian Lord-Died in 1853 after drowning with Martha on the Mary Agnes. He was Martha's true love and a dead ringer for Joshua.


Chapter 37
Letting Go

By Jackreese

Previous Post
Lila turned away in disgust, kicked open the van doors and exited the vehicle, stepping over the carcass of her comrade. She felt bad she didn't know his name or where he came from or why it affected her so much that she was crying.

"Where are you going?" Channing barked.

"I need to get some air." She wiped away the tears with the back of her hand.

"Here, take this." He handed her a wooden stake tipped with silver. "There could be more."

Reluctantly, she took them and walked away.

Lila didn't know where she was going and didn't care. All she knew was she had to get away from him.
#
New Post
Later that day, a broken Simon returned from the morgue where he had to identify Andrea's body. He went to her room and sat at her desk. On top was a photo album opened to a picture of him and Andrea taken at his wedding while they were dancing.

Simon hated her, yet his heart was being torn to pieces at seeing the two of them so happy. The tears hit the plastic covered pages as he flipped through the images of his life. The past he wanted to forget was being revealed through these pictures.

"There you are. I was looking all over for you. Thought maybe we could go catch a movie," Georgia asked from the door frame.

With tears dripping down his face, he looked up at his wife no longer able to contain his emotions. Without a word, she moved to the desk and comforted her man. She stroked his head as he sobbed placing the book back on the desk. He hooked his hands around her waist.

"I'm good now." He said dryly and letting go of her.

"Is this you?" She asked, handing him a few tissues that were by the desk lamp and picking up the book and motioning to the top picture.

"Let me see." He turned in the swivel chair and knocked the book out of her hands and on to the floor. The clasp broke and the pictures went everywhere.

Georgia began to pick up the prints, when she found the unopened letter Calvin left Andrea in the mess.

"Can I see that?" He tore into it immediately.

"My dearest Andrea,

It's been a long time and if you're reading this, I've passed. It's been over thirty years since we spoke and I wanted you to know that I've forgiven you and in all our years apart you remained the great love of my life which is why I must tell you that Simon is still alive.
Sutton and I, with the help of Georgia, kept him from you for your protection and his. I'm telling you this now, so you may let go of the past, he was always your favorite and it showed in the way you doted on him. Andrea, I never got to see my boys again. Don't make the mistake I did. Forgive yourself and Simon and be a family.
Love always,
Cal"

The tears began to flow again, only this time they were happy tears. He folded the letter and smiled.

"What'd it say?" Georgia asked, looking over his shoulder.

Simon sighed, "That I wasn't forgotten. I really had a family. They were here the whole time." Simon sniffed loudly, clearing his nose. "You still wanna catch that movie?"
#
Joshua continued to sleep upstairs. It had been over 24 hours, but Toni thought it best he remain out of it until she figured out what to do about Donna, Sutton, and Jenna. As of today, there was no change in Brandon's condition, either. Fortunately, while she was in the boy's hospital room, she was able to slip some silver in his I.V. or she'd have another werewolf added to the mix.

"How long have you known, Martha?" Gideon asked, coming into the parlor. Toni looked puzzled as Gideon poured himself a drink and sat beside her on the sofa. "We know each other quite well." He said taking a sip of bourbon from his glass, acknowledging Toni's confusion.

"I don't understand." Toni groaned.

"I am over 300 years old. I was here at Windwood in 1912 when Martha was released the first time. I knew what she was and vice versa. I needed an ally, so I would protect her during the day, and she would look after me when I changed. If it wasn't for her, I would be trapped with the others in that underground prison." He said, remembering the past as if it were yesterday.

"And you are just telling me this now?" She said annoyed.

"Hey, it's not like you mentioned to me that you were protecting a vampire, either." He shot back.

"The less people who knew about her, the better. Let's just call it even and I'll forget about you not telling me Channing got out." She smirked as he glared at her.

"Here we go again. Thirty years pass and you still can't let that go? I'm not apologizing again."
A sound out in the foyer stopped them from continuing the disagreement.

"What was that?" Toni whispered. Gideon placed his forefinger over his mouth to keep her quiet. He thrust open the door to see Joshua had fallen down the stairs.

"I must find, Martha." Joshua uttered as he tried to pull himself up by the banister. He was still too weak and collapsed again.

"He is starting to remember." Toni had become visibly upset.

"Remember what?" Gideon asked, looking puzzled.

"Just help me get him back upstairs and I'll explain later."
#
Sutton and Jenna were holed up in the lower level of Lord Mausoleum. There was no way Sutton could return to his job now that they knew what he and Jenna had been up too. After sleeping in the park, the mausoleum was the Ritz.

"We need to figure out what to do next?" Sutton said, sitting down on one of the marble slabs. "This is no place for a little girl."

"You know better than that." Jenna replied as she closed her eyes and rested her head against a statue of some Lord ancestor.

"I just meant..." She cut him off.

"The only way this stops, is if Martha and the rest of that family are wiped from this planet. You want to end this sooner, I suggest you get busy and figure out a way to eliminate them."

"This has gone way too far. I never wanted any of this. I'm done and I'm gonna turn myself in in hopes they will go easy on me..." He jumped up and stormed over toward the exit.

"No, you're not. You are going to do exactly what I tell you or I'll make sure your fate is worse than anything you can imagine."

"I don't care." He continued to the stairs.

Jenna fixed her gaze on him. He heard a buzzing in his head began to throb. He fell to his knees as blood began to trickle out of his nose. Sutton cried in pain as it spilled out of his ears.

"Alright! Enough! I'll help!" In a matter of seconds, the pain she inflicted was over.

"I knew you'd see it my way. Now let's get some rest."

Author Notes Characters
Joshua Lord-Heir to Lord Shipbuilding and Windwood. Father of Brandon and Jenna. Married To Donna.

Jenna Lord- Joshua and Donna's youngest. Plagued by dreams of a witch being hung she also hears voices

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita, who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Simon Lord-Joshua's older brother. Simon was born a werewolf because of a curse and was shot by his mother, Andrea, for being a werewolf. After 20 years in a coma he wakes up. Everyone believes him to be dead.

Georgia Lord- Simon's wife. Georgia was born from two werewolf parents and can change at will, unlike Simon who can only change by the full moon.

Gideon Blake- Centuries old werewolf, father of Ginny and Georgia. Hates the Lord family and is another member of the order.

Channing Blake- The son of Gideon and Iris Lord who, was imprisoned under the lake with most of his pack. His only goal in life is to make his father suffer and to kill his sister, Georgia.

Aaron Sutton- Trusted and revered butler who has served the Lord family for decades


Chapter 38
Friends and Lovers

By Jackreese

When Simon and Georgia returned to Windwood, a letter was delivered from Andrea's attorney. In it were handwritten instructions explicitly stating she wanted to be cremated, with half of her ashes being placed in the Lord Mausoleum, and the other half scattered in the Aegean Sea off the Greek coast where Calvin and she had honeymooned.

"What are we going to do?" Georgia uttered after finishing reading it.

"I want to see what Joshua thinks as well as Toni. I'd rather flush her down the toilet, but she was also Joshua's mother. I hated her, but he didn't. With everything else being taken from him, I don't want to take this from him, too."

Georgia placed a kiss on his cheek. "You're such a good man. After everything she did, I don't know if I could be so calm. I would rip up that letter, dump her in the trash, and call it a day." She said walking into the parlor.

"I don't want to do anything for her and if I could I'd skip the funeral, I would. But, it's not about me or my feelings, remember?" He said following her into the room.
#
Toni and Gideon got Joshua back in bed and resting comfortably again. The sun was setting and soon Donna would be up and about. Gideon sat down in a chair next to the bed.

"Are you going to tell me what's going on?" He sat back with his arms folded.

"The night of the wedding I came back to the inn to host an after party. I found Martha, who I renamed Donna, in the basement where I went to get champagne. I had her wait there until the party was over. Joshua had been very drunk and was in no position to drive home. I had him
stay with me in hopes of sobering him up. Martha and Joshua took one look at each other and well you can figure out the rest."

"What does any of this have to do with Joshua?"

"He is the reincarnation of Julian Lord, the man Martha ran off with in 1853 and ended up alongside of at the bottom of the Aurora. If he were to remember and panics or starts running his mouth, it puts them both in danger. If any of the other leaders or the Monarchs discovered one of the last vampires was here in Solomon's Wake, we would have another Crimson Rising on our hands and none of us could survive another war."

"We lost so much last time." He exhaled and looked down at Joshua, who let out a gurgling sound as he rolled over.

"With that in mind, I used an old Karnstein remedy of bloodroot and other herbs to create a pill that made Martha human, avoiding another conflict all together." She sat down on the edge of the bed after she covered him with a blanket from the closet.

"You do realize the order or the Monarchs could hang or behead you for this. It's an act of treason."

"I know, but I love them both and would walk through fire and face the worst the Monarchs or order could throw at me to protect my family and that is exactly what they are."

"Did you hear that?" Gideon said as he put his left hand up to his ear.

"Really, I'm in the middle of spilling my guts out and you let your imagination run wild. If you didn't want to hear it, you could've just said so." Toni fumed.

"There it is again."

There was loud knocking followed by what sounded like someone kicking the front door in downstairs. It continued for a few minutes and when the banging stopped a woman began screaming at the top of her lungs.

Gideon ran over to the window, pulled the lace curtains back and saw Nola standing in the middle of the lawn just yelling arms flailing and face red as the sun.

"Nola," his heart burst as he dashed out the room. He hurried down the staircase hitting only a few of the steps on the way down. Thrusting open the door, he ran out down the cement porch steps and stood about a foot away from her.

"It's about time. I thought I was gonna lose my voice or break my hand." She was about to say something else when he planted one right on her.

After years of beating around the bush and denying their real feelings, they threw caution to the wind and lived in the moment. Nola encircled her arms around Gideon's neck and relaxed into his embrace as the two continued to kiss under the stars and moon-light, with a graceful Windwood watching in the background.

While Nola and Gideon were getting reacquainted, the tracker Channing placed inside her began to go off on the monitor inside the van where Lila and Channing were sleeping.

Both slept like logs and were asleep a good twenty minutes before Lila heard it. Groggily, she rolled over on her side and saw the red light blinking and heard the continuous beeping from the beacon. She looked over to Channing, who was sleeping sitting up in front of the monitor.

"Channing," she hit him on the shoulder. When he didn't budge, she struck him again, this time waking him up.

"What?" His eyes were still half shut as he cracked his neck and stretched his arms.

"The beacon is going off," she said, tapping on the screen with her red nail.

"I'll be. I knew she would come here and my guess is, she went right to daddy. Ok, Lila fasten your seat belt. Things are about to get bumpy."
#
Back at Windwood, Nola was basking in the warmth of the shower, giddy with happiness. The water was so warm and refreshing as it hit the nape of her neck. She closed her eyes and tilted her head back and lathered up her hair.

She let the water cascade down her face. Quickly, steam filled the bathroom and fogged up the mirrors. Out of the blue, a cold hand reached out and pulled her into a kiss. Nola, who had shampoo in her hair, jumped. The suds got in her eyes. Instantly, they started to burn.
When the soap washed away from her eyes, Gideon was before her naked and staring at her with sheer lust in his eyes.

"I thought you might need some help," Gideon said as he went to kiss her again.

"Gideon Blake, you scared the hell out of me!" He began to massage her shoulders and breathe down her neck. Nola began to coo and giggle as Gideon began to kiss her all over.

"I'll get out if you want." Gideon went to get out when Nola pulled him back in.

"Don't you dare, I have waited way too long for this," she said as she kissed him again. Gideon pressed her against the wall as he ran his hands over her breasts. She began to moan as he continued to fulfill her wish.

Author Notes Joshua Lord-Heir to Lord Shipbuilding and Windwood. Father of Brandon and Jenna. Married To Donna.

Simon Lord-Joshua's older brother. Simon was born a werewolf because of a curse and was shot by his mother, Andrea, for being a werewolf. After 20 years in a coma he wakes up. Everyone believes him to be dead.

Georgia Lord- Simon's wife. Georgia was born from two werewolf parents and can change at will, unlike Simon who can only change by the full moon.

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita, who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Gideon Blake- Centuries old werewolf, father of Ginny and Georgia. Hates the Lord family and is another member of the order.

Nola O'grady- Gideon's sidekick and ladylove who was kidnapped by Gideon's son, Channing the night of Simon and Georgia's wedding.

Channing Blake- The son of Gideon and Iris Lord who, was imprisoned under the lake with most of his pack. His only goal in life is to make his father suffer and to kill his sister, Georgia.

Lila- Channing's right hand woman and go to girl.


Chapter 39
Ashes to Ashes

By Jackreese

Previous Post
She let the water cascade down her face. Quickly, steam filled the bathroom and fogged up the mirrors. Out of the blue, a cold hand reached out and pulled her into a kiss. Nola, who had shampoo in her hair, jumped. The suds got in her eyes. Instantly, they started to burn.
When the soap washed away from her eyes, Gideon was before her naked and staring at her with sheer lust in his eyes.

"I thought you might need some help," Gideon said as he went to kiss her again.

"Gideon Blake, you scared the hell out of me!" He began to massage her shoulders and breathe down her neck. Nola began to coo and giggle as Gideon began to kiss her all over.

"I'll get out if you want." Gideon went to get out when Nola pulled him back in.

"Don't you dare, I have waited way too long for this," she said as she kissed him again. Gideon pressed her against the wall as he ran his hands over her breasts. She began to moan as he continued to fulfill her wish.

New Post
Toni was in her room, sitting on her bed looking over old journals, pictures, prop-erty lines, and some maps trying to figure out exactly where the mine entrance would be. In the '80's, it had been filled in to build a mall. And about ten years ago, Calvin sold the land to South Carolina, who designated it federal land. In doing so, the exact loca-tion of the entrance was now lost.

She heard the floorboards in the hallway creaking and knew someone was com-ing. Gathering all the paperwork, she pulled back her comforter and covered over the stuff with it. Grabbing the remote, she put on a cooking show and sat down in the mauve recliner in front of the tv just as there was a knock on the door.

"Toni, you got a minute?" Simon asked as he cleared his throat.

"Since it's you, I'll give you five. Come on in," Toni teased.

Simon looked like he was carrying the world on his shoulders as he sat down at the foot of the bed. His hair was all over the place, he looked like hadn't slept in days. Gone were the smiles and the confidence he exuberated a few days ago.

"I got a letter from mama's attorney. It stated she wanted some of her ashes placed in the mausoleum and the rest scattered off the coast where she and dad honey-mooned." He sighed as he stared down at his feet. "I don't know what I should do. I know she was Josh's mother, too, but I want to feed what's left of her to the catfish in the bayou." At this point Simon began to sob. "After everything she's done, I'm still over here crying over her."

"You listen to me, Simon Lord. You are a good, decent man. Your mother was a fool and just plain batty for not seeing what everybody else does." She soothed as she sat next to him with her arm around his shoulder. "I don't care if you are a werewolf or were bear or whatever other were. I missed you. You are a kind-hearted soul. I can see it in how you look at your wife and, most recently, in the way you've taken care of your brother. That, my dear boy, is something that's in you and cannot be faked." She kissed him on the cheek. "And I love you and that is a miracle in its own right because I don't like anybody." They both broke out in a fit of laughter.

"Thank you," he said, taking her hand and kissing it.

"Now, what is it you wanted to talk to me about?" She said, reaching back for the tissues on the nightstand.

"Should I tell, Joshua?"

"What would your mother have done if the shoe was on the other foot?"

"She probably would've fed my ashes to everyone in nightcaps or spread my remains in the horse stable."

"Then, there's your answer."
#
Joshua woke himself up when he let out a scream. He had another dream about the Mary Agnes sinking with him on it. Sitting up, he found the sheets drenched and then noticed a fresh rope burn on his hand.

"I'm losing my mind," He said, staring at the bruise which suddenly disappeared. Hopping out of bed, he scuttled over to the bathroom, flicked on the light and upon further examination, found nothing wrong with his hand.

"You should not be out of bed," Simon scolded. "I leave you alone for five minutes and you..."
"Are you real?" Joshua reached out and touched the stubble on Simon's face. Crumpling to the floor, he began to sob and beat his hands on the marble floor. "I'm becoming Mama, Simon. I'm seeing shit that's not there, I'm hearing voices calling me by a different name. I even dreamed I tried to kill my own daughter." With his hands on his face, he continued to sob as he drew his knees up to his chest.

"I promise you, you are not becoming her." Simon slid down next to him and put his left arm around him. He hid his face from Joshua so he would not see the tears in his eyes. The truth was, he was very worried about his brother. Lunacy ran in the family and struck any gender or age without warning. To this day, Helena was rotting away behind the walls of an asylum because she saw a werewolf and Andrea suffered a similar fate after learning the truth.

Simon blamed himself for both and, as he stared down at his broken baby brother, vowed he would lose no one else. He stayed with him until he fell asleep and easily lifted him up, carried him to the bed, and laid him down.

"I just got you back. I will not let you down and I will do whatever it takes to protect you. I was not here to help you when Dad died or when they carted mom away. Until now, you had the burden of this house and our secrets. But, I am here now and I will be the big brother I was intended to be." He patted him on the shoulder and left.

A few moments later, Donna came through the bedroom window. Joshua looked so serene in his slumber, but she could feel his torment bubbling below the surface and it was only a matter of time before the dam broke.

"I am so sorry you are going through this." She said fighting back the tears. "You are not crazy nor are you becoming your mother. You are just remembering something from another life that you're not supposed to. I will make it all go away, and, in doing so you, will not remember me biting you or what happened to Jenna. After you wake up, you will tell everyone that you got a call from me, and after talking it over, we decided to move Brandon to a special clinic in New York. Jenna and I went with him because we needed to get away from all the ugliness of the last few days and you will follow us after you settle your Mother's estate."

She touched his leg and with her, hip hit the side of his bed until he opened his eyes. For a moment, he stared at her blankly. His eyes widened with elation when he realized his wife was there.

"Donna?" He asked, dreamily as he tried to get out of bed.

"Look deep into my eyes. I want you to stare until you feel like you can float into the sky. Everything that has happened will be a distant memory and you will be good as new." She pushed him back down on the bed, kissed him on the lips, and leapt out the window.
#
Donna was able to see Brandon after visiting hours were over, in part due to her donating a million dollars to the new wing of the hospital. She held his hand for hours and read him stories as she moved his arms and legs.

"Has there been any change?" Toni asked as she came in from the hallway.

Donna shook her head no. "Still the same as yesterday and the day before. What brings you here at this hour?" She said, wiping his face with a wet wash rag.

"We need to get Joshua and the others out of here. We cannot have them here while we go into the mine. It's too dangerous." Toni stated as she kissed Brandon on the forehead.

"I've taken care of it. I could not watch the love of my life descend into madness like so many before him, especially when I'm the one who caused it." Donna wrung the rag out in the basin next to her.

"I don't think you'll be able to hypnotize everyone." Toni muttered as she sat in a chair to the left of Brandon.

"Didn't you tell me that Andrea left specific instructions that she wanted to be buried off the coast of Greece?" She said, placing the rag in the basin and putting the basin on the table next to the bed.

"That woman doesn't deserve a funeral or any type of service. Just a one-way ticket to hell." Toni was barely able to hide her disgust.


"That just might work. I know Simon really didn't want any parts of dealing with Andrea's last wishes, but maybe Joshua can work on him and get him to see things differently."

"He has got to. Time is running out and if we don't get into the mines soon I will be a vampire again and Jenna will be lost forever."

Author Notes Characters
Joshua Lord-Heir to Lord Shipbuilding and Windwood. Father of Brandon and Jenna. Married To Donna.

Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord, who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Brandon Lord-Joshua and Donna's son. Resembles his late grandfather and its unknown if he carries the werewolf gene.

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita, who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Simon Lord-Joshua's older brother. Simon was born a werewolf because of a curse and was shot by his mother, Andrea, for being a werewolf. After 20 years in a coma he wakes up. Everyone believes him to be dead.

Georgia Lord- Simon's wife. Georgia was born from two werewolf parents and can change at will, unlike Simon who can only change by the full moon.


Chapter 40
Brothers

By Jackreese

Previous Post
Didn't you tell me that Andrea left specific instructions that she wanted to be buried off the coast of Greece?" She said, placing the rag in the basin and putting the basin on the table next to the bed.

"That woman doesn't deserve a funeral or any type of service. Just a one-way ticket to hell." Toni was barely able to hide her disgust.


"That just might work. I know Simon really didn't want any parts of dealing with Andrea's last wishes, but maybe Joshua can work on him and get him to see things differently."

"He has got to. Time is running out and if we don't get into the mines soon I will be a vampire again and Jenna will be lost forever."

New Post
First thing in the morning, the doctor arrived to examine Joshua. They were alarmed when they got to his room and he wasn't there. Hastily, they took off down the hall and came down the front steps just as he was coming in from an apparent jog.

"What's the Doc doing here?" Joshua said as he closed the front door and made his way toward the dining room.

"I was worried about you after last night. I wanted to make sure you were okay," Simon answered as he and the doctor followed him.

"Last night?" He sat down, grabbed a glass of orange juice and threw his sweaty towel he used to wipe his brow on the floor beside him.

"You told me you weren't feeling yourself." Simon was becoming more concerned as Joshua continued to act as if nothing happened.

"I'm fine, really. I talked to Donna this morning. She had Brandon moved to a special clinic in New York. One that specializes in brain trauma. She and Jenna will be staying for a few days to recharge. I will join them in a few days after we deal with Mama's wishes."

"He looks perfectly fine. If you need me, you know where to find me." The doctor nodded and left, leaving Simon with more questions than answers.

"Have you tried this?" Joshua said as he heaved a large spoonful of breakfast parfait into his mouth. "It's delicious," he said through a full mouth.

"Josh...about last night," Simon continued.

"Look. I appreciate the brotherly concern, but I'm good. I'm sorry if I scared you." He assured as he got every last bit of parfait out of the container. "If I so much as cough, I give you permission to get the doctor back here, deal?"

"You win. I won't push the issue." Simon said, admitting defeat.

"Just like that, your gonna let me win?" Joshua said, pushing his chair out and standing up.

"Yup, been doing it since you were five, "Simon pushed his chair out and the two stared at each other across the table, like lions watching at an antelope.

"I bet I could beat you now." Joshua taunted.

"I really don't want to do this now." Before Simon could object anymore, the little bit of parfait Josh had on his spoon flew across the table and hit Simon on the nose.

"How 'bout now?"

Simon wiped the mess off with his left hand. "You are so dead!" In a flash, Simon chased him out the dining room and front door, almost knocking Nola and Georgia over on the way out.

"I love that Simon is so happy. The one thing that he clung to was his relationship with his brother. Seeing them running and laughing makes my heart sing. This house poisons everything sooner or later, but those two have a bond most people dream of." Georgia spoke as they entered the dining room.

"I feel that way about your father." Nola blurted as one of the maids poured her a cup of coffee.

"I know. I've seen how different he's been since you came back. My father never gave up on you. He believed you were out there and one day you'd return. I see you make him happy, something I never thought could happen after my mother."

Nola smiled. "I love him. I guess I always did."

"You have my blessing." Georgia smiled.

"That means a lot." Nola beamed as she grabbed a plate from the buffet and sat down to breakfast. With the barriers down, she now felt like she and Georgia could be friends and she and Gideon were one step closer to really being a couple, now that Georgia gave her approval.
#
Gideon bounded down the stairs while trying to fix the top button of his maroon polo shirt when Toni caught him by the arm before he joined the others for breakfast. He looked puzzled as she led him from the dining room down the long hall to the left of them and into the office.

"I was hungry." He said sitting down on the edge of the desk. "You could've at least let me get a sip of coffee or a bite of a bagel."

"I need your help. Donna and I need to get into the mine for the blood root and before we do, we must get everyone out of the house. Georgia and Nola will be safer if they weren't here. Donna was able to wipe Joshua's memory for now. I also discovered this while going over the security cameras I had installed around the area." She handed him a photo of Channing near the entrance.

"He's here." Gideon looked down at the photo and felt his blood run cold. Knowing the jeopardy Channing placed them all in, he had no choice, but agree to help Toni. "What do you suggest we do?"

"Do you still have that yacht?" Toni asked as her mind began to turn.

"Yeah, she's docked in Miami."

"We send them on a cruise. Andrea wanted her ashes scattered off the coast of Greece. Your boat can take them there." Gideon nodded and smiled.

After Joshua and Simon came back from their little jaunt to the stable, Simon was once again the victor and taunted his little brother into another race, which ended with them in the pool.

"Face, it, Josh I will always win."

"I let you." He said, splashing him. Simon, in turn, dunked him under the water. "Remember when dad would pretend he was drowning and the moment we got near him, he'd reach up and pull us both in?" Simon chuckled and, for a moment, saw his dad laughing and tickling them. Andrea was standing near the edge in a black swimsuit with her blond hair loose and flowing, laughing so hard you could see the tears in her eyes.

"Hard to believe at one point we were the picture-perfect family," Joshua chimed, bringing him back to reality.

"In the blink of an eye, it all came crashing down." Simon tilted his head back and set his sights on the window he fell out of.

"Like it or not, she was our mother and we need to figure out what we are going to do with her ashes."

"I could put them down the disposal or feed them to the fish in the lake. I don't care what happens to them." Simon scoffed as he slipped under the water.

"I would like to fulfill her wishes and go to Greece. Simon, I hate her for what she's done to all of us. Dad was never the same. He became a drunk, womanizing recluse who stood trial for murdering is second wife. Out of that union, a girl was born, named Peyton, who couldn't handle the loss of her mother. She took off and we never heard from her again. Aunt Helena lost her mind and continues to wilt away behind the sanitarium walls. Poor Nana lost her hearing and suffered a massive stroke and was found at the bottom of the steps. Gideon's daughter, Ginny, vanished into thin air upstairs and I haven't set foot in Windwood in years. I blame her for all of it, Simon. However, I want to do it for the woman she was."

"If you insist on doing this, you have my support. I still don't think she deserves it." Simon didn't see the need in telling Joshua that, in reality, Andrea had murdered Rosa, too.

"She doesn't, but we're better than her." He said, pushing Simon under the water again, but Simon grabbed his leg and pulled him down, too. Both came up laughing and were genuinely happy as they started splashing one another until they had no strength left.

"Can you tell me about Peyton?" Simon asked as the two stared up at the blue sky.

"I really can't. I haven't seen her in a long time. If she were to walk up to me on the street, I wouldn't know her. I've tried to find her. I even hired private investigators to track her down. It's like she never existed."

"If she wants to be found, she'll come out when she's ready.' Simon said climbing out. "I don't know about you, but I'm starving. Race ya," He darted toward the house before Joshua could even get out.

"Good times." He giggled as he got out of the pool and made his way back before Simon could eat his lunch, too.

Author Notes Characters
Joshua Lord-Heir to Lord Shipbuilding and Windwood. Father of Brandon and Jenna. Married To Donna.

Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord, who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Brandon Lord-Joshua and Donna's son. Resembles his late grandfather and its unknown if he carries the werewolf gene.

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita, who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Simon Lord-Joshua's older brother. Simon was born a werewolf because of a curse and was shot by his mother, Andrea, for being a werewolf. After 20 years in a coma he wakes up. Everyone believes him to be dead.

Georgia Lord- Simon's wife. Georgia was born from two werewolf parents and can
change at will, unlike Simon who can only change by the full moon.

Gideon Blake- Centuries old werewolf, father of Ginny and Georgia. Hates the Lord family and is another member of the order.

Nola O'grady- Gideon's sidekick and ladylove who was kidnapped by Gideon's son, Channing the night of Simon and Georgia's wedding.


Chapter 41
Sailing Day

By Jackreese

Previous Post
"If you insist on doing this, you have my support. I still don't think she deserves it." Simon didn't see the need in telling Joshua that, in reality, Andrea had murdered Rosa, too.

"She doesn't, but we're better than her." He said, pushing Simon under the water again, but Simon grabbed his leg and pulled him down, too. Both came up laughing and were genuinely happy as they started splashing one another until they had no strength left.

"Can you tell me about Peyton?" Simon asked as the two stared up at the blue sky.

"I really can't. I haven't seen her in a long time. If she were to walk up to me on the street, I wouldn't know her. I've tried to find her. I even hired private investigators to track her down. It's like she never existed."

"If she wants to be found, she'll come out when she's ready.' Simon said climbing out. "I don't know about you, but I'm starving. Race ya," He darted toward the house before Joshua could even get out.

"Good times." He giggled as he got out of the pool and made his way back before Simon could eat his lunch, too.

New Post
Georgia, Gideon, and Toni were already seated and nearly finished the entire course by the time the boys showed up. Simon kissed Georgia and sat beside her at the table. Joshua took his place at the head of the table feeling a bit down as the couples whispered amongst themselves. He couldn't help but miss Donna and it showed.

"I heard from Donna while you and Simon were in the pool. She sends her love and wanted you to know Brandon is making progress and even moved his foot. Jenna has been asking for her daddy demanding you come see her." Toni rattled on as she sipped on a glass of sherry.

"Jenna will have to wait a little longer. Simon and I have decided to honor mama's wishes and scatter her ashes in Greece."

Georgia shifted her eyes to Simon, who crammed so much pasta in his mouth, he looked like a puffer fish.

"I would like to lend you my boat the Lady Tara, so long as you take Georgia and Nola with you." If looks could kill, Gideon would be lying on the floor from the daggers Nola was giving him.

"I'd love to go. It would be the honeymoon we never got to have." Georgia squeezed Simon's arm while he demolished his third helping of pasta.

"How soon can you have her ready?" Joshua said ready to take Gideon up on his offer.

"I'll call my people now and you can be ready to go by tomorrow morning."

"I better get packing," Georgia sprang up and hurried out and up the stairs.

"If I don't stop her, she'll take everything but the kitchen sink." He took a big gulp of red wine and went after his wife.

"If you'll excuse me, I am going to try and give my wife a call." Joshua slipped out leaving only three.

"Do I not have a say in this?' Nola barked as she threw her napkin down and shoved her chair out. "I just got back and really don't want to go." She wailed before storming out of the room.

Soon Toni was the only one left. She looked around the empty room, shrugged her shoulders and poured herself a stronger drink from the flask she kept hidden under her seat.
#
"What did I do to anger you? Please don't make me go." Nola pleaded as she went into his arms, tears streaming down her face.

"You did nothing wrong." Gideon held her tight to his chest as he kissed the top of her head. Nola could hear his heart beating as she clung to him." Channing is in Solomon's Wake and I can't allow him to hurt you or Georgia. It's for your own protection. When you get back, I want you to be my wife. That's, of course, if you want too? I love you and can't imagine spending the rest of my life without you."

She was on top of him before he could say another word and the two made love more than once that night.

Gideon and Toni drove with them to the airport that morning to see them off and stayed until their plane departed.

"We got a lot of work to do." Toni said as she got back into the car.
#

The family crowded into the cars that awaited them when they got off the plane. When the family reached Miami, the two Hummers rounded the bend, just to where Lady Tara was visible.
"It's absolutely stunning," Georgia gasped as she gazed in awe at her Father's 340-foot, 7,000-ton masterpiece.

When they alit from the cars, one of the stewards quickly began collecting their entire luggage onto a shiny, gold cart. They climbed the gangplank with much anticipation. In the main salon aboard the yacht, the crew was standing everywhere, talking, and moving about in all directions.

A stately woman approached Georgia. "Hello, Mrs. Lord. My name's Madison Taylor the chief stewardess on Lady Tara. I have a list of the staterooms you will be staying in. You and Mr. Lord have the master cabin located aft of the ship. Your brother in-law is in the twin cabin directly below yours and Ms. O'Grady is across from him. If you have any questions, please ask me."

The ship left port with three loud whistles, as people cheered and waved goodbye to loved ones. Joshua saw the specter of Annabelle in the crowd who mouthed 'Don't go.' Joshua became frantic, thinking that maybe something dreadful was really going to happen on this voyage.

Simon and Georgia's room was flawless. It had a balcony and beige and white decor. A queen-sized bed with a cream bedspread draped over it sat in the center of the room. Tan velvet curtains hung on the balcony doors. The bathroom was accented with remarkable gold fixtures and the furniture in the suite had the same appointments.

Joshua's room was just as elegant. He had two twin beds and a beautiful sitting room. The furniture was black and the cushions were covered in a light gray. The rest of the room echoed the same shades. Nola's room mirrored Joshua's.

The next morning when Georgia sat down to lunch on deck a seagull flew right past her, causing her to almost drop her coffee. A tired Joshua made his way slowly up to the sun deck, exhausted from being up all night, thanks to the bad dreams, noticed a seagull had been wounded after it slammed into a porthole. He picked up the gull and carried it back to the table.

"Aww, poor thing." Georgia said as she looked up through her sunglasses. She wore a large sun-hat to protect her fair skin, plus tons of sunscreen.

"It clipped its wing. When I walked by, I heard it squawking. I didn't have the heart to leave it there. Where is everybody?" He said as he plucked up a napkin and placed it on his lap and laid the bird on the empty chair next to him. "I'm starving." A young man in his early twenties of Filipino decent poured him some coffee.

"Simon's probably grilling the Captain. You know how much he loves the sea and how ships work and the knots it moves and blah blah blah and Nola went to the ship's gym." She grabbed the sunblock from the bag by his feet and put some more on. "I'm gonna go lay out for a little bit. You wanna join me?"

"Maybe later. Right now, I need more of this." He said raising his mug. "And food."

"I'll leave you to it." She smiled and headed further out into the sun.

Joshua headed back to his cabin still holding the wounded bird which began to fidget as he got closer to the passageway. It leapt out of her hands and flew away.

"How do you like that?" Joshua said, shrugging as he continued on his way.

The bird flew a few miles out to sea circling another vessel close by. It began to screech as it landed on the deck. A few seconds later, a naked Lila was standing in the bird's place.

"Did you set the bomb and was she there?" An excited Channing asked as he sat on a deck chair petting his cat, Ming. He threw Lila the white robe he had folded in his lap.

"Yes, it's been taken care of. She was there as well as her husband, brother-in-law, and Nola." She said hurrying up to cover herself.

"Was my father there?" He asked as he put Ming down in front of a bowl of milk beside his chair.

"I only saw them. It doesn't mean he isn't there." She added.

"I'm sure he's not. He's still in Solomon's Wake. He thought he was doing Georgia a favor by sending her away. He has no idea of what's to come." He said walking over to the railing and staring across the sea toward the Lady Tara.

Author Notes Characters
Joshua Lord-Heir to Lord Shipbuilding and Windwood. Father of Brandon and Jenna. Married To Donna.

Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord, who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita, who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Simon Lord-Joshua's older brother. Simon was born a werewolf because of a curse and was shot by his mother, Andrea, for being a werewolf. After 20 years in a coma he wakes up. Everyone believes him to be dead.

Georgia Lord- Simon's wife. Georgia was born from two werewolf parents and can change at will, unlike Simon who can only change by the full moon.

Gideon Blake- Centuries old werewolf, father of Ginny and Georgia. Hates the Lord family and is another member of the order.

Nola O'grady- Gideon's sidekick and ladylove who was kidnapped by Gideon's son, Channing the night of Simon and Georgia's wedding.

Channing Blake- The son of Gideon and Iris Lord who, was imprisoned under the lake with most of his pack. His only goal in life is to make his father suffer and to kill his sister, Georgia.

Lila- Channing's right hand woman and go to girl.


Chapter 42
Rendevouz with Disaster

By Jackreese

Previous Post
The bird flew a few miles out to sea circling another vessel close by. It began to screech as it landed on the deck. A few seconds later, a naked Lila was standing in the bird's place.

"Did you set the bomb and was she there?" An excited Channing asked as he sat on a deck chair petting his cat, Ming. He threw Lila the white robe he had folded in his lap.

"Yes, it's been taken care of. She was there as well as her husband, brother-in-law, and Nola." She said hurrying up to cover herself.

"Was my father there?" He asked as he put Ming down in front of a bowl of milk beside his chair.

"I only saw them. It doesn't mean he isn't there." She added.

"I'm sure he's not. He's still in Solomon's Wake. He thought he was doing Georgia a favor by sending her away. He has no idea of what's to come." He said walking over to the railing and staring across the sea toward the Lady Tara.

New Post
A few hours later an explosion rocked the ship and threw them all to the floor. The sound of shattered glass was heard, followed by the agonizing screams of the cook being burned alive. The galley caught fire and could not be contained, soon spreading to the rest of the yacht. The foursome watched in horror as a wall of flames separated them from the exits.

Simon got Georgia while Joshua and Nola herded the crew together and slowly made their way to a different exit. All at once, everyone was thrown to the floor as the ship rocked violently.

"Dear god, what's happening?" Georgia was petrified. The captain ordered everyone to gather on the sun deck and wait for help, assuring them an S.O.S. had been sent.

"Let's get to the lifeboat, quickly," Simon snapped. When they reached the staircase that lead outside, another explosion ripped a huge gash on the starboard side of Lady Tara, mortally wounding her.

The group knew the ship would soon founder and they had to flee the dying liner before she took them all to the bottom of the Atlantic. After a long struggle up the staircase, they emerged outside.

"Mr. Lord, please get your family into the lifeboat," Madison pleaded. Lady Tara began to slowly turn over onto her starboard side and people began to panic.

"Madison, you have done your job, now get into the lifeboat."

"Not until all the passengers have gone." Madison was a woman in her early twenties, with auburn hair and brown eyes.

"As owner of this liner, I command you to get in," Georgia chimed in.

"Yes, ma'am!" Madison said hesitantly, as she eased into the tiny boat.

"It's for your own good," Simon said as he watched her sit down. The sea slowly crept up the deck spilling into open portholes and doorways.

The water continued to rise, and fear of the Lady Tara capsizing was a reality as the starboard side of the doomed yacht leaned closer and closer to the sea. People had to hold on to the banisters, tables, anything to keep them grounded. The incline became too treacherous and slippery for them.

"Georgia, honey! You and Nola go next." Georgia stepped up without warning, another explosion shook the boat, causing the railing to snap. Joshua and Simon watched, mortified, as Georgia and Nola were sent screaming into the roaring waves below, vanishing from sight almost immediately. In a flash, the emergency breakers gave out and the lights shut off forever.

Fighting off hysterics, Simon called out Georgia's name, over and over, as he looked for her in the murky waters.

"Simon, we have to go." Joshua urged as he tried to pull him into the lifeboat.

"I can't go without out her." He continued to sob.

At eleven-thirty that evening, just an hour and ten minutes after the explosion, the Lady Tara capsized and sank in a whirlpool of debris, taking at least five souls to a watery grave. The survivors, overwhelmed by their grief, sat in silence and just waited for the help they prayed was on its way. Now all that remained of this elegant yacht were a few things bobbing here and there on top of the watery surface. An unconscious Nola was fished out of the sea and pulled back into the lifeboat by a crew member.

Channing's ship was close by the scene, and unbeknownst to them all, Georgia had been rescued. Georgia had suffered a concussion in the fall and was slipping in and out of consciousness. Finally, she awakened and began shouting weakly.

"Where am I?" Georgia cried out an opened porthole when she realized she was handcuffed to the bed. Large footsteps were coming her way. Channing entered the small cabin. He was six feet tall, handsome with broad shoulders, and high cheekbones. Right away, she knew it was her brother.

"We meet at last, sister." He looked her over and when she turned away, he forcefully made her look at him by pulling her hair.

Georgia let out a whimper.

"You will not rob me of this moment." He sneered as he relaxed his grip. "I lived in your shadow long enough and you are going to suffer every bit as I did. Gideon wants to ignore me and act like I don't exist, well maybe now that I have you, he'll listen." He sat down at the foot of her bed.

"Spare me the sob story." Georgia flared. "You murdered my mother and want me to feel sorry for you? You got the wrong girl." Georgia fidgeted on the bed in an effort to get comfortable.

"I don't need you to feel sorry for me. I just need you to get me into that tomb. Our father won't open it for me, but now that I have you, I'm sure he will." He goaded as he twisted her big toe enough for Georgia to scream out.

"You're in fantasy land if you think your mother is alive after all this time. If she is...," Channing jumped up, and with a balled fist, hit Georgia in the face knocking her out again.

"That's better. You were giving me a headache."

"Was that necessary?" Lila said entering the cabin.

"Was what necessary?"

"Putting your hands on her." Lila said, unable to hide her disgust as she stared at the bruise on Georgia's cheek.

"I don't know what you're talking about. See to it that the captain increases our speed. I'd like to be back in Solomon's Wake by tomorrow night.

"That's a day before schedule." Lila was taken aback by the sudden urgency.

"I am aware."

"Why?"

"I am really tired of you questioning me. Last time I checked, you worked for me, and if you want to continue in my employment, you'll keep that in mind next time you wanna play twenty questions." He sniped as he left Lila standing by Georgia's bedside.

Author Notes Characters
Joshua Lord-Heir to Lord Shipbuilding and Windwood. Father of Brandon and Jenna. Married To Donna.

Simon Lord-Joshua's older brother. Simon was born a werewolf because of a curse and was shot by his mother, Andrea, for being a werewolf. After 20 years in a coma he wakes up. Everyone believes him to be dead.

Georgia Lord- Simon's wife. Georgia was born from two werewolf parents and can change at will, unlike Simon who can only change by the full moon

Nola O'grady- Gideon's sidekick and ladylove who was kidnapped by Gideon's son, Channing the night of Simon and Georgia's wedding.

Channing Blake- The son of Gideon and Iris Lord who, was imprisoned under the lake with most of his pack. His only goal in life is to make his father suffer and to kill his sister, Georgia.

Lila- Channing's right hand woman and go to girl.


Chapter 43
The Forgotten

By Jackreese

Previous Post
"Was what necessary?"

"Putting your hands on her." Lila said, unable to hide her disgust as she stared at the bruise on Georgia's cheek.

"I don't know what you're talking about. See to it that the captain increases our speed. I'd like to be back in Solomon's Wake by tomorrow night.

"That's a day before schedule." Lila was taken aback by the sudden urgency.

"I am aware."

"Why?"

"I am really tired of you questioning me. Last time I checked, you worked for me, and if you want to continue in my employment, you'll keep that in mind next time you wanna play twenty questions." He sniped as he left Lila standing by Georgia's bedside.

New Post
The next day, news of the Lady Tara sinking had reached every news outlet and paper in the country. The phones at Windwood were ringing off the hook, but no one was there to answer them. Joshua gave the staff the week off since most of the household would be away, and Gideon, Toni, and Donna were busy trying to get into the mine.

The last time any of them had been here, there was a three-story mall, and now it was gone and the lake was put back.

"According to the map, it's here." Toni said. "Put your hand in the water. It's colder here than any other spot in the lake, which leads me to believe that this was where the quarry was." she said, yanking her hand back and going over to a large duffel bag that seemed to have an endless amount of room.

"I'll be damned, it is." Gideon chimed after taking Toni's lead.

"What's that?" Donna asked when she saw Toni pluck out what looked like a synthetic fish wrapped in a plastic dome from a bubble gum machine.

"Watch and learn." Toni dropped the fish into the water. It grew into a large pigmented cavefish that began to leave a trail of light under the water as she sped off toward the cavern. "My friend here will lead us right to them."

"What else do you got in there?" Gideon said, trying to peek inside. Toni quickly pulled the bag away and closed it.

"That light won't last long, so if I were you, I'd get down there while you can," she warned.

"I'll go. I'm a better swimmer than you." Donna blurted as she took her Twilight shirt off to reveal a very skimpy red string bikini. She grabbed a plain black ponytail holder from her pocket and tied her hair back. "You two try to play nicely while I'm gone." She waved than vanished beneath the water.

"What exactly is the plan?" He said, easing back into his seat. Toni continued to stand still as a tree her eyes firmly locked on the lake.

"There should be another mark on the map leading us to a drainage system. Once we find that, we'll be able to open the entrance long enough to get the blood root and get out."

"And how long's that exactly?"

"When the Monarchs built this prison, they installed a safety mechanism that will flood the cavern again in 20 minutes. Your friends were never supposed to get out of there alive." She said looking back down at the map.

"Wow, that's not a lot of time." Gideon heard a loud splash. He turned the lantern on the murky water and a large alligator that grazed their boat.

"No, it's not, and if we're not quick, we may not get out."

"I heard them down there." Donna said, breaking the surface and climbing back into the boat. Her blond hair clung to her cheek and the t-shirt she pulled back over her head stuck to her like a magnet once wet. "Some are still alive. I heard them begging to be killed or pleading to be let out." Red tears began to stream down Donna's cheeks. "It broke my heart to hear them so defeated." She said, holding on to Gideon's arm to sit down.

"On the other side of the lake is the entrance and the hidden door." Toni said still gazing at the map.

"What are we waiting for. Let's go." Donna said, taking the oars and steering toward the other side of Lake Katherine.
#
When they reached the other side of the lake, a few feet away was the mine shaft. Toni was shocked to find the mine door was open because only a Corsini could open it. She looked across the water up into the trees and even down into the shaft.

"I don't understand." She was so perplexed the bats began to stir and the tide began to churn as the elements sensed the witch's trouble.

"I'll explain." Channing announced as he came through a clearing behind them. He had Georgia with him and a gun aimed at her back.

"How? I made sure to get them away from you." Gideon felt beaten at this point and unsure what to do next.

"I placed a tracking device in Nola before I let her go, which lead me right to you. After you put them on your yacht, I sank it, you follow? It's really quite simple."

"I swear, Channing, you do anything..." Gideon barked as he rushed toward Channing, just to be stopped by Toni.

"You'll do what?" He cut his father off. "Disown me, imprison me, or better yet, let me be raised by the biggest scumbag on the planet? You've already done that, so what more can you do to hurt me? Hmm? I am going to make you suffer and hurt like I did." His temper boiled over as he watched his father lovingly stare at his sister. "You are going in there with me to find Mom or so help me, I will inject Georgia with the virus."

"I will go down with you. There is no need to involve your sister."

"Good, we got 20 minutes to get down and out. Remember to stay as far away from the infected as you can and whatever you do, don't get bitten." Channing cautioned.

"The waters still there." Georgia moaned.

"It'll be gone in a minute," Channing said. No sooner were the words out of his mouth when the water receded, revealing a winding staircase that went all the way down, out of their sight. "Told ya." He grabbed his sister so hard he popped a vessel on her arm. "I know you're going down there, Dad, because you don't have no choice." Without a second thought he pushed her into the shaft.

In a flash, Gideon was down at the bottom and able to catch his daughter. They could hear the sounds of the others trying to get out. Channing soon followed.

"Are you ok?" Gideon asked, holding her tightly.

"I'm fine. Just a little sore, but I'll live. Listen to them." The moaning and crying was deafening.

"I hate to break up the love fest, but once this door opens, we find mom and get the hell out of here." Channing said before opening the door. "Let's not waste any more time." He yanked on the handle, the door flew open. The smell of decay, feces, and stagnant water almost overpowered them. After they regained their senses, they proceeded through the entrance. They could hear water dripping from the rocks and, off in the distance, the sounds of bats flying around overhead.

"I can't take that smell." Georgia complained while holding her nose.

"Try not to focus on it." Gideon said while moving through the dark cavern.

"That's like asking me not to." She screamed when one of the infected grabbed her left foot.

"Daddy, get it off me!" She shrieked while trying to kick it off her foot. The poor thing had become a withered bag of bones who kept her werewolf form, it was like it became a giant version of the domestic sphinx.

"Kill me, please." She said in a dry raspy voice.

"Daddy, she's blind." Georgia said, looking down into what looked like clouds in her once proud, smiling Irish eyes.

"We're running out of time, C'mon." Channing barked as he moved on through the dark prison.

"We can't just leave her." Georgia lamented as she stared down at the tortured creature.

"You better decide soon before we all drown. She can't hurt a fly. Look at her, she can't even get up." Gideon reasoned. Reluctantly, Georgia followed and left the woman on the ground weakened and near-death.

"You two are gonna get us killed." Channing flared. "Our smells are all over the place. In a matter of minutes, they'll be all over us because of you slowpokes. Well, I'm sorry, I don't want to die tonight." Channing turned and stared at both of them. "If I miss my chance to free my mother, I will leave you both down here to die."

"By what? More like her?" Gideon ridiculed.

"Trust me. The others are ten times stronger, intelligent, and bloodthirsty than that pathetic creature on the floor. You don't want to be here when they find us."

Author Notes Characters
Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord, who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita, who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Georgia Lord- Simon's wife. Georgia was born from two werewolf parents and can
change at will, unlike Simon who can only change by the full moon.

Gideon Blake- Centuries old werewolf, father of Ginny and Georgia. Hates the Lord family and is another member of the order.

Channing Blake- The son of Gideon and Iris Lord who, was imprisoned under the lake with most of his pack. His only goal in life is to make his father suffer and to kill his sister, Georgia.


Chapter 44
Benath The Surface

By Jackreese

Previous Post
You two are gonna get us killed." Channing flared. "Our smells are all over the place. In a matter of minutes, they'll be all over us because of you slowpokes. Well, I'm sorry, I don't want to die tonight." Channing turned and stared at both of them. "If I miss my chance to free my mother, I will leave you both down here to die."

"By what? More like her?" Gideon ridiculed.

"Trust me. The others are ten times stronger, intelligent, and bloodthirsty than that pathetic creature on the floor. You don't want to be here when they find us.

Current Post

The howls and moans of the others were getting closer, and from the sounds of it, they were not coming to make chit chat. Georgia clutched onto her dad's arm when she tripped over her own two feet and screamed again so loud the others would be sure to find them.

"What the hell's wrong with you?" Channing said, shaking her.

"I'm sorry...I tripped," she stammered.

Channing shoved her and Gideon out of the way only to trip himself. He fell flat on his face. He pulled himself up using a stalagmite when he saw the body Georgia tripped over. It was his mother. A large stalactite that had fallen on her.

"No, it's not her! It can't be!" Channing began to sob like a three-year-old child. "I'm so sorry, Mama! I tried!" The body was pretty decomposed, and if it weren't for the necklace around her neck that he had given her for Mother's Day, it would have been impossible to identify.

"Son, we have to go." Channing ignored Gideon and continued to try and pull the heavy column off of his mother's body. Again, Gideon tried to pull him away, only, he latched on his dead mother like a vice.

"Today," Georgia whined. Soon what looked like dozens of glowing orbs came towards them. "They're coming!" She yelled.

"Channing, please come on we have to go." He said, yanking on his right arm.

"I can't leave my mother, "he sobbed as he sat beside her body holding her skeletal hand.

"Son, I'm not leaving without you. Either you will come with me or so help me, I'll throw you over my shoulder or drag you by the hair. It's your choice," he said, yanking him up.

"Dad look out." Georgia screamed as one of the infected lunged for him, and in the process bit her on her arm. "I've been bitten." She wailed. He looked at her and then attacked the creature, pummeling it until he knocked it to the ground. The rushing water began to flood the chamber, sweeping away some of the other infected before they reached them.

"Is that anyway to greet your daughter?" The beast said as it pounced on Gideon again.

"Ginny? Oh my God! How?" He stood still until Georgia knocked him out of the way.

"Get out!" She ordered as she hit Ginny with the flashlight on top of the head. Gideon continued to stare at what became of his daughter.

"Listen to her, you stupid canine," Channing begged as he waded toward the entrance.

The water was rising at an alarming rate, it was only a matter of minutes before the water completely flooded the cavern. Many of the infected were left clinging to whatever they could.

"All right, let's go." He said reaching for Channing's arm.

"Daddy don't leave me." Ginny pleaded as she held onto a stalactite as the current continue to churn past them. "I can't hold on much longer." Gideon let go of Channing's arm and with all his might he tried to reach for his other daughter.

"She's not your daughter." Channing warned just as Ginny went to bite, Georgia came out of nowhere and slammed into her before she could infect him. Gideon watched as they were carried away.

"C'mon, there's nothing we can do now." Channing roared as Gideon stared after them.
#

Donna and Toni waited patiently for the trio to return. Every now and then, Toni would peer down to see if anyone was coming. Donna was getting antsy and worried they were blowing any chance of getting to the Bloodroot.

"I'm going down there." Before Toni could protest, Donna transformed into a bat and nose-dived into the shaft.

"Just great," Toni complained when she realized she had to go after Donna. As she descended the rungs, she stopped when she heard the cock of a gun. Looking up, she saw Sutton holding a gun and Jenna still under Zita's influence standing above her.

"You might want to get back up here." Sutton commanded.

Slowly Toni climbed to the top and was confronted by Zita.

"Did you really think I would let you have the Bloodroot? No, no, no." The girl shook her head. "My curse is binding and there is no way anyone can undo it. Sutton, give me the gun, so you can close the door." Sutton handed over the firearm and struggled with the lid. "You, my ungrateful spawn, shall watch as the house of Lord crumbles once and for all. Seal them in!"

Zita ordered and began to chant a spell that would lock them in the cave forever. The wind churned, stirring up debris and the wildlife.

"I don't think so." Lila came out of a clearing in the woods while wiping away the hair that was blowing in her face. She picked up a stone and threw it at Zita's head. It did nothing but piss her off more. Zita continued undeterred. Sutton threw up his hands and scampered off like the coward he was.

"Oh my god," Toni fell to her knees. Tears of joy streamed down her face as she looked at Lila and realized she was her lost, Carla. A power unlike anything she ever felt took over as she made her way towards her beloved granddaughter. "I thought you were dead." She pulled the girl into an embrace.

"Lady, I've never seen you before in my life," Lila said, dismissing her.

"You are Carla Romano and I've been looking for you for a long time." Lila looked at her as if she were a stranger. Toni knew this girl was Carla and using what strength she had left projected herself into Carla's mind and saw the steel door that blocked her memories.

Toni was tired and couldn't keep up like she used too, but Carla and the girls were what was important not her. She focused on the bar that kept the door from opening, and a few times she almost had it up, but didn't have the strength to do it.

A familiar voice called out to her and she turned to see her beloved, Gianni.

"Let me help," Toni smiled and the two had the bar up and the door opened. Toni stared as her husband became smaller and smaller and then vanished all together. She felt a heavy tightness in her chest and collapsed as she was thrust back to reality.

Carla was paralyzed as the erased memories flooded back.

"Nona," Carla dropped to the ground and cradled Toni in her arms. "I remember everything. I missed you so much," she cried as she looked down at Toni's worn face. "I will never leave you again."

"We have plenty of time to catch up." She said weakly and at times seemed to struggle to catch her breath. "Right now, you must stop Zita and rip that necklace from her neck." Carla went to help her up. "Don't worry about me, just go get her."

Transforming into a beautiful nighthawk Carla swooped down on Zita and ripped the necklace off and it flew a few feet away into some brush. An ear-piercing hiss came out of Jenna as Zita was forced to depart the girl's body and at last freeing, Jenna.

Toni went over to get the necklace and felt a sharp pain rush up her left arm as she picked it up. She remained crouched over for a few moments afraid if she moved it would get worst.

"Nona, I want to go home." A groggy Jenna cried as she tugged on Toni's shirt.

"We will, soon, my little munchkin." Ignoring the pain, she swooped Jenna up in her arms.

Author Notes Characters
Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord, who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Jenna Lord- Joshua and Donna's youngest. Plagued by dreams of a witch being hung she also hears voices

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita, who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Georgia Lord- Simon's wife. Georgia was born from two werewolf parents and can
change at will, unlike Simon who can only change by the full moon.

Gideon Blake- Centuries old werewolf, father of Ginny and Georgia. Hates the Lord family and is another member of the order.

Channing Blake- The son of Gideon and Iris Lord who, was imprisoned under the lake with most of his pack. His only goal in life is to make his father suffer and to kill his sister, Georgia.

Lila- Channing's right hand woman and go to girl

Aaron Sutton- Trusted and revered butler who has served the Lord family for decades



Chapter 45
Aftermath

By Jackreese

Prevouis Post
Transforming into a beautiful nighthawk Carla swooped down on Zita and ripped the necklace off and it flew a few feet away into some brush. An ear-piercing hiss came out of Jenna as Zita was forced to depart the girl's body and at last freeing, Jenna.

Toni went over to get the necklace and felt a sharp pain rush up her left arm as she picked it up. She remained crouched over for a few moments afraid if she moved it would get worst.

"Nona, I want to go home." A groggy Jenna cried as she tugged on Toni's shirt.

"We will, soon, my little munchkin." Ignoring the pain, she swooped Jenna up in her arms.

Current Post
Hours later, the rescue ship, Minerva, saved the passengers. The Minerva combed the area four times, and there was still no sign of any other survivors until one of the crew spotted a body two miles from where Lady Tara had gone down.

Simon prayed it wasn't Georgia. He gasped in repulsion when they hauled a charred body from the waters of the Atlantic.

"Mr. Lord, I'm sorry, but we have found no trace of your wife or anyone else," the captain of the rescue ship said. "Poor guy, his body got caught in the current forcing him further out to sea."

"Could you please look around once more?" A heartbroken Simon pleaded.

"I'll do my best, sir, but I don't think we'll find anyone else. "He left Simon on a deck chair with a thick wool blanket wrapped about him.

"Simon, are you, all right?" Joshua asked, stepping out onto the deck.

"How can I be all right when so much has gone wrong?" Simon said, looking out at the ocean. "She was my world. Gideon is going to lose it when he finds out. He already lost one daughter." Simon stared down at his feet.

"it'll be hard, but we'll manage and go on with our lives, because we have to," Joshua said, as he put a reassuring hand on his brother's back while fighting back tears.

"Is Nola gonna be ok?" Simon asked when he got himself together.

"She's sleeping now. It's just a nasty bump on the head. The Doc says she'll be fine."

"Thank God, I couldn't imagine having to tell Gideon his girlfriend was dead, too. For the first time in my life, I'm afraid. It's always been me and Georgia against the world and with her gone, I don't know how to be me. She's always been the strong one." His voice was unable to talk anymore. So, the brothers sat in silence as the boat made its way back to Miami.
#
With the loss of Ginny, Gideon's grief overwhelmed him. After years of searching, he had found her, only to lose her for good.

"She's been down here the whole time. My Ginny was right under my nose." Gideon lamented as he made his way out. Donna flew out shortly after and Channing brought up the rear.

A black cat sauntered down the path to perch atop one of the rock formations along the trail. The feline had the greenest eyes one could ever see and a coat darker than the deepest fathoms of space, but when the cat went to meow, Marshall's thunderous voice arose.

"An eye for an eye, Gideon you took my daughter, so I returned the favor. That night when you conducted the s??????????©ance summoning me, I used this opportunity to send your daughter back to 1912. Instead of Iris going into the cave, Ginny went instead. At long last, vengeance is finally mine." The cat tilted its head back and roared. Fuming, Gideon went to strike the cat which meowed, jumped down, and took off.

"Look out!" Donna hissed. With her fangs bared, she lunged forward, pushing Gideon out of the way.

She tore into the neck of one of the rabid who managed to escape before the door closed and almost sucked them dry. Weakened and with her head spinning, Donna fell back, unable to move or speak as was the case whenever a vampire sucked that poison out.

"Georgia?" Gideon asked excitedly. He reached for the creature that fell face first at his feet and turned it over onto its back. It was Georgia, who had changed back into her old self a bit worn out and battered, but surviving.

Gideon sobbed tears of joy until he looked back toward the cavern and realized his other daughter was gone forever. He dropped to his knees blaming himself for not knowing she was there, blaming himself for being unable to save her, and blaming himself for causing her disappearance in the first place.

"WHY?" He screamed as he beat the ground with his fist. "WHY?" He felt a hand on his right shoulder, which startled him out of his misery even if just for a moment.

"Dad, I don't want to make this any harder on you than it already is, but we have another problem." Channing pulled out another revolver that he kept hidden under his shirt behind his back.

"How can it get any worse? For Christs sake, Channing, what else do you want from me?" He scowled when he saw the gun.

"If Ginny was in the cave, then where is and what happened to Mama? We are going back in to find out." Channing concluded as he kept his aim locked on Gideon.

Donna was too weak to help and Georgia was in no position to do anything either as the vampire bite continued to counter the poison. Gideon had had enough and attacked Channing.

The gun fired into the air a few times as both battled for control. Soon, they were rolling on the ground, punching and even biting each other until the gun went off again, hitting Gideon.
#
After Zita departed and Jenna was sleeping comfortably in Toni's silver Lincoln Continental, Carla began to fill in Toni on what Channing had done. The more Toni found out, the angrier she became and the more of a toll it took out of her.

"You ok? Do you want me to take you home?" A concerned Carla asked when she noticed Toni stumble back.

"I'm fine. We can't go anywhere until we finish this." Toni reminded as she opened the passenger door and pulled out her favorite flask from under the back seat." A toast to family and to reconnecting." Toni took a sip and then passed it to Carla.

"Too family," Carla repeated. They both heard the gunshot.

"Stay here with Jenna." Toni took off down the path, fighting off the pain in her chest as she pressed on.
#

The pain was excruciating where the bullet entered his shoulder. Channing yanked him up by the collar and pushed his finger into his dad's wound. Gideon let out a muffled cry as Channing pushed him toward the entrance.

"I don't want to kill you, but I will if you don't move." He hit him hard with gun on the back.
Gideon began to climb back down when Toni came out of the clearing.

"I will not let you hurt anyone else." Lifting up her hands, she used the last bit of magic she could muster and sent Channing tumbling down into the mine. She struggled with shutting the heavy door until Carla ignoring her grandmother's orders and helped her with it.

"Lock it," Toni commanded.

Author Notes Characters
Joshua Lord-Heir to Lord Shipbuilding and Windwood. Father of Brandon and Jenna. Married To Donna.

Simon Lord-Joshua's older brother. Simon was born a werewolf because of a curse and was shot by his mother, Andrea, for being a werewolf. After 20 years in a coma he wakes up. Everyone believes him to be dead.

Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord, who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Jenna Lord- Joshua and Donna's youngest. Plagued by dreams of a witch being hung she also hears voices

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita, who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Georgia Lord- Simon's wife. Georgia was born from two werewolf parents and can
change at will, unlike Simon who can only change by the full moon.

Gideon Blake- Centuries old werewolf, father of Ginny and Georgia. Hates the Lord family and is another member of the order.

Nola O'grady- Gideon's sidekick and ladylove who was kidnapped by Gideon's son, Channing the night of Simon and Georgia's wedding.

Channing Blake- The son of Gideon and Iris Lord who, was imprisoned under the lake with most of his pack. His only goal in life is to make his father suffer and to kill his sister, Georgia.

Lila/Carla- Channing's right hand woman and go to girl


Chapter 46
The Jaws of Defeat

By Jackreese

Previous Post
The pain was excruciating where the bullet entered his shoulder. Channing yanked him up by the collar and pushed his finger into his dad's wound. Gideon let out a muffled cry as Channing pushed him toward the entrance.

"I don't want to kill you, but I will if you don't move." He hit him hard with gun on the back.
Gideon began to climb back down when Toni came out of the clearing.

"I will not let you hurt anyone else." Lifting up her hands, she used the last bit of magic she could muster and sent Channing tumbling down into the mine. She struggled with shutting the heavy door until Carla ignoring her grandmother's orders and helped her with it.

"Lock it," Toni commanded.

New Post
Using the same spell Toni uttered decades ago, Carla stopped Channing's reign of terror in its tracks.

Gideon hobbled over and kissed Toni on her cheek. "I think you like me a little more then you let on," Gideon chided.

"Maybe, and if you tell anyone, I'll stick you in there with Channing." Toni teased.

"Mommy!" Jenna yelled from the backseat when she saw a beat-up Donna stagger down the path.

"Jenna!" With tears running down her face, Donna ran to her daughter who had hopped out of the car. The two sobbed in each other's arms and Donna held the girl gently, but securely. She looked to Toni and mouthed "Thank you".

"Can we go home now?" Jenna asked through a yawn.

"Give Mommy and Nona a few minutes. For now, why don't you climb into the backseat and close your eyes until we're ready to go." Donna kissed her on the forehead as she nodded and then got into the car. "I'll be right here." She said when she heard the door close.

"Donna, there is someone I would like you to meet. My granddaughter, Carla." Carla came around from the back of the car. "Carla, this is Donna. She is family and I would like you both to treat each other as such." Toni tried to smile through the pain, but it was getting harder.

"I have heard so much about you, Carla, I feel like I already know you." Donna smiled.

"I look forward to getting to know you. Any family of my Nona's is family of mine." Carla's blond hair shined under the moonlight and her smile was still golden, as Toni watched her favorite girls hit it off.

"I almost forgot. I found this." Donna exclaimed as she pulled out the bloodroot from her pocket. "I got a few more, too."

"It is a happy day," Toni began to cry as the three hugged in a big circle.

The forest was still and dark. The vast number of trees seemed to block the moon from penetrating their leafy boughs. Lake Katherine was black as tar and calm. The lights from Solomon's Wake were like the little white lights you press in a picture you'd buy at a department store or through catalogs.

Gideon sat by Georgia in hopes she would come to. He looked over at Toni and her brood and was happy she got both her granddaughters back, but he knew their story was far from happily ever after.

Knowing that Ginny was the one that went into the mine meant Iris wasn't in there and if she wasn't, where was she? He was in Solomon's Wake in 1912 and now, from the little switcheroo, the time band was changed, and Iris was now on the loose and a great danger to them all. And there's no telling what else was changed.

"Daddy?" Georgia spoke as she used her elbows to sit up. "I want to go home, in case Simon or the others are waiting." Gideon stood up and offered her his hand which she took readily.

"Ok, Georgey." They started to make their way over to the group when the ghost of Ginny appeared before them.

"You must stop her before it's too late. Don't let Iris..."

"Daddy, wake up, it's time to go," Georgia said as she shook him. He had fallen asleep leaning up against one of the tall pine trees scattered along the path.

"Where'd she go?" He said jumping up and looking for Ginny.

"Who?"

"Ginny. She was right there." He said, pointing to the spot she appeared.

"It was just a dream. There's nobody here but us."

"I'm telling you, she was right here," He said, clearly getting agitated.

"Let's get you home and looked at by the doctor. I think the gunshot wound is playing with your head." Georgia continued to try and reason with her father.

"I know what I saw."

"Ok, Daddy. It's still time to go. Simon and the others are back at the house waiting". As

Georgia got him into the backseat, Toni started the car. The specter of Ginny watched as the car drove away.

Back at the house Simon reunited with Georgia. Joshua, Donna, and Jenna shared a bittersweet reunion. Now that Donna possessed the Bloodroot, she had to use mind control one more time and took both Joshua and Jenna back to the night Brandon was hospitalized.

Carla settled into her new digs at Windwood. Toni was helping her turn down the bed when she collapsed. The doctor who had been examining Gideon called an ambulance for Toni, who had indeed suffered a heart attack.

Gideon, who had been sedated, woke up to Nola sitting by his bed holding his hand.

"Look who decided to join us," she said as tears welled in her eyes. She leaned down and kissed his warm lips.

"If I knew I'd get a reception like that, I'd get shot more often," he mocked.

"This is no time to joke, Gideon," Nola scoffed.

"Ok, I'm sorry." He got up out of bed and opened his night stand drawer.

"You shouldn't be out of bed yet," Nola bemoaned as she came up behind him.

"Will this make up for it?' He held his hand out revealing a black box with a large diamond ring in it. "I want you to be Mrs. Gideon, Blake." It hurt, but he got down on one knee. Nola was speechless and just stared at it. "I could always give it to Toni."

"Oh, Gideon! She had a heart attack. She's on her way to the hospital." Gideon sat back to take it in.

"Of course, I'll marry you. I've wanted to for a long time now!" She climbed into his lap and kissed him long and deep. "Are you gonna slip it on my finger to make it official?"

And, with that, Nola and Gideon were engaged.

Author Notes Joshua Lord-Heir to Lord Shipbuilding and Windwood. Father of Brandon and Jenna. Married To Donna.

Simon Lord-Joshua's older brother. Simon was born a werewolf because of a curse and was shot by his mother, Andrea, for being a werewolf. After 20 years in a coma he wakes up. Everyone believes him to be dead.

Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord, who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Jenna Lord- Joshua and Donna's youngest. Plagued by dreams of a witch being hung she also hears voices

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita, who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Georgia Lord- Simon's wife. Georgia was born from two werewolf parents and can
change at will, unlike Simon who can only change by the full moon.

Gideon Blake- Centuries old werewolf, father of Ginny and Georgia. Hates the Lord family and is another member of the order.

Nola O'grady- Gideon's sidekick and ladylove who was kidnapped by Gideon's son, Channing the night of Simon and Georgia's wedding.

Lila/Carla- Channing's right hand woman and go to girl


Chapter 47
Judgement Day

By Jackreese

Previous Post
Carla settled into her new digs at Windwood. Toni was helping her turn down the bed when she collapsed. The doctor who had been examining Gideon called an ambulance for Toni, who had indeed suffered a heart attack.

Gideon, who had been sedated, woke up to Nola sitting by his bed holding his hand.

"Look who decided to join us," she said as tears welled in her eyes. She leaned down and kissed his warm lips.

"If I knew I'd get a reception like that, I'd get shot more often," he mocked.

"This is no time to joke, Gideon," Nola scoffed.

"Ok, I'm sorry." He got up out of bed and opened his night stand drawer.

"You shouldn't be out of bed yet," Nola bemoaned as she came up behind him.

"Will this make up for it?' He held his hand out revealing a black box with a large diamond ring in it. "I want you to be Mrs. Gideon, Blake." It hurt, but he got down on one knee. Nola was speechless and just stared at it. "I could always give it to Toni.

New Post
The long-awaited wedding day had arrived and the mansion came alive as the caterers, orchestra, and gardeners arrived to make sure everything was perfect for the social event of the year. Senator Turner, Mayor Williams and his wife, and a few of Hollywood's elite were on the guest list. Big white tents had been erected in the back of the house to accommodate at least three hundred people underneath. Ponies and clowns were brought in for the children, and champagne crates arrived by dozens for the adults.

Georgia made sure Nola had everything she wanted. Her wedding gift to the couple was an all-expense paid trip to the French Riviera. She had been looking over the cake, her back was toward the patio door, her arms were crossed. She was so happy for her dad. She felt a man's strong arm envelop her. Abruptly, she turned to see Simon smiling at her.

"What were you just thinking about?" he asked, resting his chin on her shoulder.

"Our wedding day. It was in this house, on a day just like this. I can't help, but worry. Nothing ever goes off without a hitch with our families. Those two remind me of us. They had to overcome many obstacles to get where they are now, as we did, but in the end, their love prevailed, and I am sure they will be very happy together. The curse on the Lord family may finally have been lifted."

"No talk of curses or ghosts or anything. Let's just enjoy the day," he said kissing her on the cheek. "I'm going to check on your dad," he said going through the double patio doors.

Nola looked gorgeous in the cream wedding gown Gideon had imported from Milan. She admired herself in an oblong mirror, thrilled at the fact it made her look so slender. Gideon paused at the bedroom door. Nola noticed the giant smile he wore.

"Can you zip this for me?" She asked.

"It looks beautiful on you," he said, kissing her on the neck and then moving toward her left ear.
Donna, Georgia, Simon, and Toni interrupted them when they came into the room.

"Save that for later," Donna quipped as she separated the two.

"Don't you know it's bad luck to see the bride before the wedding. We've all enough bad luck to last two lifetimes, so I have no choice but to kick you out," Toni ordered as she pointed toward the door.

Gideon dragged his feet, but eventually gave in, only to poke his head back in.

"I love you," he said and then Simon caught him by the collar and drug him down the hall.

"You already have something old. So, I am giving you something blue." Donna handed her a blue handkerchief.

"I'll give you something borrowed." Toni gave Nola her pearl earrings.

"I am so glad your back on your feet" Nola remarked as she hugged Toni.

"If you'll excuse me, I want to go check on the guys," Donna said, rushing down the hall. "Will you help me, Toni?"

"Nola, I am so happy for you," she said, bending down and looking into the mirror in front of the bride. "You make him so happy. Something I never thought could happen after my mother died, yet you pulled off the impossible. I will be glad to have you in the family and to also have you as a friend." Georgia squeezed her hand.

There was a knock on the door and Carla came in with a large blue box with a white ribbon tied around it.

"Since It's your special day, I wanted to make it even more beautiful so the groom can't keep his hands off you tonight."

Nola put her hands over her mouth when she opened the box to find a light green lace teddy and a robe.

"Carla!" Nola squealed.

The men were all ready to go when Donna and Toni found them outside. They were sitting outside under the tents, smoking cigars and playing cards. They all looked stunning as they stood there, resembling proud penguins with their tails, top hats and white gloves. The orchestra began to play, signaling the time was almost upon them.

"I feel it's time for a toast." Simon announced. "Gideon, when the world gets dark and casts you aside, and you feel like it is too much, always come back to this day and remember how happy you were, and always remember to put your wife first and you'll do just fine. To Gideon and
Nola!"

Everyone clinked their glasses and drank to the happy couple.

The wedding march began with Jenna, followed by Georgia, looking exquisite in their matching lavender dresses. Simon then hooked his arm in Nola's and escorted her down the aisle as all eyes rested on her. Everyone smiled and winked as the bride continued down the aisle. She took one look at her tall and handsome groom and felt like she could burst.
Reverend Shelley presided over the ceremony, as he had done for every Lord couple since Calvin and Andrea. Gideon gave his arm to Nola and Simon stepped back.

"Who gives this woman away?" the Reverend asked

"I do!" Simon stated proudly then took a seat next to Georgia. Nola began to tear up as she realized the happiest day of her life had finally arrived.

The bride and groom chose to write their own vows. They were spoken with such love there wasn't a dry eye in the place. Reverend Shelly barely got "husband and wife" out. Nola couldn't wait and kissed him. The crowd cheered and the reception began.

Nola and Gideon chose The Pretenders "I'll stand by you" for their song and invited everyone to dance to it.

Jenna, bored and annoyed that no one asked her to dance, decided to go wander around the mansion. The little girl loved walking around the mansion's long corridors, large rooms, and winding staircases. Jenna's favorite part of the mansion was the cupola and attic. She could play for hours up there and no one would know.

When Jenna reached the cupola door, she heard a noise from behind the entrance. A familiar face waited on the other side.

"What are you doing here?"

A few hours later, and after the dinner of rack of lamb and salmon was served, Donna noticed Jenna wasn't in her seat.

"Where's Jenna?" She whispered to Joshua. She glanced around the giant tent and couldn't find her.

He scanned over the crowd as well and saw no trace of his daughter. Donna called out her name a dozen times and still received no answer. She began to panic. They began to search the basement, Simon and Georgia searched the old stable, and Nola and Gideon looked under tables and the nearby grounds.

For hours, they had searched and came up empty-handed. The sky had begun to change colors, and the longer Jenna was gone, the sicker Donna felt. All kinds of things were running through her head, each thought worse than the other. It couldn't be happening again.

All they could do was pray, wait, and hope that someone would find the little girl. It was now half past nine, five hours since Jenna's disappearance. Joshua had noticed something he hadn't seen before: a pale, flickering light emanating from the cupola. He couldn't believe he hadn't realized sooner that that was most likely where Jenna would be.

When Joshua reached his destination, he saw the faint light seep out from under the door.

"Jenna, are you there?" He waited for a response. "It's Daddy!" The door opened and all he could see was darkness. The door slammed shut again. Joshua whirled around to see Sutton step out of the shadows.

"She's gone and you're never going to see her again," Sutton raved.

"Don't even think about laying a hand on my daughter," Joshua said, moving closer to Sutton.

"I wouldn't dream of it. You're the one I've come for."

"What do you want from me? I'll give you anything."

"I gave this family the best years of my life! I lied, murdered, and covered up more lies than

Watergate and he tossed me out like I was trash!" He spat, his voice rising with his temper. "I loved your father so much I would've died for him, and when I tried to show him how I felt, he laughed in my face. When I told him I got rid of his wife so we could be together, he hit me and went to call the police. I lost my temper and the next thing I knew the gun went off and he was dead," he admitted while staring crazily at Joshua.

"You killed my Father?" He said bowled over. After all these years, the truth had come out. "I don't understand, why?"

"Vivian caught me whacking off to your naked father in the pool house. I couldn't have her tell him what I did before I got to tell him how I felt, could I? So, I slit her throat and left her there bleeding all over the flagstones."

"You say you love my father, yet you let him take the fall for a murder he didn't commit? God, man, you destroyed his life, and ruined a whole family. My poor sister hasn't been right since!"

"I did love him." Sutton fired back.

"No, you didn't. If you did, you have a funny way of showing it."

"I would've loved you, too. If only your wife hadn't returned," he said, moving toward Joshua.

"You're a sick and twisted man. I don't want you here anymore. I want you out of this house for good, and when I get downstairs, I'm calling the police to take you away and put you behind bars where you belong."

"Don't walk away from me Calvin." Sutton said, breaking from reality and believing son was father, picked up the oil lamp that was to his right and hurled it at Joshua's feet. The flames began to rise, separating the two men.

"Where's my daughter, you evil bastard!"

Sutton glared at him hatefully through the red flames.

Higher and higher, the flames rose, as the oil burned at the hardwood floor and spread to the walls. A huge hole burned into the floor. Sutton looked back at Joshua.

"If I can't have you, no one can!" Then, Sutton took his own life by jumping through the floor to his death.

Joshua fell to the floor in anguish. He screamed out his daughter's name repeatedly before passing out from the overwhelming smoke.

Fear gripped the partygoers as the mighty house of Lord burned. Swarms of drunk and confused disillusioned guests began to run amok, and Nola held tightly to Gideon as they watched the demise of Windwood.

Donna, staring wide-eyed, panicked when she realized Joshua was still in the house. "Oh my God! Joshua and Jenna are still in there!" Donna screamed as she fell back into Simon's arms.

"Don't worry, Don. We will get them out!" Simon grabbed Gideon and went running into the burning mansion.

Gideon searched downstairs and Simon upstairs.

"Joshua, Jenna anyone here?" Simon hollered. The entire hallway upstairs was in flames. Simon heard crying coming from the linen closet. He walked over opened the door and was overjoyed to find Jenna alive clutching her baby doll. She had kicked Sutton in the shins and ran away from him. The fire had broken out, scared and lost because of the heavy smoke she hid in the closet.

"Uncle Simon, I am so scared!" Jenna wailed.

"I've got you. Now hold tight to my neck and close your eyes."

Simon was worried now that the flames had blocked the stairwell. Closing his eyes too, he ran through the fire and managed to make it outside with just a few cuts and bruises.

Joshua managed to pick himself up off the floor and exit through the door. Outside in the hall, all the family heirlooms, portraits and antiques were ablaze. Annabelle's portrait was the only one left unscathed. He took it from the wall and fled, colliding with Gideon.

Donna remembered that the painters still had work to do on the third floor and most of their supplies had been left upstairs. At this thought, a loud eruption ripped through the night as the roof collapsed into the third floor. The ground shook, as the massive stairwell broke free from the second-floor landing, separating the floors. Windows exploded out, sending shards of glass through the crowd, and the heat was so hot, it melted the ice swan in the fountain.

Simon and Gideon had emerged safely outside. Joshua had broken his arm when the kitchen stairway buckled. A figure emerged from the rubble with fire down her back and then collapsed at Carla's feet.

It was Toni, who had returned to her room for rest. Since the heart attack, she has been under strict orders to take it easy and left the reception around 8. Carla sat down and pulled the old woman into her lap.

"It's time to say goodbye. I'm going now where I am wanted. Up in the clouds to see my Gianni and Marie. Gideon, that favor you owe me, watch over my girls. In my private vault, you will find my journal, which will shed more light on the ways of the order. Oh, baby girl, I am so glad I got to see you one more time." She used her left hand and touched Carla's face. Donna was next to Carla, sobbing relentlessly. "I love you like my own Donna Lord and am glad I could call you family. Gianni is waiting." She looked over to Gideon. "Give Simon a chance, He's a good man." She took in a deep breath and said softly, "I'm coming, baby."

Toni then died in the arms of her beloved granddaughter, surrounded by all those she held dear. A tear-streaked Carla sobbed as she cradled Toni in her arms. She kissed her on the forehead and threw Gideon's topcoat over her corpse.

Suddenly, Carla felt what every Karnstein did, the passing of magic. She had absorbed Toni's power as Toni had her mother before her as well.

Unbeknownst to the onlookers, Zita's evil face loomed above, smiling down on them. Her prophecy had been fulfilled once more and its shock waves would be felt for years to come.
"I'm sorry Donna I couldn't find, Jenna," he said with soot all over his face and his once white shirt was as black as the tarred driveway.

"She's fine, she's sitting over there by Simon and Georgia." She said pointing over to a table near the far back of the tent.

"Thank God." He fell into her arms and began to sob. Donna hugged him closely as they turned back to watch what was left of Windwood smolder.

In the wee hours of the morning, the fire was finally extinguished. As the firefighters sifted through the debris a body with a piece of wood stuck in its chest was found.

"I think this is our second casualty?" The fireman shouted over the loud sounds of water being sprayed from the hoses and the engines of the trucks.

"Put it over there with the other one." The captain said pointing over to the body bag that contained Sutton. The young man carried the corpse behind the large red fire truck so no one could see it and laid it down gently on the ground.

"Poor fellow," he said, pulling out the piece of wood he then reached for his lighter and pack of smokes in his left-hand front pocket.

The young firefighter felt the pain as the fangs sunk into his neck, then he relaxed as the pain turned to pleasure, the more the vampire sucked the more her skin texture changed into that of a beautiful youthful woman with large brown eyes and long flowing chestnut hair. She dropped the man like a ships anchor, wiped the blood from her lips and turned to Windwood.

"No Iris I will not let you." A sorrowful Annabelle appeared before her. "Not again."

"This time, dear sister no one will stop me," Iris said going straight through the apparition.

"No!!!!" Annabelle cried as she vanished.

Donna and Joshua hurried over to the hospital to see Brandon. Even though there has not been a change in his condition they felt if they talked to him every day, maybe their voices would penetrate the walls of his brain. As they got off the elevator, the floor was quiet with no one in sight. As they approached their son's room, the RN who took care of him came up to offer her condolences.

"I just heard what happened. Are you two okay? Do you want me to get the doctor to look at you?" She said looking at Donna first then to Joshua.

"Thanks, but we've already have. All I want right now is to see my son. Is he any better?" Joshua could tell by her face he was more the same.

A loud crash followed by the sound of broken glass filled the corridor, it was coming from Brandon's room. The trio ran down the hall past the waiting room almost tripping over the extra beds and heart monitors in the way, Joshua threw the door open to find the wall and windows blown out and Brandon gone.

"Where's our son?" Donna asked as she stared out into the early morning sun.
It looked like the house of Windwood still had one or two secrets to keep.




The story continues in Shadows of Windwood...

Author Notes Joshua Lord-Heir to Lord Shipbuilding and Windwood. Father of Brandon and Jenna. Married To Donna.

Simon Lord-Joshua's older brother. Simon was born a werewolf because of a curse and was shot by his mother, Andrea, for being a werewolf. After 20 years in a coma he wakes up. Everyone believes him to be dead.

Donna/Martha Lord. Wife of Joshua. Mother to Brandon and Jenna. Donna lived in the 1700's as Martha Lord, who became a vampire. In the present day, thanks to a special pill, she is able to keep her vampirism at bay and live a normal life.

Brandon Lord-Joshua and Donna's son. Resembles his late grandfather and its unknown if he carries the werewolf gene.

Jenna Lord- Joshua and Donna's youngest. Plagued by dreams of a witch being hung she also hears voices

Toni Corsini- Descendent of the witch, Zita, who has grown to love Donna and the Lord family like her own. Member of a secret order of supernatural beings bound by duty to protect the Lord's and the town of Solomon's Wake.

Georgia Lord- Simon's wife. Georgia was born from two werewolf parents and can
change at will, unlike Simon who can only change by the full moon.

Gideon Blake- Centuries old werewolf, father of Ginny and Georgia. Hates the Lord family and is another member of the order.

Nola O'grady- Gideon's sidekick and ladylove who was kidnapped by Gideon's son, Channing the night of Simon and Georgia's wedding.

Aaron Sutton- Trusted and revered butler who has served the Lord family for decades

Lila/Carla- Channing's right hand woman and go to girl.


Chapter 48
Epilogue

By Jackreese

He got out of the car and stared at what was left of the grey walls of Karnstein Castle. The bulldozers succeeded in knocking most of it down.

The clouds covered the crescent moon, but a few rays escaped to shine on the Karnstein coat of arms engraved above the entrance to the castle. From here, these evil blood suckers began their quest to dominate Styria and spread their malevolence across the globe.

It was here that his ancestor Barron Vordenburg staked them all, and it was here he returned to find the golden sarcophagus along with the jeweled dagger to destroy not just the Monarchs, but any other supernatural being.

"Where is it?" He called to the hidden figure who sat in the front seat cloaked by darkness. "You better not be lying to me, Yannick," he said as he held out his hand to reveal a trigger. Once pressed, Yannick would explode from the inside out.

"It's in the chapel. I am not lying, Tobias. I saw them put it there with my own eyes," the figure said, getting out of the car . His skin was as white as the moon, his eyes were almost feline like and his fangs were visible under his lips.

"Move!" Tobias shoved him toward the entrance.

The once grand chateau, though crumbling, still demanded one's attention. But, inside the chapel with its holy relics, crosses, and saints that decorated the walls, it could do nothing to save the village from the carnage bestowed by the Karnsteins's.

The outside air blowing in from the holes in the wall made the hair on Tobias's neck stand up and the stillness along with the quiet that surrounded the castle gave off an eerie atmosphere.

"Let's speed this up, I hate Styria and would prefer to be back in my cozy hotel room in Vienna. The air here is like ten times worse than Beijing's on a bad day. The evil is just dripping from the walls."

"Is the big bad vampire hunter afraid?" Yannick mocked as he pulled a marble slab up from the floor. It's right here!" He said pointing to the hole in the ground where the sarcophagus should be.

"I'll show you how afraid I am when I cut you from the rectum up and throw you to the wild wolves roaming the countryside." Yannick's smile faded.

Tobias bent down to look into the hole and saw just that a hole. "Yannick, Yannick, Yannick. What am I to do with you?" He said patting his back while taunting him with the trigger.

"I did what you asked me to." The vampire became frightened.

"It's not here." Tobias kept his amber eyes locked on Yannick who seemed to get even paler. "It looks like you're not going to see your 463th birthday." Tobias went to press the button.

"It could've been moved to a town in the U.S called Solomon's Wake after The Crimson Uprising. There are some still devoted to the Monarchs who vowed to keep it safe while they slumber." Yannick said relieved.

"Then where is the dagger?"

"I would imagine it's there, too." Yannick sighed.

"Oh, ok."

With that Tobias pressed the button and watched as Yannick exploded into a ball of fire before turning to ash.

"I told you not to lie to me." He walked out of the chapel, but not before burning the rest of the castle down.

Back in Stroudsburg, he was sitting at the local tavern called the Die Affen. He caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror above the bar and wiped the speck of blood from his plump lips, pulled his long blond air into a ponytail, and ordered a beer.

Although this was a minor setback, Tobias was determined to track down the sarcophagus and dagger and finally make them pay for what they did.

The bar cheered as the news broke that castle Karnstein burned, some even ran out to watch or ran home to tell their loved ones. Soon the town square filled as celebrations broke out all over Stroudsburg.

Tobias continued to drink his beer, when he looked up at the TV again. He saw a news report about a fire at house called Windwood in Solomon's Wake. To his surprise, he saw Donna and his fists clenched.

"I knew you'd turn up one day." With that, he guzzled his beer, slammed the glass down, pushed his stool in, grabbed his keys, and ran out the door. He jumped in his car, pulled out his phone and spoke into it.

"Cortana, get me directions to the airport and get me any information you can about a town called Solomon's Wake." He rolled down the window and sped off down the road as the revelers crowded the street to watch the castle burned behind him.

Author Notes Carmilla and the Karnsteins are based upon the novel Camilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu.


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