Categories
The Gate Saga

048 She’s Not Real

Elizabeth Bathory drives Lily Crazy. Gabriel teaches Evangeline some spells.

[Lily was in class, apparently sleeping while the teacher lectured.] -07:02 May 13
[Conrad was outside with Brutus, playing fetch!] -07:04 May 13

“Lily …” someone whispered in her ear. It might be a classmate trying to wake her up!

Evangeline: *There was something strange going on lately, but she could not figure it out! Something with magic for sure… so what a perfect opportunity for her to try once again to convince Gabriel to teach her one or two things.* ….Please?

[Conrad is now known as: Gabriel] -07:06 May 13
Lily: *Dreaming! She was always dreaming such horrible things, it was near impossible to catch any sleep. Vaguely remembering she was in class, she sat up to grumble at the one saying her name.* wha? -07:07 May 13
Gabriel: *He raised an eyebrow.* … You are insane. *But persistent! Very, very persistent! If half of the hunters he taught had her stubborn determination, they might actually give the Carnatellis a run for a change.* -07:07 May 13

But no one was even looking Lily’s way. They were either dozing off themselves or scribbling notes in their book, such as Eugene Jr. over there. He caught Lily looking his way and gave her a wave and a grin.

Evangeline: I was trying to read some books, but magic books aren’t really designed to read without eyes… and none of the trainees wanted to help! They said Jimmy was still invisible from the last time. I really don’t remember trying any invisibility spells.

Gabriel: *He tilted his head slightly at her.* Tell me. Do you have a history of magic in your family? -07:13 May 13
Lily: *She waved at Eugene after glancing around the class. Lily rubbed her eyes and tried to focus on her assignment. The term papers were due soon, but she couldn’t get any sleep…! For two weeks now she was dreaming about her!* -07:13 May 13

“Now, if all of you turn to chapter 21 in your text books …” The teacher was saying. It looked like Lily was just imagining things!

Evangeline: *Evangeline tapped her chin as if she were actually thinking back in time over an entire family tree.* Not magic. Nor witches or sorcery. A gypsy here or there and the occasional mad lunatic. Nothing very extraordinary.

Gabriel: *And yet she could turn a man into a frog …* What spell did you try when Jimmy became invisible? -07:20 May 13
Lily: *Blowing her hair out of her face, she flipped open her book to the correct page and leaned on her hand. She was just too tired to bother reading the page, so she tilted her head to watch out the window.* -07:20 May 13

Evangeline: *There was a mild guilty expression on her face, but she huffed!* I wasn’t trying to do any spells, really. Frank is taking training for using scrolls and they are always using latin so we were trying to get the right words for the right scrolls…

Lily’s class looked out into the courtyard where students gathered to study or hang out. There was a blonde-haired girl on the bench right outside Lily’s class with her back facing Lily. She had long blonde hair and wore an old-fashioned dress that looked more like something a doll would wear …

Gabriel: Did the phrase sound like "Sinus os illorum quisnam animadverto sibimet absens fio"? -07:28 May 13
Lily: *A blink. Lily dropped her pencil and before it rolled off her desk she made a scramble to catch it. Stupid! gothic lolita stuff was a fashion wasn’t it? After retrieving her pencil she glanced up and out the window again for a second look.* -07:28 May 13

Evangeline: A little bit like that yes! I think I might have mixed up the words. And then Frank said Jimmy was gone even though both me and Jimmy insisted he was right there.

The girl shrugged off her jacket. Phew! Just a jacket! The girl still hadn’t turned around yet.

Lily: *Lily scowled, turning away from the window and forcing herself to pay attention to her book. This lack of sleep and too much work was getting her jittery and paranoid over nothing. Maybe after class she should go home and try some of her mother’s sleeping pills.* -07:36 May 13
Gabriel: *He was silent for awhile. When he spoke next, he was beside her, instead of several feet away.* Let’s go. -07:37 May 13

The bell rang! Class was over!

Evangeline: Go where? …you’re not going to ban me from classes again, are you? Spending a week alone with Ms. Grey always gets kind of scary!

Lily: *Already? Lily brushed a hand over her watch and sighed. Lucky her! She packed away her book and papers in to her bag, waiting for most of the people to file out of the room before she finally stood. She peered out the window again to see if Conrad was still out there playing with Brutus. She hadn’t seen him before…* -07:43 May 13
Gabriel: *He cut his palm.* Crux crucis loginquitas , patefacio via. *The wind picked up and blew around them. There was a pulse of negative energy and then they were gone! They appeared somewhere that was very warm. The air was hot but they were under some shade. There was the sound of water and when Evangeline reached out, she felt the rough bark of a palm tree. A desert! An oasis in the middle of the desert!* -07:45 May 13

Conrad: *He was scratching Brutus who was nipping his hand and jumping around! Man, that pup had a hell of a lot of energy!*

Evangeline: *This wasn’t quite what she was expecting! There wasn’t anyone around for miles and miles… it might have been a miracle this place existed out in the desert!* I am a little confused…

“Lily …” There was that voice again!

Lily: *She had been smiling at the furry pup when she heard her name again. Lily turned around quickly to see who was still hanging behind in the room!* -07:52 May 13
Gabriel: You wished to learn magic. The best place to learn would be somewhere miles away from human interference. -07:53 May 13

… But there was no one there!

Evangeline: In case I turn someone to a frog or invisible. *She responded, not sounding the least bit offended. Evangeline smiled brightly!* All right then! I am ready to learn things! I know how it works mostly, I can feel lines and motions but I suppose there is more than that… Oh, fairies use wands. Do you supposed I would need one?

Conrad: *He and Brutus ran up to Lily! He saw the look on her face!* Everything okay? *She hadn’t been sleeping well lately but whenever he asked her about it, she would shrug it off or change the subject.*

Lily: I just… *Pausing, she shook her head.* I’m just really tired, I guess. I’d like to stop in the bathroom for a minute and wake myself up or something. Here, *She handed Conrad her bag and gave Brutus a good pat before excusing herself. …Splashing some ice cold water on her face should do the trick.* -08:02 May 13
Gabriel: No. *Evangeline’s "victims" would agree. Evangeline didn’t need a wand to cast spells!* More often than not, wands and staffs are symbolic. Some use them to channel magic from other sources outside of themselves. That is why some hunters must use scrolls. -08:06 May 13

Evangeline: And what of blood? Sometimes it is required for things, especially seals. …I am not sure I could poke myself for every spell. *She had only used blood once when undoing the seal that had Gabriel trapped in the room.. and she couldn’t even get the whole thing unraveled!*

Conrad: *He took her bag and blinked! He watched her disappear into the bathroom and glanced at Brutus.* Hm.

Brutus was sitting down beside him and looked up at Conrad when he glanced at him.

Lily: *Straight to the sink to run the cold water… Lily took a deep breath! She wasn’t crazy. She was tired. The school was always kind of weird, so even if she were hearing voices, it’s not like it was a big deal. She pulled a few paper towels to hold under the water and pressed them to her face.* -08:15 May 13

Lily was nice and calm … until she looked into the mirror! There was the reflection of the girl she’d killed! She wore the dress she died in and her eyes, glazed over but angry, burned into Lily! There was a hole where Lily had shot her! “You can’t leave! You’re his favorite!” she hissed, lifting a finger to point at Lily!

Lily: *Lily backed away from the sink and mirror quickly! Her breath was trapped and it was a struggle to find her voice!* Y-you’re not here. I’m asleep…! -08:24 May 13
Gabriel: Blood is potent but only used in certain types of magic. Magic is universal, everywhere but it branches out into different types. Faeries have theirs, as do demons, humans, weres, vampires. -08:25 May 13

“You can’t leave! You’re his favorite!” the girl repeated, advancing on Lily!

[Gabriel logged out of the chat.] -((08:27 May 13))

Evangeline: And psychics? Not that psychics use magic, they- …well, that is so hard to explain… *She tugged lightly on his sleeve.* What will you teach me first?

[Gabriel was silent for several moments! What would he teach her, indeed!] -08:34 May 13
Lily: *She was… she was coming right out of the mirror! Lily kept moving backwards until her back hit solid wall! She squeezed her eyes shut and slid to the floor.* You’re not here. You’re not here…! -08:36 May 13
Gabriel: Ultimately, language is not important. A spell cast in Latin has the same effect as one cast in English. And like all words, once a spell is cast, it cannot be taken back. -08:38 May 13

Evangeline: …But they can be unraveled! Well… when you know how to unravel. *There was a sheepish expression from her.* Perhaps I should to unravel and break spells before casting them… Um. For Jimmy’s sake.

There was the sound of the girl approaching her. Click! click! went the heels of her boots! Her icy cold breath chilled Lily’s cheek–“Did you see that game last night?” The bathroom door opened and two girls walked in. “The Warriors versus the Trojans? Oh yeah, those men are hot,” the second girl said. They were walking to the stalls when one of them saw Lily! “Hey, are you alright?” she asked!

Gabriel: Indeed. Some can be undone. Others are permanent. In the case of Jimmy and his invisibility, that, of course, is the former. -08:43 May 13
Lily: Y-yeah… *Lily opened her eyes slowly. She was gone. Just the two girls. Lily drew herself to her feet, shakey and stiff but still in one piece. She brushed past the two girls to escape the bathroom, not daring to look at the mirrors!* -08:45 May 13
Gabriel: There you are. *Conrad said as he and Brutus spotted Lily. But now she looked really bad!* Lily, what’s wrong? What happened in the bathroom? -08:46 May 13

Conrad: There you are. *Conrad said as he and Brutus spotted Lily. But now she looked really bad!* Lily, what’s wrong? What happened in the bathroom?

Evangeline: *Evangeline sighed with a light huff.* It would be nice to not cast spells by accident… I had never done that before. It’s a little strange.

Lily: *Lily felt as if she might faint, but couldn’t tell if that were from lack of sleep or just having the daylights scared out of her. She blinked at Conrad, giving a frown.* I keep… seeing her. The girl I killed. It was just dreams at first, but now.. -08:52 May 13
Gabriel: I find it curious as well. It is a rare case when one develops a talent for magic late in life and no history of magic in the bloodline. -08:56 May 13

Evangeline: Ms. Grey says I have spent too much time with you and picked up your habits. *That had her grinning… but it disappeared, being replaced with a more curious expression!* …You saw one of my visions once. I just remembered.

Conrad: … But now you see her and you’re wide awake. I’ll take you back to Shades and have the secretary at Oracle call your professors. *He started leading her to the jeep.*

Gabriel: *He raised an eyebrow at her mention of her visions.* I assume by your expression it is not a rare occurence. I find it curious I could understand anything at all. -09:02 May 13
Gabriel: *common, not rare XD -09:04 May 13
[Lily is a little disoriented, but she\’s not so sure it\’s a big deal!] -06:30 May 17
Lily: I’m not sure that it’s necessary to call Oracle and freak people out. I just need sleep or something. *The last thing she wanted was more gossiping rolling through Oracle and her mother deciding she needed an army to follow her around like Evangeline..* -06:37 May 17
[Conrad was still worried but he wasn\’t too keen on kicking up a panic.] -06:41 May 17

Evangeline: *Picking up Gabriel’s habits didn’t seem all that strange to Evangeline but remembering he shared one of her visions was! She was still trying to figure that one out! Like piecing a puzzle together in her head!*

Conrad: Alright then. You go get some rest and I’ll try and help … somehow. *He’d never run into a case like this before … and he didn’t know anyone who might have either!* -06:46 May 17

Gabriel: *He raised an eyebrow.* I am certain it is not that uncommon an occurence.

Lily: *Lily half smiled at his expression, but nodded and headed off to her room. She sighed when she closed her door.. dropping off her bag in the floor and falling face first in to bed. Homework could wait. Couldn’t she be like normal people and hallucinate about pink elephants or something…?* -06:49 May 17

Evangeline: But it is uncommon. Thoughts can be shared, memories even.. but visions in themselves are crazy things. And one like that was strange enough by itself without you seeing it as well! *In fact it wasn’t a vision she really wanted to reflect back on, but the circumstances were odd and now that she was thinking about it, it was worth knowing!*

Conrad: *So Conrad sat down in the living room, then thought against it and pulled out a chair to set beside Lily’s door. He would say quiet, though. She wouldn’t like it if she knew he was right outside. She might call him paranoid or something. However, he wasn’t the only one–Brutus sat down right beside him!* -06:59 May 17

Gabriel: *Yes, he had outright lied. You didn’t live as long as he did without knowing things like this and psychics were known to experience their visions in a way only they could interpret. It was a defense mechanism.* Uncommon perhaps but not unheard of. It could simply have been because of the severity of circumstances. It was already unusual that you experienced a vision pertaining to yourself.

Lily: *Wonderful sleep… Ugh… Clothes first. Lily forced herself to sit up and take off her shoes and change in to more comfortable clothes. She was so tired, she decided against snatching some of her mother’s sleeping pills and crawled right in to bed!* -07:05 May 17

Brutus looked up at Conrad. When the hunter looked at him, he wagged his tail and gave him a hopeful look.

Evangeline: I suppose that is true… *She was upset and scared, and worse seeing herself in the vision. She had wanted him to be there!* But, I do a lot of things now that I hadn’t before… Even when I’m not cheating and touching your wall for strength.

Conrad: *He scratched Brutus under his neck with one hand, pulled out his cell with the other. Then he texted someone at Oracle about experiencing hallucinations. When asked by the expert who this information was for, he admitted it was himself. Better they thought he was nuts than Lily. She was most certainly not insane!* -07:11 May 17

Gabriel: Some humans are more susceptible to things than others. But we are going off the path. We are here to focus on your introduction to magic. You do not need a wand or any such object to cast spells and it would seem you have a habit of casting spells without realizing what you are doing.

Lily: *Falling asleep came easily. But like she had for days before, normal dreams turned weird! That girl was always there, dead or undead. Why do YOU get a happy life, when you took mine from me? You don’t deserve this. You hurt people. You kill people.* -07:18 May 17

“You were his favorite. That’s why he attacked Oracle, why he killed those people. He would never have sent his marionettes after them if you hadn’t been there, hiding. You are such a coward.”

Evangeline: Subject changer! *Evangeline hadn’t failed to notice, but he was right. For now it was more important to learn some things about magic before other questions!* How would I not cast spells by accident?

Lily: *He might have gone to fetch his dolls anyway..! She didn’t mean to kill anyone! Who would want to stay when you could escape! Lily tried to explain, but words never came out the way they were supposed to! She had no voice no matter how hard she tried to scream!* -07:24 May 17

Gabriel: *Something that might have been a half-smile tugged at the corner of his mouth when she called him a ‘subject changer’.* At least you are now aware you are capable of it. Ignorance is bliss but it is far from harmless. I find it strange you are able to cast magic without realizing it. Most must concentrate with every fiber of their being to cast the simplest spell. But getting back to the topic at hand, there is no foolproof way to prevent you from doing so by accident. The best you can hope for is that you realize what you are doing before it is too late. Perhaps by being careful what you read out loud or repeat.

Evangeline: *Evangeline gave a guilty expression… it really was not the first time someone has suggested she be careful about what she blabbered out. She was still having to remind herself not to blabber about random visions, especially around Ms. Grey.* I may have to not speak altogether… that is so extraordinarily hard to do!

Conrad: "… Result of trauma … Sign of mental instability …" *He murmured to himself. He huffed, ruffled his hair. What a load of croc! This was something he already knew about–if only because the shrinks had said as much when he told them a monster wearing a woman’s face had taken his family away.* So much for getting any helpful hints from the so-called "good doctors" at Oracle. *He told Brutus. He glanced at the pup.* Do you have any friends with knowledge about the subject? -07:30 May 17

“He even came to your college, looking for you. If you hadn’t been there, he would never have gone. He was there for you. No one else. It’s all your fault.”

Gabriel: Indeed. *He tilted his head slightly at her.* You do realize it would be far too quiet a place if you attempted to stop talking completely.

Brutus gave him a sad-werepup look.

Conrad: *He smiled a bit, scratched under his neck again.* Hey, at least you have an excuse. You can chalk it up to the full moon and you probably wouldn’t make excuses, anyways. The only excuse I can use is it was hormones. And you can’t use it all the time. -07:41 May 17
Lily: *It IS her fault.. but it’s not like she.. and she can’t… Just get out! OUT! She gets it! Just go away! Lily was trying to force open a door! To get out of this horrible dream! It suddenly forced open and she found herself rolling out of bed and hitting the floor with a loud THUMP!* Ugh… GRRAGH. *She growled, hitting the floor with her elbow in anger! Why can’t she just SLEEP!* -07:42 May 17

But even then, the girl’s voice lingered. “Do everyone a favor … Make it stop … Stop living …” And then Lily found herself alone. For the moment, anyways.

Evangeline: Quiet, but safer for trainees everywhere. Heaven forbid I say the wrong words and someone explodes! *And from the look on her face, she was sure something like that could happen! Jimmy was already invisible! It could get worse!*

Conrad: *He was out of the chair and he didn’t know whether to knock or burst in! He chose knocking.* Lily! Lily, are you okay? *It was a stupid question he knew. Lily was far from okay. And he had a sinking feeling he couldn’t help her at all …* -07:46 May 17

Gabriel: *He reached up and cupped her cheek.* Do you trust me? *He asked quietly.*

Lily: *Stop living. Such a simple answer. How many times had she thought of that before? Conrad’s voice interupted the thought and she pulled herself off the floor. Lily open the door, rubbing her eyes.* I just fell out of bed. *She blinked at the chair and the watching werepup.* -07:49 May 17

Evangeline: *The question came so suddenly, she blinked in surprise as she touched his hand.* Of course I trust you. More than anyone else in the world!

Gabriel: I trust in your ability to control yourself. You would not have made it this long if you did not possess such control. *He took the hand touching his and turned it over, palm up. Then he slipped something into it and closed her fingers around it. It was silver, it was flat and round, big enough to be mistaken for a US silver dollar. But it was cool and there was something engraved on both sides. There was a small hole at the top and through the hole, a thin but strong leather strap. A talisman!* It is a detection device. If you begin to recite a spell, the talisman will begin to grow warm. For maximum effect, you have to wear it against your skin. Should someone else cast a spell within earshot of you, it will also activate the device. The warmer the talisman, the closer to completion the spell is. It will work no matter how strong or how weak the spell.

Evangeline: This will be perfect! *Evangeline examined it for a moment before she placed it around her neck and tucked it under her shirt. Then she promptly hugged him! It may have been a tool rather than a present, but he seemed to consider these things before she ever seemed to think about them… It was s sweet!*

Conrad: *He blinked, saw her notice the chair and the werepup. Then he grinned sheepishly!* Heh heh. Um … Sorry. *He walked backwards and moved his arms to hush Brutus out of the room and get rid of that chair.* -08:22 May 17

Gabriel: *He was used to these uncontrollable actions of affection so he just waited it out!* Indeed. A word of caution, the talisman may become hot enough to burn you.

Lily: *Lily really wanted to smile! Instead she kept it to herself, stepping out of the room to head down the hall.* I am going to get some water. If you want to stay in my room, you better get some pillows. -08:26 May 17

Evangeline: Then I will just lean forward until it’s not so hot. *…or slip it on the outside of her shirt! Either way, it was a perfect gift! She was going to keep hugging him until he pulled her off!* So now I need to know how to unravel some spells and fix poor Jimmy.

Gabriel: *He tolerated the hugging far longer than anyone else would have expected him to! It was several minutes before he took her hands and pried her off of him, stepping back.* Indeed. Most spells, such as the invisibility one you cast, should be simple enough to undo. You must keep in mind what you said exactly. Spells are literal and can easily go awry. That includes undoing spells unless blood was involved.

Conrad: *He coughed politely.* Will do. *He glanced at Brutus.* Well, how about I take you out to er, do your business on the balcony and we can grab some stuff? Pillows, snacks. *It might be a long night tonight!* -08:42 May 17

Evangeline: No blood, just blabbering. *A small huff as she thought the spell over…* I wish it was as easy as animal cursing, those are almost always solved with kisses and those are so much simpler to give.

Gabriel: *He raised an eyebrow when she mentioned giving animal kisses.* I should mention. It is easier to undo a spell you cast, than undo a spell cast by another. To attempt to undo a spell cast by a stronger magic-user may result in the spell backfiring on you and the victim or even death. Some magic is far too powerful to meddle with carelessly.

Lily: *Lily stepped in to the kitchen, taking ice from the freezer and getting water from the sink. Leaning forward against the counter she took a sip… and blinked. One of the big knives was just sitting there out on the counter. But no one had been home to be using it.* -08:51 May 17

Brutus barked once, tail wagging and followed Conrad!

Evangeline: Luckily then I am not a sorceress! I am content to avoid accidents and maybe one or two useful things so you won’t have to worry about me. Like… um… *She was trying to think of appropriate spells, but most offensive things usually involved knowing where you were aiming and that wasn’t always as easy as it sounded.*

Conrad: *Taking Brutus out to do his business on the balcony was a last resort. Ms Grey insisted he take him down and have him do his business elsewhere. But as long as he cleaned it up, she shouldn’t mind …* So, boy, ready for a sleepover in Lily’s room? *Of course, there was the fact Ms Grey might take things the wrong way and the trouble would start!* -09:06 May 17

Gabriel: You lack the will to do another harm. A few defensive spells should suffice a light so bright it blinds, a shield, and a simple healing spell should do.

Gabriel: *suffice

Lily: *She set down her glass, her hand moving across the counter to snake her fingers around the knife. She was going to put it away, but she paused. Stop living. Would it all really end if she just… stopped living?* -09:23 May 17

Evangeline: I think I understand shields now and might be better with practice… Can you show me the healing spells? Then I can take care of you and everyone else.

“Arf! Arf!” Brutus came running inside and through the suite! “Arf! Arf!” He ran into the kitchen and jumped up and down beside Lily!

Conrad: Brutus! Wait, I don’t think you finished! *He ran after the pup, through the suite!* There you are! *He exclaimed when he got into the kitchen, but whether he meant Brutus, Lily, or both was anyone’s guess! He moved forward to pull Brutus away from Lily, eying the knife!* … Lily? -09:27 May 17

Gabriel: *He nodded, moved behind Evangeline, put her arms up so they were stretched in front of her.* Arms out, fingers together, palm facing outside. Most healers use this stance as it helps channel the magic through them and into their patients. It helps if you are aware of what type of wounds he or she is suffering, what you are attempting to heal, and your own limits. To heal one at death’s door is an extremely difficult and draining task. Attempt to heal such a person and fail and prepare to pay with your own life or fall into a comatose state. Are you willing to make such a sacrifice?

Lily: *Vaguely aware of Brutus barking, it took her a moment to realize she wasn’t alone in the kitchen… and the fact she was holding that knife as if she were going to stab someone with it! ..Lily quickly put it down!* Sorry. I was going to put it away. -09:32 May 17
Conrad: *A genuine smile!* Hey, it’s okay. It happens. I hope Brutus didn’t scratch you up. *He scratched the pup behind the ears.* -09:34 May 17

Evangeline: *Evangeline was listening carefully, putting the stance to memory!* I have made difficult choices before, I can do it again. Knowing what you are trying to heal is most important, right?

Lily: No, he’s a good pup and mindful about his feet. *Lily was eyeing the knife again. Everytime she was alone she seemed to get so wrapped up in those thoughts… Maybe if they stayed with her she could sleep.* Will you sleep with me tonight? -09:42 May 17

Gabriel: Yes. And when you begin to heal, you cannot let anything distract you. Healing someone in the middle of a battle is a serious task to undertake. It does not matter the words you use. As I said before, it is not the language that matters.

Brutus calmed down but his tail was still wagging pretty hard.]

Conrad: *He smiled.* Hey, sure we will. What are friends for? I might snore or talk in my sleep, though.

Lily: *Lily took her glass of water and gave Brutus a nice pat before leading the way back to her room. This time she entered slowly, as if expecting to see something… or someone! Including tugging her blanket to make sure nothing was hiding underneath!* -09:53 May 17

Evangeline: Actions and motions and magic lines are more important than words. *Evangeline repeated, mostly to remind herself! She recognized magic lines very easily. It may have been why she was so often accidentally pulling them and casting spells! …She would just have to not touch instead of not speak!* I will keep focused.

Gabriel: The next time a student is injured, I will send them to you instead of to the Infirmary. *He took a step back and let go fo her arms.*

Evangeline: Training on the trainees? *The thought made her smile! She turned around to snag his sleeve.* Now you can show me a light spell!

Gabriel: I should also caution you. It will be easier to heal another human or even an animal compared to a vampire or a were. They are able to withstand much more serious injuries so it will be harder to gauge your limits and just how serious their wounds are.

Conrad: *He followed behind Lily and watched as Brutus roamed her room, sniffing things out! The pup was awfully cute, it was like he was trying to soothe Lily by making sure no one (or nothing) was lurking.* -10:09 May 17
Lily: *Brutus was a very good distraction, and she was glad for it! Lily set her water aside to crawl back in to bed.. leaving enough room for a werepuppy and a bodyguard.* …If I hit you, I am really really sorry. -10:16 May 17
Conrad: *He smiled, although he knew she wasn’t joking.* It’s a good thing I have insurance with Oracle then. *He let Brutus into the bed first and then climbed inside.* Are you sure you’re comfortable with this? Me … here with you? -10:19 May 17

Brutus licked Lily’s face as he settled against her on the bed!

Evangeline: *She looked faintly concerned about that, but whatever she decided seemed to placate her.* I’ll try not to do anything silly so you won’t worry over me.

Lily: …I hadn’t really thought of that. *She said slowly, patting Brutus before sitting up on her elbows to eye Conrad carefully.* I guess I’m so used to you being here. But if you think you’re safer on the floor, I don’t mind. -10:22 May 17
Conrad: *A sheepish grin!* I’ll keep my hands where you can see ’em. If you can do me the favor and distract your mother if she comes across this so I can launch myself out the window. I’d seriously take the window to facing your mother’s wrath–unless it was one of those exceptions, of course. *He nodded and stayed right where he was.* -10:26 May 17

Gabriel: *He nodded.* My thanks. Now, the light spell. I suppose I should give you two versions the mild spell and the one strong enough to cast out wraiths. They are also helpful against demons and other so-called \”creatures of the night.\” Our eyes are much more sensitive. Only the strongest can withstand a light spell.

Lily: *Conrad jumping out of window wasn’t something she should snicker at, but she did. Lily settled back down, curling an arm around the furry pup and closed her eyes.* I’ll tell her Leon is chewing hew shoes again… she’ll run right out. -10:30 May 17

Evangeline: I really didn’t like the wraiths! *Saying so was unneccasary, but the creatures were that disturbing she had to mention it again!* Lets practice that one a lot, I never want to feel those again if I can help it…

Gabriel: Because you do not necessarily need words to cast spells either, it is simply a matter of imagining the sun, letting the light fill you, brightening every dark corner. Merely concentrate on that light, never let your thoughts sway from it. Deep breaths and try it.

Conrad: *He laughed. He’d even caught Leon a number of times doing exactly that. Nothing like seeing a grown man chewing on heels to lighten your day.* Thank you, I do appreciate it. *He lay his head down and looked at Lily and Brutus snuggling up against her.* Hey, Lily … Thanks for everything. You’re the greatest friend ever. -10:45 May 17

Evangeline: *It took her a moment to even remember what the sun looked like! For a moment she looked rather mad about it, but she quickly found the right thought to focus on. Lighting up corners in her head was easy enough… but then she was trying to figure out where to put her sun!* …should I throw it? Or let it sit and float like a sun-balloon?

Lily: *The unexpected remark had her blinking her eyes open, and she was trying not to grin in embarassment. It was strange feeling, kind of like butterflies!* I should thank you, instead. I always feel better when you’re around… -10:55 May 17

Gabriel: If you wish to repel wraiths, you must keep the light with you. Otherwise, it may be lost and the wraiths are quick to pounce on a moment of opportunity. Try to let it sit and float above you.

Conrad: *Sheepish grin! A slight blush!* Heh. Thanks. Been awhile since someone ever told me that. So uh … I should um, let you sleep. -11:16 May 17
Conrad: Goodnight Lily. Sweet dreams. -11:16 May 17

Evangeline: *That was more than enough incentive to try really hard on that light spell! Being near a wraith was frightening enough, she never wanted to be pounced by one! She tilted back to poke a finger above her head and set her sun to float there. Something was working, as she could feel the talismen against her chest… but it would have been nice if she could see it too!* Is that enough, or maybe I should make it brighter?

Gabriel: *As a Carnatelli, classified as a ‘master vampire’, the Seer’s light did not have as strong an effect as it would have on a young vampire. But he nodded once.* Attempt to make it as bright as possible and then hold it.

Lily: *There was an urge to reach out and poke him, but Lily kept her arm around Brutus and just smiled as she closed her eyes again. She should definitly be able to sleep now.* Goodnight, Conrad. -11:20 May 17

Evangeline: *Brighter! Like… desert suns at noon! Or exploding supernovas! …Or Ms. Grey’s aura when she’s getting really mad! She made sure to put all of that in to her light. It was a little heavy, but felt shiny!* Better?

Gabriel: Much. How long can you hold that light?

Conrad: *He smiled at her while her eyes were closed. He wouldn’t be able to sleep for awhile but he could relax and keep an eye out for her.* -11:31 May 17

Evangeline: I’m not sure. Making it was simple but holding it up is harder… I’m afraid Imight drop it if I stop thinking about it. *Multitasking with these sort of things didn’t seem to be her strength! Even now she was trying to make sure she held it up herself and didn’t lean on his wall for support. One day he might need his own wall and she’ll not be able to!*

Gabriel: As a spell-caster you will be aware of when you are drawing close to slipping. You already know what that feels like. When that happens, merely let the light go. It is easier if you do so slowly until you gain more control over the light spell. If you let go too quickly, the spell might backfire in several ways.

Evangeline: *Evangeline could easily imagine how a spell might go wrong! For now, she was still trying to hold her light and see how long she could keep it!* I can do that, I think. …later I would like to do the light and a wall at the same time. Or healing and a wall! I couldn’t hold the wall and break a seal at the same time, and I think I should really try harder to do that…

Lily: *This time Lily fell asleep quickly and she didn’t seem bothered! With a wolf and a bodyguard, it was so much easier to relax free of fears!* -11:51 May 17

Gabriel: Indeed. *He said.* I have faith in you.

They were sleeping rather soundly … until Conrad’s phone went off!

Conrad: … Huh? *He groaned softly and realized he really had fallen asleep! And rather quickly, too! He never turned it off but he had switched it to silent/vibration mode before dozing off! He answered it now.* Hello …? -12:06 May 18

It was Ms Grey on the phone and she sounded upset! She wanted Conrad to get his ass to HQ right away and the pup, too!

Conrad: Even Brutus? *He slowly sat up, rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He didn’t want to wake Lily but …* Ms Grey, can’t I leave him with Lily? I don’t think she should be by herself right now. -12:11 May 18

Ms Grey insisted Lily would be safer at Shades and would sleep easer if Brutus wasn’t around to wake her! And Conrad had better hurry up and get here or find another job!

Evangeline: *She reponded with a silly smile and nearly dropped her spell. It wasn’t often he said things like that, and it still gave her warm fuzzies every time he did! Which was silly because.. it just was! Now she was trying NOT to smile so ridiculously and keep her light a little longer!* Thank you very much. I don’t know why those trainees so upset, you are a very nice teacher.

Conrad: *He sighed.* Yes, Ms Grey. *He hung the phone up and huffed, running his fingers through his hair. He really didn’t want to do this. He hated to do this. Lily was finally getting some sleep but if he got fired … he wouldn’t be able to stay beside her. And that, he realized, was a frightening thought. He woke Lily up first.* Lily? Lily … *He should let her sleep but he didn’t want her to wake up and not know where he and Brutus were. And he hated to leave notes. Unless they were love letters or quick reminders, notes were a stupid way to tell someone something.* -12:15 May 18

Gabriel: *This from the woman who lectured him on not shooting students, or throwing hunters out of the windows. He tilted his head slightly at her.* Neither do I.

Lily: *Drat it all… she was finally sleeping..! There was a mumbled complaint from her, but she refrained from swatting at him. She didn’t open her eyes.* Whas’ t’matter…? -12:17 May 18
Conrad: *A deep sigh!* I got called to Oracle HQ. Your mother wants me and Brutus there right away. She said you’ll be safe at Shades and to let you sleep. I’m sorry but I couldn’t just leave you and not tell you. -12:20 May 18
Lily: *That had her sitting and frowning.* It must be important… *There wasn’t any other reason to ask Conrad to Oracle and taking Brutus too.* It’s okay. Someone is probably on the way home. -12:23 May 18
Conrad: *He wanted to stay with Lily! But he needed to go … The sooner he left, the sooner he’d return, right?* I … I’m … *He started to apologize but realized just how stupid that would be. He had no control over this so apologizing would only make things worst.* I’ll be back as soon as I can, I promise. *Brutus was waking up!* Come on, Brutus. We better get going. -12:46 May 18
Lily: *She opened her mouth to suggest she could go too… But if it really was something wrong at Oracle, she’d probably be in the way.* Okay. I’ll be alright here. *She gave Brutus a scratch, and nudged him to go off with Conrad.* -12:51 May 18
Conrad: *He opened his mouth to say something, then leaned forward to do something but just in time caught himself!* Um … Uh … *He wrapped his arms around Brutus and began pulling him to the door! A few minutes later, Lily heard the front door close and she was alone again!* -01:00 May 18

Moments after Conrad left everything was silent! Dead silent! No movement in the suite. No sounds of anyone returning home. Not even a gnome or faerie lurking in the liquor cabinet. Just silence.

Brutus protested against being taken away like this as he and Conrad rode the elevator down!

Conrad: *He didn’t trust letting the pup go until the doors had closed. It was a good thing Brutus didn’t have imposable thumbs or he’d really be in trouble! He’d have to ask Evangeline if Brutus could turn human later …* I know, Brutus. I don’t like this anymore than you do. I don’t like this feeling. Something … not right is going on but I have no idea where to start. We’ll just check at Oracle HQ and get back as quick as possible. -01:04 May 18

Brutus appeared to accept that! He sat down and stopped scratching at the doors and whining. He wouldn’t stop being vigilant though, even when the doors opened and they stepped into the lobby!

Lily: *This wasn’t the first time she had been home alone without Conrad or anyone else around. But normally she wasn’t so freaked out about something either. After a moment she finally settled back down in bed and pulled the covers over her head!* -01:06 May 18
Conrad: *Oracle HQ wasn’t far from here but he’d much rather drive than walk or run. It wouldn’t have been too bad if he could fly or run across roof tops like those movie characters. So he and Brutus headed across the lobby to the parking garage! It was quiet as always, but this time he had the unnerving feeling he was being watched! He kept glancing over his shoulder and at the slightest sound, he would hasten his step!* -01:10 May 18

Brutus sensed something was amiss, too! He stuck close to Conrad and came close to tripping the hunter a number of times!

Silence… until the telephone rang! Ring, ring! ring, ring!

Lily: *LIly jumped! But it was just the telephone! Fumbling a hand out from under the blanket she answered the one sitting on the bedside table.* …Hello? -01:13 May 18
Conrad: *When he jumped after the sound of a coin falling to the ground right beside him, and found it was a quarter he’d been keeping in his pocket, he finally took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He was doing it again, jumping at shadows. It was what he’d done those first few years after his family’s tragedy. It had been only through the use of sleeping pills he’d gotten any sleep at all–until he’d stopped taking them. He’d grown too dependent on them. And yet somehow, he’d survived one night without drugs and without monsters under his bed. That one night had become two and two had become three … until he realized he was no longer afraid.* Stay close, Brutus. Evangeline will never let me hear the end of it if something happened to you. -01:18 May 18

“People always die because you’re alive. Who else is going to die? Will you kill them too…?”

Lily: Uh..! *Lily dropped the phone, retrieving her hand back under the blanket! …Dreaming! She fell asleep again!* Wake up… wake up! She’s not here! -01:20 May 18

This time the voice came in clear, like it was in the very room. “No, I’m not here. I’m dead because of you. And now you live my life… and let others die in your place.”

The mention of Evangeline helped calm Brutus down! He moved slightly away from Conrad, enough to let the hunter walk as they came to Conrad’s jeep. He never parked it far from the exit. Brutus suddenly let out a sound that was half-whine, half-growl!

Lily: *Lily sat up quickly, peering in to the dark of the room looking for the source of the voice. But nothing was there. There was never anything there. She dove for the phone, dialing the numbers for Conrad’s phone!* -01:25 May 18

Yet, no ringing came! The phone was dead!

Conrad: *He had opened the door and had climbed into the driver’s seat when Brutus made the half-whine, half-growl!* Brutus! *He dove across the front seat, tore open the passenger door!* … Damnit! -01:26 May 18

There was a large red seal on the ground beneath the pup! And it was sucking the pup inside! Brutus was only hanging on by trying to climb out, claws scrapping across the cement! He whined and fought! Some force appeared to be dragging him down!

Conrad: *He grabbed a hold of the doorframe of the jeep and jumped out! He landed on the ground beside the seal and pulled out a scroll he held between his teeth! Then he hit the ground and threw his arms around the pup, trying to pull him out! Puppy claws–sharp, puppy claws–scratched his back and shoulders! He could feel the force tugging down on the puppy, though. He only had one shot!* -01:33 May 18
Lily: *..she didn’t need the phone! She knew where Oracle was! Lily jumped out of bed to run for her door, not even bothering with finding shoes or changing clothes. But as she swung it open and ran in to the hall… it wasn’t home! It was one of the halls at the school! Lily backtracked, but her room was already gone and replaced with a classroom.* …this is.. a dream…! -01:33 May 18

Poor Brutus! He was panicked and desperate! He whined at Conrad!

Conrad: I know, boy. I know. *His voice was muffled as he still had that scroll clenched between his teeth! As a last ditch effort, he used a location-switching spell! One moment, he was holding Brutus, and the next, he was the one clinging to the pup! There was a wave of disorientation as he acquainted himself to his new location–and his new predicament!* -01:41 May 18

The halls of the school were very real, though! Cool and empty with all of the lights turned out. It was silent except for… a creaking? Out of a vent near the floor something was crawling out! A girl! A very dead looking girl… one of the rescued dolls that didn’t make it! “I wasn’t the only one you killed.” Said the voice echoing in the hall. “You lived while the rest of us died…”

Brutus shook himself, also disoriented! He glanced from side to side! Where was he?! And then he saw Conrad! He bit his sleeve and tried to pull him out!

Conrad: *He tried to grin sheepishly as he clung to the cement! Little by little, he was being sucked in. He knew it was only a matter of time before he was dragged down to gods only knew where!* It’s. Okay. I’m sorry–Brutus. No time for … something more–elegant! *He sounded more calm than he felt! Old fears were rising but he had to keep calm! He didn’t want to panic Brutus! The poor pup!* Get. Help. Lily. -01:46 May 18
Lily: *Breathe! She couldn’t breathe! Lily backed away slowly and turned to run down the opposite end of the hall but stopped in her tracks! There was another crawling from the vent in the ceiling, crawling forward without even coming down!* but it was- wasn’t my fault…! *Two became four and more appeared still, stepping from around corners or coming out of the walls. All faces she could recognize, but dead.. decaying! Lifeless dolls! She suddenly ran to the side, pushing through a door to escape down the stairwell!* -01:49 May 18

Brutus didn’t look ready to leave Conrad anytime soon! He was going to stay and help the hunter!

Conrad: *For the first time in a long time, Conrad felt the urge to growl. He was up to his armpits in cement. If this continued and Brutus still clung to him, they’d both be sucked under! He grabbed Brutus and roughly shoved him away, tearing his sleeve off.* Go, Brutus! -01:52 May 18

“You are such a coward! Always running away, letting US die for you! Why do you live, Lily! When are you going to stop!” A hand shot out from the wall in the stair well, grabbing on to Lily’s arm! When she struggled the arm released her just as suddenly, making sure the girl took a hard tumble down the rest of the stairs!

Brutus turned to run back to Shades–only to bump into someone’s legs!

Lily: *The tumble down the stairs seem to pull every other thought out of her mind! She hit the bottom of the stairway, ignoring the loud cracking sound that seemed to come with a sharp wave of pain. Stop living. She almost did… Lily pushed herself up to crawl out of the stairwell. ..This was the basement?* -01:57 May 18

“Leaving so soon?” a familiar voice asked as someone grabbed Brutus by the collar and lifted him up to look him in the eye. “It’s not polite to leave the party so soon.”

The basement was dark and eeriely cold! There were candles lit and sigils glowing on the walls! Behind Lily there was a soft laugh. As she turned around, there was the girl! Blond haired doll with a hole right through her. “You keep running. Who is going to die tonight because you ran? The little puppy? The bodyguard? Your mommy or the wolf? If only you would stop. Stop.

Brutus snapped out of it, growled and twisted, snapping at the woman’s face! She would either let him go or risk getting her face bitten off!

Lily: *No… she didn’t want anyone else to die because of her! Lily managed to get back on her feet. She ached, but she could stand.* What do you want me to say…! I’m sorry! I didn’t want to hurt you, but I wouldn’t stay..! -02:07 May 18

When Brutus’ claws scratched her arms, the woman hissed and was forced to drop the pup! But not before delivering a quick kick to the pup’s side! Then she stalked over to him, ready to finish the job!

“Sorry? You think sorry is going to bring us back to life? Is SORRY going to stop everyone from dying for you?” The girl came closer. Stepping forward several paces everytime Lily stepped back. “Spare them! Do the right thing and DIE!” SLASH! A swipe of a knife cutting a gash across Lily’s chest, nearly shoulder to shoulder! The blood flung across the floor activating a sigil that nearly encompassed the entire room!

Lily: *It happened so fast, that it felt like slow motion as her hand moved up to touch the wound at her chest… The blood on her hand was as real as the pain! She felt her knees buckle as she slid to the floor. Stop living… I should stop living… It was enough, she couldn’t do this anymore. …but… The sigil on the floor. She had seen it once before hadn’t she…?* I.. I can’t… -02:17 May 18
Conrad: BRUTUS! *With one last heave of energy, he reached out and grabbed the demon wearing one of his sister’s faces by the foot!* Pretty low. Beating up on a puppy. *He growled.* -02:18 May 18

She fell–only to glance over her shoulder at him and shake her foot free, then kick him in the face. She watched as he lost his grip and was swallowed up to his neck in cement! She smirked as she got to her feet, saw him glaring at her. “Ohohoh, that’s nothing compared to what she has in mind for you …” The puppy forgotten, she turned her attention to Conrad.

Now the blond was getting visibly angry! “CAN’T? What makes you so special! Michael’s precious little treasure, his favorite little doll! So important that you get live while others suffer?” She stepped on to the sigil, leaning above Lily. “Your body and your soul. That’s what he wants. That’s what we all want. And all we be slaughtered until we get it. Your mother. Your guard. Your friends. Everyone.”

Lily: *Lily was trying to find the words to reply..! Death would be so easy! But… the sigil… Montana. Conrad. …Michael? …Gabriel! Her thoughts were so convoluted that as soon as his name brushed by she immediately latched on to it! Gabriel could do this. Gabriel would help. Gabriel. Lily was trying to mutter his name as she attempted to push herself up again!* -02:29 May 18

Brutus ended up under a parked car! He raised his head and crawled out! He returned to the jeep but no one was there! He sniffed around but it was like they had just disappeared!

The girl actually looked surprised! …she even began to laugh! “Crying for help, little girl? From one that can’t even hear you screaming? It is the end for you.” Not allowing Lily to even get to her knees, the girl grabbed her head sharply and pressed her fingers to Lily’s lips. She was reciting a spell for pulling the soul right out of a body!

Gabriel: *He appeared behind Lily, on the edge of the sigil! He stepped onto the sigil, cut his palm.* Ms Grey. Valravn. *The sigil appeared behind him, the raven flew straight for the blonde, grabbing her hair and pulling!*

The blond gave a terrible shriek! But is was more of anger than of pain! How did the little girl managed to summon him here?! He was not even in the country! Staggering backwards, her form shifted. She was no longer in the body of Erica but the appearance of a student from the school. “You’ve come to rescue another damsel, Gabriel?” she spat!

Lily: *Released, she fell backwards again. Unable to even mutter a greeting or a thankyou, just so greatful he even appeared…! Lily fainted!* -02:42 May 18

Gabriel: *He ignored the girl. He caught Lily as she fainted and placed his hand over the wound on her chest. He would tend to Lily first and deal with the creature afterwards. Valravn returned and perched on his shoulder.* The next time you decide to take a body, Elizabeth, be certain it is not under my care. Valravn, I want her face. *The raven flew and dove straight for Elizabeth’s face.*

Elizabeth had no desire to lose her current face! She slashed wildly at the raven diving for her! “Come now! Perhaps you shouldn’t be in the habit of keeping such pure and pretty souls around you. …Ah, but I guess you can’t help but share the same tastes as your brother Michael!” she taunted!

The raven was relentless in doing as ordered! But it was forced to hover out of Elizabeth’s reach when she began slashing wildly at it.

Gabriel: What would you know of purity and beauty, Elizabeth? You are cursed. No amount of beauty in this world or the next will ever mask the ugliness you are and will always be. *He was walking toward her.* Appello. *A large snake appeared behind Elizabeth and dove to wrap around her ankles and body.*

No! Elizabeth was going to make herself disappear as he approached, but his spell caught her! She writhed and struggled against the snakes, hissing much the same as they did! “I am beautiful! You will not cast me away like you do to others! I am a MASTER!”

Gabriel: You are a slave, Elizabeth. To your own selfish ends, your own vanity. It is a curse you doomed yourself to long ago but a curse you will continue to live through. *He held one hand out to Valravn who snipped on his wrist. He kept walking toward her as Valravn flew and perched on his shoulder.* Countess Elizabeth Báthory, Báthory Erzsébet, Alžbeta Bátoriová, Alžb?ta Báthoryová, El?bieta Batory, I grant you your greatest desire and your worst fear. You may stay in this hellish realm of yours, bereft of interference from one and all. You will keep your beauty but watch it fade, over and over again. It will not take years or decades for your beauty to fade but minutes. You will be helpless, forced to watch as your beauty deteriorates. *Mirrors began to appear around Elizabeth.* The mirrors of this world will be your eyes. You will witness your beauty wither. You close your eyes and the mirror will show you in your mind what is happening to you. Break one mirror and it will only regenerate. Attempting to use any means to prolong your beauty will only hasten your rotting body. *Seals appeared on the mirrors, then faded into the mirrors.*

“N… no! You can’t do this me! You have no RIGHT to place such a curse on me!” Her complaints were falling on deaf ears and as soon as she saw herself in the mirrors her scream was sharp and piercing…!

Lily: *Consciousness could not come easy, but such a scream was not something anyone could sleep through…. not even the dead! Lily was raising her hands to cover her ears!* -03:24 May 18

Gabriel: *He smirked.* Crux crucis loginquitas, patefacio via. *He, Lily, and Valravn disappeared and reappeared in Lily’s room! He placed her on her bed and checked her wound.* Ms Grey.

Lily: *That weird way he could just… poof them somewhere else was disorienting and she was still surprised he came! As she glanced around the room, she suddenly sat up, ignoring the jolt of pain!* Conrad and Brutus! -03:30 May 18

Gabriel: Stay here. *He put a hand on her shoulder as he slipped something out of his pocket. The tracking device on Brutus’ collar.* Valravn. Stay with Ms Grey. *The white raven hopped off of his shoulder and onto the headboard of Lily’s bed!* Crux crucis loginquitas, patefacio via. *And then he was gone again!*

[Conrad logged out of the chat.] -((03:34 May 18))
[Lily logged out of the chat.] -((03:34 May 18))
[Chat Cleared by: System::Timeout (A baby panda cries.)] -03:34 May 18
[Conrad had no clue where he was … but he knew without a shadow of a doubt, he wasn\’t going to like the answer!] -12:09 May 19
[Lily is home safe and sound… with Evangeline! And giving her hell!] -12:09 May 19

The place the seal had taken Conrad looked… surprising pleasant! Fine antique furniture. Beautiful tapestries. Expensive art. It looked like a well maintained castle!

Brutus refused to leave the parking garage! He was sniffing the ground Conrad had disappeared into! But he had vanished, along with the stinky thing!

Conrad: *His first reflex was to check for his guns, his concealed knife, and his scrolls! But, of course, they were gone! His head was throbbing but he refused to let that stop him as he got to his feet, approached the door!* -12:12 May 19

Gabriel: *He appeared in the parking garage behind Conrad’s jeep and found Brutus sniffing the ground, walking in circles. He put the tracking device away and approached the pup.*

Lily: I’m not going to stay here when he could be- when she might… I’m not! *Lily didn’t want to hurt Evangeline… which was the only reason why she hadn’t violently shoved her away! When did she get here, anyway!* -12:15 May 19

Valravn aka “Fluffy” was perched on the back of a chair, watching Evangeline and Lily!

The door was locked. But an icy cold breeze suggested Conrad was not alone. Followed by every mirror in the room suddenly shattering with a piercing scream! “That BASTARD! How dare he… But you… you are going to help make my vengeance so sweet.” The moment the glass hit the ground it reformed together in the shape of a person. An unfamiliar face… Elizabeth’s true body!

Brutus stopped sniffing when Gabriel approached. He faced him, and began to whine, pawing at the ground!

Evangeline: You aren’t in any condition to go on a rescue, I doubt you can even stand on two feet. There’s no need to worry, Gabriel is fetching Brutus and Conrad. We can take a nap!

Conrad: *He stopped and took a step back, bracing himself for a fight! He didn’t recognize Elizabeth in her true body!* I don’t even know who you are. -12:21 May 19

Gabriel: *He crouched down, held his hand out for Brutus to sniff so the pup would know it was him.*

“You don’t recognize your sweet godmother Carmilla? Or maybe you prefer your mother Erica?” She was far too angry to remained entirely focused on Conrad. The mirrors that had shattered had returned. Unbroken. Her poor beautiful face…! Again she growled! Directing her fingers at Conrad she shouted a spell, retching torrents of pain through his body! “That GIRL summoned the Night Stalker as if he were her personal champion! He lives there in that suite. What do you know of Gabriel Carnatelli!”

Conrad: *He blinked! Carmilla! His mother! The shock of who this woman was lasted only until she recited that spell and he dropped to his knees!* Aagghh! *He hated crying out but he couldn’t help it! There was just so much PAIN! He dug his fingers into the floor and clenched his teeth. It was all he could do to remain conscious as he lay his forehead against the floor, tried to think of some way to dull the pain somehow! He heard Carmilla but he was in too much pain to do much of anything, much less think of an insult to hurl at her face!* -12:28 May 19
Lily: But it was her. I know it was her. *And Conrad should not have to face his demons by himself. He was always here for her, she should do the same! That is what a friend does! Swatting Evangeline away, Lily rolled in to the floor where she had intending to get up and storm out, but she hurt a lot more than she expected.* -12:29 May 19

Brutus sniffed and realized Gabriel was the real deal! He whined and pawed at Gabriel’s hand!

“Did that hurt, my pet? It will hurt so much more if you don’t tell me what I want to know. …Or would you preffer me to bring the little girl here? Now that I know what breaks her, taking her soul was so much easier…”

Valravn flew up, perched on the frame of the door above and in front of Lily! “Please, listen to the Seer. If you go now, you will only put your guard and even my master in trouble.” The voice was male and soft, rich, but it definitely came from the bird!

Conrad: *A break! He dragged in a breath! He swallowed but still couldn’t lift his head! The residue of Carmilla’s spell cackled over his body, black lightning jumped, sizzled!* I … don’t know … what … you’re talking … about … *He panted!* -12:33 May 19

Evangeline: Yes, Fluffy is right. You’re going t-… Fluffy! When did you learn to talk out loud! *Evangeline looked a little shocked for a moment, but she skirted around the bed to harass Lily right back in it.* Besides, you will not know where to look for him. Gabriel knows what he’s doing!

“Don’t lie, boy. I laided my plans for weeks. Touching that girl. Finding a way through those wards. Gabriel Carnatelli. What makes him weak.” Clenching her hand she gave him another sharp jolt of the spell before releasing it again. “Tell me.”

In reply, Valravn buried his beak under his wing and groomed himself!

Lily: *A talking bird! There was nothing normal in this house! Lily found herself back in bed, but the scowl on her face showed she didn’t want to be there. She looked tense enough that she might bolt again.* You could find him, Evangeline. Couldn’t you take me? -12:39 May 19
Conrad: Aggghh! *He clenched his teeth, and found himself on his side, curled up on the floor! When she released the spell, he dragged in another breath, panting.* I … don’t know … I just watch … Lily. -12:39 May 19

Evangeline: *Tilting her head as she sat down on the edge of the bed, Evangeline looked… first brushing over Gabriel and then outwards.* …He is too far away for me to take you. But Gabriel can reach him. He has already found Brutus! So, lets talk about something nice until they get back!

Gabriel: I need you calm. *He said after scratching the pup between the ears.* We will save Wolfe but I need to know what happened first. Be still and focus on what happened here. *He could feel the last ounces of magic fading from here but whoever had cast it, had made sure the spell would dissipate quickly, leaving no trace of the spell or its purpose.*

“Lily, Lily… the pretty little girl with an unbreakable soul.” Tilting her hand, her spell drug Conrad across the floor, nearly slinging him in to a lit fireplace! “Near death, and yet she summoned with a single breath. Does the Night Stalker share your weakness, pet? Does he want the girl’s soul?”

Lily: I don’t understand how you can always be so calm. All of these things keep happening, and you can still smile and talk like nothing has happened. *Lily was angry, and though it wasn’t at Evangeline, the woman was here and not helping the way Lily wanted! How can she always smile!* -12:52 May 19

Brutus found it very hard to concentrate! There was Conrad and the seal–and the steak he had for dinner last night! Nonono! Conrad, the seal–Mmm, and apple pie! Conrad–and steak and apple pie! Yes, Brutus found it very hard to concentrate so it took several tries before he became focused enough to keep in mind what had happened here!

Conrad: *He was cursing when he finally stopped moving and he was in too much pain to move even the slightest! He felt the heat of the fire. Great, he was either going to fry or this woman was going to rip him apart!* I … I don’t know … He just … He just comes and goes … He never hangs around very long to do much of anything. -12:58 May 19

Evangeline: *Evangeline was patient! She wouldn’t want to sit still either if Gabriel was in danger. But sometimes there are things you can’t jump in to!* I am just happier thinking about the good things instead of being upset about the bad. You have plenty of nice things to think about don’t you?

“Come now… you are such an observant young man. One that could see something wrong with the little girl, surely you can see through Gabriel Carnatelli.” Though her voice was soothing, her hand raised pulling Conrad up with it! He hit the ceiling and stayed there, another jolt of pain hitting him! “Who else does he protect! There are others in that suite!”

Lily: *Lily went silent. There were good things, she knew there was. But the only things running through her head were disturbing. Those other girls. The dead looking bodies. Michael. That woman who keeps tormenting Conrad. It was all she could think about!* I can’t… I can’t think of anything. He could be dead already, I don’t want to just sit here safe and sound while someone else dies because of me. -01:06 May 19

Gabriel: *It spoke a lot about Gabriel’s patience that he was able to tolerate the pup as Brutus attempted to focus. He slit his wrist and placed a finger at the center of Brutus’ forehead.* Ostendo sum occultus preteritus. *A pulse of negative energy and he saw things from Brutus’ point of view! Coming into the parking garage, following Conrad, going to the jeep … all the way up until Brutus was kicked by the mystery woman! He slowly broke contact to check on the pup and make sure he was alright or if he’d have to go to the suite. But true to form, the pup was healing and only licked Gabriel’s face when the vampire pressed his hand against his side.*

Conrad: *He clenched his teeth, bit back another cry of pain! It would be so easy to tell! But she’d only kill him once she heard what she wanted to hear and he couldn’t betray anyone, not again!* Go. To. Hell. *He growled, glaring at her before he had to shut his eyes and attempt to will the pain away!* -01:08 May 19

Evangeline: *Her smile broke for a moment – she didn’t mean it to, but it was a phrase she had said herself.* Some do terrible things and they may use you to do it, but that doesn’t make it your fault. *Gabriel had told her the very same thing!*

Elizabeth scowled! With a hiss, she dropped him abruptly from the ceiling, and had his body flung across the room in to one of her mirrors! “I AM in hell because of him! He’s taken my beautiful face! Oh, but I will take something from him. And unless you want me to bring that pretty little Lily here to play, I suggest you tell me what I desire to know. …Or shall I break you and ask her about Gabriel Carnatelli instead? Yes, she was much more reasonable.” She released the spell from Conrad, seeming to like that idea more and more! He came to fetch the little girl once, he would come and fetch her again!

Conrad: *He winced as he fell to the ground and the last thing he saw was Elizabeth’s scowl before everything went black!* -01:18 May 19

Gabriel: *He stood and slit his wrist again.* Reverto semita ut plasmator. *A drop of blood hit the ground where the seal had been and from it, the seal reappeared, blazing bright! He picked up Brutus and jumped inside! … And found himself in Elizabeth’s castle! There was no sign of Conrad or Elizabeth!*

It looked like Lily wasn’t going to bolt just yet! Valravn returned to his perch on the back of a chair closer to the bed!

Lily: *Lily was going to argue the point, but Evangeline wasn’t smiling so brightly. She had never seen that look, except for that weird night Gabriel was pissed off.* …Do you ever talk about the things that happen to you? I mean.. happen to to. Specifically. Sometimes you talk about events but… *Maybe she shouldn’t ask. She didn’t like talking about stuff either. Lily watched the raven fly back to the bed… and wondered!* -01:22 May 19

Elizabeth was going to open a gate… one that would lead her back to the suite and the hole she made to get inside. But, something had entered her castle! A growling scream! He had come sooner than she wished! But ah… she had things to delay him! Elizabeth let loose her beauties. Her little ‘failed’ bodies to attack him!

Gabriel: *He set Brutus down and let the pup smell the sleeve he’d torn from Conrad before the hunter had disappeared! He put the sleeve back into his pocket and pulled out his guns!* Find Wolfe.

Evangeline: *Evangeline reached out and scratched the top of Fluffy’s head. Her first instinct was to ignore the question, but… Lily needed someone to talk to. Someone that would understand!* I always think that people might worry about me more than they need to. Or get upset and lose themselves and go on a shooting rampage. But if you have questions, I will answer them! Cross my heart!

Elizabeth’s bodies were terrible failed attempts at making herself from scratch! The idea taken from that Master Carnatelli seemed ideal, yet trying to execute it was difficult! They were all twisted, malformed, hideous! No good for one as beautiful as she. But they were perfect for filling with the souls of demons and using as a personal army! Doors opened all over the castle, with her girls pouring out! “Delay him. Kill him if you can!”

Lily: *Curiosity was the ultimate distraction. If Gabriel could come an save her, and he was fetching Conrad… she really wanted to know more about him and Evangeline.* Is that why you don’t talk about things? Because you think Gabriel will get mad? -01:39 May 19

Gabriel: *He faced the failed attempts but he was determined. He had come from someone and he was going to get him. He shot over and over, kicking out and tripping bodies that came too close!*

Evangeline: *Closing her eyes with a sheepish look, she nodded!* I don’t want to make him worry. I am not quite as strong as you! *She suddenly grinned! Maybe it was better to change the subject after all.* Everyone is very lucky with how well you handle yourself! I think you impress Gabriel too. Many of the trainees don’t have so much spirit!

With her girls keeping Gabriel at bay, Elizabeth started on her spell! Chanting the words as she circled around the room, she stopped for a moment over the unconsious Conrad to quickly swipe her knife over his back and draw blood! Returning to the fireplace, she flung the blood in to the fire. She was preparing a portal where she would snatch that girl and get everything she needed to make Gabriel squirm!

Brutus growled and ran toward Elizabeth, ready to tackle and then bite her!

Gabriel: *He saw something going on at the fireplace and headed there! He reloaded his guns real quick before shooting, kicking, and sending bodies flying back!*

Her portal was almost complete…and that pup was getting in her way! Elizabeth stepped to the side, casting her spell of pain towards the pup and pulling him towards the fire! She’d use HIS blood for the final phrase!

Brutus let out a cry, twisting in mid-air from the spell! It hurt!

Gabriel: *His guns were gone! He sliced his palm, disappeared and reappeared in front of the fireplace in time to catch Brutus!* Levitas. *A blast of lightning went flying at Elizabeth!*

Lily: *Lily examined Evangeline… and maybe agreed! It’s no wonder Gabriel has her stay here too and keeps her close.* …I’m glad Gabriel is around now and helping Oracle. Maybe there will be more hunters like Conrad. -02:16 May 19

Another growl, Elizabeth is dashing out of the way of his lightning! She was summoning up more of her girls! He was here too soon! She wasn’t finished yet!

Gabriel: *He soothed Brutus, clutching the pup to him as he looked up at the creatures coming.* Ortus ex cinis cineris , immortalis pluma. *He held up one hand and a large dark red feather appeared between his fingers. He tossed the feather behind him and into the fire! The fire suddenly turned white and two streams of fire erupted and flew around Gabriel to incinerate the minions!*

Conrad: *He groaned, faintly aware of something throbbing at his back. He hissed and instantly froze when he tried to move but met with pain instead. A nightmare. This had to be a nightmare!* -02:27 May 19

Destroying her fire AND her bodies…! Elizabeth had started towards him to attack but…! She had not lived this long by making fool moves. She pointed threateningly. “Take him. But I will have my vengeance for my beautiful face, Gabriel Carnatelli. You [i]will[/i] suffer.” …She vanished!

Destroying her fire AND her bodies…! Elizabeth had started towards him to attack but…! She had not lived this long by making fool moves. She pointed threateningly. “Take him. But I will have my vengeance for my beautiful face, Gabriel Carnatelli. You will suffer.” …She vanished!

Gabriel: *How did the saying go …? “If only he had a nickel for everytime someone told him that.” Still soothing Brutus by petting his side and casting a sleeping spell until Elizabeth’s own pain spell wore off, he found Conrad not too far away.*

Conrad: *He lay his head down. He didn’t feel too good. He doubted he was ever going to be well enough to walk again! He was in that much pain! He opened an eye when he heard someone say something in Latin … a sleeping spell! But he wasn’t the one who was asleep!* … Ga … briel …? -02:33 May 19

Gabriel: *He crouched down beside Conrad.* You will live.

Conrad: *At that, he snorted and a small smile appeared–until a jolt of recognition shot through him!* -02:36 May 19

“You will live.” The little boy in PJ’s looked up at the man in black. He couldn’t speak, he could only stare, wide-eyed at him. The man in black crouched down beside him so they were eye-to-eye. “I cannot erase your memory of this night. No matter the pain, no matter the hardship, you will live.”

Gabriel: *He placed Brutus down on the floor for a moment and cast the same sleeping spell on Conrad! It was clear, Elizabeth had also used her pain spell on him. Then he healed his back and, when the hunter was out, he moved him over his shoulder, picked up Brutus in one arm. They teleported away and back into the suite–but in the living room instead! He placed Conrad down on the couch but Brutus he kept against his chest!*

Valravn suddenly flew out of the room and into the living room!

Evangeline: There isn’t another hunter like him! He’s probably the best bodyguard in the universe! *She paused, watching Fluffy fly out and sighing! He could have left a little more subtly! Now Lily was going to-*

Lily: *Crash out of bed! She wasn’t exactly graceful tumbling in to the floor and dragging herself to her feet to stumble out… But with the bird flying away, that had to mean Gabriel was back and she had to KNOW!* -02:44 May 19

Valravn wasted no time in perching on Gabriel’s shoulder!

Gabriel: *He stopped stroking Brutus’ fur to reach up and scratch Valravn on the chest.* My thanks, Valravn. *He looked up as Lily came running out.*

Evangeline: Wait.. wait.. Lily! Darn it, Fluffy…! *She just couldn’t catch Lily, but this time she wasn’t trying too hard… She followed the girl out, with her best chiding expression!* Fluffy needs to learn better exits!

Gabriel: *He raised an eyebrow.* Would you rather he did something more drastic. *As usual, his question was spoken more like a statement.*

Conrad: *He was snoring peacefully! Except for the condition his clothes were in, he looked fine, except for the smudges on his face from that fire!* -02:49 May 19
Lily: *Brutus wasn’t awake, which was he first startled look… and then worse to find Conrad outcold on the couch! She finally dropped on the floor next to him and was… afraid to reach out and touch him! He didn’t look dead..* Is he… okay? -02:50 May 19

Evangeline: At least he didn’t fly through the wall. *Evangeline stopped to pet Brutus. She might have taken him from Gabriel’s arms, but the pup was getting too big for her to hold now!* Poor puppy… you were so brave! You’re going to get extra treats for dinner!

Gabriel: *He studied her for a moment.* He will live. He lived before he had nothing to live for. Now he has you. *He moved to lie Brutus down on the recliner, Leon’s favorite seat, so Evangeline could pet him and hold him as she saw fit.*

Lily: *Were she paying attention, she might have ask what he meant. For now, she was just so glad he wasn’t dead! Carefully, Lily reached to brush the sooty smudges from Conrad’s face. She blinked up at Gabriel!* Thank you. A lot of thank yous. -02:57 May 19

Gabriel: *He inclined his head toward her, in a deep nod.* You are welcome, Ms Grey. There is the matter of whether you wish to alert your mother to this incident or not.

Evangeline: *With Brutus on the chair she made he was nice and comfy. An extra pillow and a blanket tucked around him. She was so proud of him!* …oh dear. I forgot about Ms. Grey.

Lily: *That was… a hard decision. Her mother was going to find a million reasons to be pissed off, and considering last time.. she nearly fired Conrad in the proccess. She wouldn’t let her do it anyway, but…!* I think… if we fix whatever that woman did to get here, maybe she doesn’t have to know…? -03:05 May 19

Gabriel: Indeed. Allow us to handle it. *Before anyone could ask who he meant, he scratched Valravn on the chest.* Valravn, your aid. I will return. *Then he turned and walked away, disappearing in thin air again!*

Conrad: … How does he … do that …? *He asked quietly, his eyes opened slightly. He still felt rather tired but at least the pain was gone!* -03:08 May 19

Evangeline: I still can’t believe Fluffy can talk. *Evangeline muttered to herself. …but Conrad was awake! She gave Brutus a good pet before she tiptoed away to her own room!*

Lily: Ask him when he comes back. *Her voice was shakey, and she swallowed! Crying over nothing was stupid.* Are you okay…? -03:12 May 19
Conrad: *A small smile.* Depends … Are you okay? -03:13 May 19
Lily: I was scared. Worse when you didn’t come back. I.. thought she got you. *Why was it that nearly getting herself killed she could ignore, but thinking about him dead was bringing her to tears! She hadn’t cried in forever!* -03:17 May 19
Conrad: *Dare he tell her …? No, he couldn’t cause her anymore pain. The only thing that mattered was that they were together, didn’t it? He reached up with one hand to cup her cheek and wipe her tears away.* It’s okay to cry, Lily. I learned that a long time ago. -03:18 May 19
Lily: *Yes he did! And that damned woman might have got him again! Lily sniffled, despite trying to keep it down. She curled her fingers in to the folds of his shirt.* I wanted to come and get you myself, but they wouldn’t let me… -03:24 May 19
Conrad: *He smiled.* I’m glad you didn’t. I don’t remember half of what happened myself but I know it wasn’t pretty. I’m happy to be back, with you. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. -03:28 May 19
Lily: Next time… even if it really is my mother, can we just tell her to buggar off and you stay with me? *Rubbing her face quickly to get rid of the last of those tears, she returned his smile.* -03:33 May 19
Conrad: *He nodded, still smiling.* You got it. I’m never leaving your side, Lily. *He paused.* I’m sorry if that sounds creepy in any way. -03:34 May 19
Lily: *She laughed softly!* You never sound creepy. I… I really like you. -03:38 May 19
Conrad: *That made his cheeks redden slightly!* Really …? I like you, too. You know, it’s been awhile since we went out for shakes and ice cream. Want to … do that again sometime soon? -03:41 May 19
Lily: *Nodding, she grinned!* I’d love to. *She reached her hand out slowly, and poked his cheek curiously.* -03:45 May 19
Conrad: *He blinked!* What? -03:46 May 19

By Diala

Alarice and Diana have a severe addiction to Oracle, while running naked through Shadowstar, Desire of the Deep and anything else they dip their hands in to.

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