Lily is up early saying hello to one of the horses and meets Conrad’s mother. The woman asks Lily if she’d like to go help feed the animals at the other house. Lily accepts and follows, but finds it strange that the path is so under used, as well as the place looking abandoned when they get there. It turns out to be a trick the woman is someone else having taken over Erica’s body and now intends to take Lily’s as her new one.
Conrad comes in to the kitchen asking if anyone had seen Lily. Abigail stumbles inside white as a sheet saying she saw Aunt Erica with Lily going to the old house. Conrad takes off like a rocket. Ciara and Leon follow knowing danger when they see it. Conrad arrives in time to interrupt the ceremony and attacks. The Fake Erica degrades his attempts at rescue, saying he’s a worthless failure that couldn’t even save his own family! She throws him out a window. Ciara has snuck in, and with Conrad thrown out, she moves in to attack! Her hit with a firepoker does nothing and Fake Erica grabs her. Then Leon tackles her and clings on to her back! Conrad makes his way back inside now with a serious injury, he uses his own blood to chant a spell and alter the sigil that has Lily stuck to the floor. When she rolls free, he continues the spell calling the fake Erica in to her own sigil. Then passes out from blood loss! Leon runs back to fetch help, while Lily blames herself for getting in to this mess.
Back at the house, Lily stays with Conrad, refusing to leave him so she can make sure he’ll be alright. Ciara demands answers from the family, but none of them actually know. Only Conrad would be able to tell her. Ciara plans on firing Conrad but Leon talks her out of it.
- Lily, despite everything is still naive. She learns about her “powerful soul”. Lily finds herself protective of Conrad after the incident with the fake Erica.
- Conrad is fierce about protecting Lily!
And the next day, it’s a calm and cloudy afternoon, with kids playing in the yard, adults gossiping about last night, and enjoying good company!
Lily: *With Lily saying hello to Maverick the horse in the stable before she found Conrad… There is no reason to be afraid of a horse!* You’ll have to promise not to throw me, or do weird horse tricks. *Petpet!*
Abigail, recovered from her naked Leon-sighting, was outside, hanging up laundry! Yes, laundry!
The stable door opened as a pleasant looking older woman stepped inside with an empty basket. “Excuse me! I didn’t know anyone would be in here! You must be Lily, aren’t you?”
Conrad: *Came into the kitchen from somewhere outside. By the looks of things, he’d been checking on his jeep.* Morning, Sarah. Morning, Aunt Marigold. Morning, Ms Grey. Morning, Leon.
Lily: *Lily nodded, still patting the horse on the nose.* I am. I just wanted to say hello to the horses, am I in the way?
Sarah offered Conrad a muffin from a basket on the table! She and Marigold had just baked them!
“Oh, not at all. I just came in here to fetch something for the other stable. If you like the horses, maybe you would like to help feed the others? They’re so far back from the house they never get any attention.” The nice older lady picked up some treats to add to her basket. “Oh, I didn’t introduce myself. I’m Erica, Conrad’s mother.”
Conrad: Thanks. *He grabbed one and tossed it into the air a few times.* Hey, has anyone seen Lily? We’re supposed to go riding soon.
“She said something about checking out the horses,” Sarah replied. “Why don’t you sit down and have a bite to eat? You can’t possibly be thinking of riding on an empty stomach. Or an upset one for that matter.”
Lily: *That came as a surprise! The whole week no one had mentioned his mother and now here she was!* I guess I could help. Would the horses not fit in here with the others?
Conrad: *Sheepish grin as he sat down and took a bite out of his muffin.* I promised to take her on Maverick. *He said once he’d swallowed that bite.* He’s the most calm out of all the horses here.
“We just have so many animals, there’s hardly any room for them!” she said, taking Lily by the hand, she led her out the back of the stable and towards and small trail leading in to the woods. “There’s a whole part of the property back here where we used to live. I think you’ll like it.”
Meanwhile Abigail saw someone from the corner of her eye and when she turned to see who it was and who was with her … she couldn’t believe her eyes! No! It couldn’t possibly be …!
Conrad: *Blink blink!* Ms Grey, I assure you–
Lily: How come no one is living there now? *The trail they walked on didn’t seem to have been used in years… let alone feeding horses on a regular basis! But before long, there was a house in sight with a detached barn, a stable. It looked abandoned, and just by people, there didn’t look like any animals were kept there either.*
Abigail put a hand to her head. Oh dear. Maybe she shouldn’t have given up on that medication Dr. Ross had given her … She walked into the house, forgetting all about the laundry and entered the kitchen with a dazed, disbelieving look on her face.
Conrad: *Coughed politely!* I think I should go check on Lily now. *He stood and placed his half-eaten muffin on the table when Abigail came in.* Morning, Abby … Abby? You alright? *He was wondering if his cousin had spotted something else again. Sarah had said she was on medication but Abigail never did like the idea of taking drugs …*
The woman gave a deep sigh, as she led Lily up the stairs of the house and through the front door. “It’s a tragic story, actually. No one wants to talk about it. A vampire targeted our family.” Inside was empty, dusty, on the living room floor was a sigil drawn in chalk, without warning she shoved Lily on to it. “And took this very body! I really should have opted for one of the daughters. Younger is better.”
Lily: What?! *She gave a startled shout as she landed on the ground in the center of the sigil. But as she tried to push herself up, she seemed to be stuck on the floor! “The devil are you doing…!”
Abigail stood there and for a moment it looked like she hadn’t heard Conrad! Then her lips began to move … “I … I saw …” She pointed back outside. “L … Lily and … and … E … Erica … Aunt … Erica …”
Conrad: !! *His heart went cold.* Abigail. Abigail, which way did they go? Which way did Erica take her?
Sarah smiled a bit nervously, waving it off. “I’m sure it’s nothing. Conrad, you know how your cousin is!”
Conrad: *He took Abigail’s hands!* Abigail, please. You need to tell me. Where did Erica take Lily?
The woman laughed, pulling a knife from her basket as she set it down outside the circle. “This family has such good stock for a new body. Use what works. Imagine my delight when that boy brings home something even better.” knealing next to the circle, she flicked the knife quickly over Lily’s shoulder drawing just a few drops of blood.
Abigail’s eyes were unfocused, staring off into the distance. “She took … her to the … old family home … down the old path.”
Lily: …You killed his mother? *Why does this always happen to her…! To be tricked and fooled and body snatched! Lily, winced as she tried again to force herself up and off the sigil!*
Conrad: *Bolted out the door and took off! He was running like hell and all he could think of was Lily’s safety! Damnit, no! Not her, too! He jumped over roots and through thick brush! The fear of being too late hung over his mind and he was going much too slow for his liking! The house was coming into view but … damnit!*
“Old … path …” Abigail murmured. Then her eyes rolled to the back of her head and she collapsed! Only the quick thinking of Sarah saved her from landing on the floor!
“In a matter of speaking…” Shaking the knife over the symbol, she dropped the blood over special points. “Do you know why Michael Carnatelli adored you so much? He loves a challenge. A soul that burns so strong and is so unbreakable it could fuel a gate to hell. A soul like that is going to make such a powerful body. It will be so easy to wipe that smug look off that Anthony’s face.”
Conrad: *Dashed up the stairs and kicked open the front door! He was already pulling out a scroll and he chanted a few words, throwing the scroll at her. It grew longer and longer and attempted to wrap around Erica.*
The woman hardly look surprised at all when Conrad burst through the door and a seal wrapped around her. In fact, she laughed! “If it isn’t the noble son! Come to rescue another poor girl from the clutches of evil. As it worked so well last time.” Her wrist flicked, the knife in her hand glowing as it slashed right through the scroll. “My I feel as if we’ve done this before..”
Conrad: *Glaring at Erica, he used another scroll and another spell. This time six white fireballs appeared and shot for her.*
There was a blur of her form as she moved aside, twisting the knife in her hand to reverse his cast spell! “Why fight me again, Conrad Wolfe, when you are the one that brought her here just for me! All this time I’ve waited and you’ve found me the perfect body to replace your dried up old mother. To think I was going to waste time with one of your sisters.”
Conrad: *Used another scroll and when the fire came back at him, they hit a glowing white shield and disappeared!* Leave my family out of this, witch! *He cast another spell! The floor beneath Erica gave way, leaving a gaping hole that led down to darkness!*
Erica jumped up away from the gaping hole, landing on her drawn sigil and standing above Lily. “But isn’t it all about your family? How you couldn’t save your father when I ripped him to shreds? When I pulled your mother’s soul right out of her body? The way your poor sisters have just slowly slipped away in to madness? And you, well… you just can’t seem to help anyone can you. Now you’re going to loose another one because you’re just not good enough. A poor helpless little boy.”
Lily: …don’t listen to her! *Those were awful mind games! Evil mindgames! Lily managed to force herself up on her elbows, reaching to wrap her fingers around the woman’s ankles.* Stop talking! *She pulled!*
Conrad: *Clenched his teeth and his fists at his sides! It was far easier to deal with the past when the demon who had taken it all away wasn’t taunting him with it! .. Everything happens for a reason. Even the bad. He took a running start and jumped for Erica!*
Kicking Lily’s hand to the side, Erica grabbed Conrad by the shirt as he leapt for her, using his own momentum to slinging him across the room right through one of the windows! “I’m afraid I have something to finish.” she laughed, stepping outside of the circle holding her glowing knife high. “Potior!!” The drawing on the ground started glowing as she began her spell of possession!
Thwack! Erica tilted forward just a bit, before she slowly turned around towards Ciara a sneer on her face. “Not quite effective.” She grabbed the stoker and the other woman by the wrist to twist her arm around. Baring long growing fangs! “I don’t care to be intterupted again.” she growled!
Conrad: *CRASH! THUD! He hit the ground and had the breath knocked out of him! It ached all over and he was feeling light headed and dizzy as he got up. But he couldn’t quit now. He had to get Lily out of there! There was a pain in his side but he didn’t dare to touch it. He didn’t have time to dwell on what it could be. So he stumbled back to the steps and through the front door. He fell to the floor when he got inside and when he got up again, he looked down at his hands. Both palms were coated in blood. He crawled over to the sigil. If he could … if he could only …! That light headed, dizzy feeling was threatening to swallow him up. But no … He had to … If he could just …!* Blood to blood … *He whispered, placing his hands on the sigil’s edge.* Soul to soul … *His hands began to glow white. He could only hope the blood was enough to fuel the spell and that the spell was effective enough to break the seal. If only to give Lily a chance to run.* Bound by tragedy and disgrace … Break this seal. Come undone. Break this seal. Come undone …
Erica stumbled as Leon lept on to her back, her fingers growing in to long claws as she fought to throw him off her! She gave a sudden shriek as Conrad started chanting a spell – her precious sigil! It had begun to shift in color, pieces of it’s edging begining to crack and shatter! Hissing she rushed forward, wolfman on her back or not, to attack Conrad!
Lily: *That sigil burned but something was losening and she could more easily make her limbs move. There was a crack, a visible line crossing down the center of the whole thing… Lily shoved the ground, rolling herself across the floor and off the sigil!*
Her neck cracked as she righted her head to a proper angle! “I am not leaving without a body..!” The woman hissed! With Leon off her back, her movement was quicker! She dashed forward towards Ciara preparing a quicker, less complete possession spell!
Conrad: *Maybe if he … just closed his eyes. Yeah, that was it. He could no longer focus on anything around him. Everything involved the seal. He could feel it moving, cracking, disappearing like a thin layer of ice … Maybe if he could just reverse the sigil a bit …* Call back the lost one, the soulless one, the wandering one with many names … Return to the one who created you … Bind her and keep her close … *He was kneeling in a pool of blood. He wanted to sleep so badly …! But something kept him here and he couldn’t sleep until it was taken care of … But please, let it work.*
Erica missed Ciara completely and found herself stummbling forward on to her own sigil. She was screaming in rage as she tried to rush at them again but… She was stuck! Frantically digging for a spell to get herself free, the sigil seemed to be swallowing her up! Making her sink down in to the floor and disappearing in to it’s symbols! Finally as her body was almost gone… her laughter echoed! “It is not the end of me… I am forever..!” She and the sigil vanished! Only the faint laughter left behind!
Lily: *Lily had shoved herself to her knees, crawling next to Conrad. There was a big piece of glass stuck in his side, and the floor near covered in blood. If she pulled it out it’d be so much worse…* Mommy, he’s bleeding to death…!
Conrad: *Had fallen over on the floor. His breathing was shallow and he was looking more pale than usual. His eyes were closed and had it not been for the glass or the blood, he might have been sleeping.*
It seemed to take forever for them to get there! There was Ned and David and Chris. Ned and David had shotguns while Chris carried the first aid kit. Leon stepped aside to let them enter and Chris quickly opened the first aid kit. “That’s one nasty piece of glass, son,” Chris said.
Lily: It’s my fault, I- *She couldn’t even say it, as she quickly wiped the back of her hands against her eyes. What a stupid time to cry..!*
Amazingly Chris had him patched up enough for them to move him back to the house. “He’s a strong one, he is. Ned, David, we need to get him back to the house. He’s going to need the rest.”
Lily: I’m going to stay with Conrad and make sure he doesn’t die, thank you.
Once everyone had gotten back to the house, Chris had them move Conrad into a room downstairs. He explained it as a precaution as he didn’t want to strain Conrad and by being downstairs, they could check on him a lot more. So he was taken to a small room toward the back of the house just a few doors down from the kitchen. Sarah was making tea and hot chocolate when they got back.
Lily: *She was staying and she meant it! Lily found herself a chair to sit in, bringing her knees up to her chest and kept watch. He wasn’t going to die, nor would his own personal demons come after him.*
Sarah, Ned, David, and Chris shared looks. Then Chris nodded. “I’ll tell her.” He leaned against the kitchen counter and sipped some hot chocolate before he began. “Erica is … was Conrad’s mother.”
Conrad: *Lying there, all wrapped in bandages, he looked better. And … there was some color back in his cheeks now. He seemed to be in a very deep sleep.*
Chris sighed. “I’m afraid the only person who knows that for sure is Conrad. All we have is speculation. When Conrad was very young, something bad happened to his entire family. Somehow he managed to survive and we brought him here. He’s never even told us the entire story.”
Lily: *Keeping watch like a hawk! But sitting so still and staring was making her stiff. She might have talk to him, but talking to someone while they were sleeping was just strange. Lily got up to plop in to a different chair.*
All of the Wolfe family members gathered there suddenly looked ashamed. “We kept convincing ourselves he was just an errand boy, just like he always said he was. But after today … We can’t deny the reason he left for the city.”
Conrad: *Stirred! His eyes were heavy and his body felt heavy. He just felt so … weak right now! He managed to open one eye just a little.* Mm … Li … ly …? *His voice was hoarse and his tongue felt thick.*
Lily: *Lily moved out of her chair to rest on her knees next to him at face level.* You’re really not going to die, right?
Conrad: *Something like a smile tugged at the corners of his mouth before it disappeared.* N … o. Wi … Will live.
Lily: I’m sorry to put you through more problems. Especially here of all places.
Conrad: *This time the smile showed and stayed for awhile before it disappeared. His eyelids were still heavy but it was a great relief to know she was alright.* Not … your … fault. Mine. Family.
Lily: *She hooked a finger around one of his.* I think we’ll call it a draw and share the blame. If you promise not to fly through any more windows.
Conrad: Deal. *He was silent for a moment.* You … alright …?
Lily: *Silence… followed by a deep sigh as she rest her head on her arm.* I sort of walk right in to things even now, don’t I? But you were there, so it’s okay.
Conrad: … Should have … told you. Hiding never solves … anything. Erica … my mother …
Lily: *She smiled softly, hooking a second finger around his.* You can tell me about it later. It’s probably a long story.
Conrad: *A soft chuckle that was barely audible.* Very … long. *He leaned back in the bed and closed his eyes.*
Lily: *Lily settled to sit on the floor.* You should sleep, I’ll still be here.