Shane is now wise to Carmen’s behavior. But is it too late? Amelia is also clued in, but she needs the help of Charmaine, to uncover the truth.
As Shane was talking to Amelia and the twins were speaking with Mary, Neema took the opportunity to do some snooping around. She carefully searched through the bedroom for any clues. She had been angered upon her awakening to discover that thousands of years had passed and that she had not been entombed with her most prized possession. Seeing Carmen had given her cause to take possession of the woman so that she could not only regain a body, but to hunt down the one who had stolen her personal property and make them regret the day they were born.
A spirit on a mission, Neema was going to get what was hers, no matter the cost.
She stood in the middle of the bedroom, her face a mask of rage as her search had turned up nothing. She quickly rifled through Carmen’s memories and saw the most recent one of her talking to Shane about a box. Neema looked at the scene carefully. It was not the room she was standing in.
She opened the door to the bedroom and peeked into the hall. Not a sound could be heard, which suited her purposes just fine. She stepped into the hall on silent feet, quietly closing the door behind her. There were many rooms on the upper floors of the mansion and she put her hands on her hips, annoyed that she had to look through so many rooms.
“Who needs a house with so many rooms anyway?” she grumbled to herself. With a sigh, she started opening (or trying to in the case of locked ones) the doors to see what was behind them. Most of the rooms were bedrooms set aside for various “family” members, if the amount of personal belongings in them were any sign. She didn’t have a clue as to how to get into the locked rooms and bypassed those for the moment. There was no indication that the room she was seeking was on the upper floors.
Moving toward the stairs, Neema peered over the banister. She could hear muffled voices but she had no idea as to which direction they were coming from. Griping the banister, she carefully made her way down, cringing when one of the stairs made a slight creak that sounded loud to her ears. She paused and listened to see if anyone else had heard the noise. When no confrontation was forthcoming, she continued down.
Reaching the bottom landing, she took a listen and realized the muffled voices were coming from the direction of the family room. She made a point to not go near that area and turned instead in the other direction. Shadows on the wall indicated there was someone in the kitchen. She made a face. She needed to go by there to get to Shane’s office.
“Ibn el Ahba!*” She hissed. How many people were in this damn house? (*translation: “Son of a prostitute!”)
She moved close to the wall and peeked around. It was David and Misty. She couldn’t tell if they were making a late morning snack before they rested for the day or if they were discovering new uses for food as sexual aids. Neema shuddered and decided they were too preoccupied with each other to notice her walking by. But she was quick about it, using Carmen’s own speed to her advantage.
Once past the kitchen, she found herself in front of the door of Shane’s office. She pressed her ear to the door, a just in case measure. Hearing nothing, she quietly knocked.
She rotated the knob and the door opened with a quiet click.
“Hello?” she whispered, peeking around the edge. The office was silent. She went inside, closing the door behind her. It was a very large and spacious office, all oak and mahogany woods. There was a thing on the desk that she’d never even seen before. It looked like some kind of slim box with a black covering (computer monitor) attached by some kind of rope to another flat box with some type of writing on it (keyboard). She gave a small frown at the items, wondering what they were used for.
Ignoring that for the moment, she went behind the desk and sat in the (quite comfortable) chair. She started in the middle drawer, finding all sorts of writing utensils. Going through the drawers on the right side, there was nothing but paperwork in them. The left side drawers revealed more of the same.
Sighing, Neema glanced around the office and saw another, smaller desk (Carmen’s). She moved over to it and began rifling through the drawers. More of the same – paperwork.
“Zayy iz-zift!*” (*translation: “Crap!”)
She stood in the middle of the office and noticed the wall of tomes (books). She moved to them and began looking through them for additional clues. She had no idea that the painting she was standing near to had secrets of its own.
Carmen remained silent, locking down her thoughts about the safe hidden behind the painting. She was enjoying Neema’s frustrated efforts to find what she was looking for, not even knowing about modern conveniences such as hidden safes. It was amusing. Leaving Neema to her search, Carmen sunk deeper into her own mind. She was coming close to re accessing her Fae powers. She just needed a few more days to gather the strength needed to launch an all-out assault.
Neema would not know what hit her when the time came. Her thoughts turned to her husband. She could only hope he was beginning to realize that something was seriously wrong with his wife.
Amelia watched Shane hurry outside and then rush across to the main house at speed. Wrapping her arms around herself, Amelia approached the glass sliding door and stared up at the moon. She knew that time was against them all. Within the hour, Shane and the other vampire were going to have to retreat into the safety of the main house with all the shutters closed. If his suspicions were correct, his investigation would have to wait. Amelia on the otherhand had a job to go to. She decided that she would call on Charmaine and her other witch friends over the course of the day. Sighing, Amelia went off to bed to try and get a little sleep in before she had to go to work. Being up all night every night with her vampire friends was running her ragged – burning the candle at both ends. Amelia’s mind was heavy with worry however. There was a real danger inside that house. She was sure of it.
Inside the main house, Shane knew he was on borrowed time. Many of his vampire family were heading to their rooms now, as the shutters were going to be activated and that the morning sun would soon be coming up over the horizon. With only forty minutes left till the sun came up, he knew he would not be able to have enough time to interrogate Carmen’s newest captive, the girl from the museum. The mystery of the box, and the strange behaviors of Carmen in her current state would need to be addressed in the waking hours of the following night.
David and Misty were coming out of the kitchen area, arm in arm about to head to their joint room. The couple had gotten very close since David had moved back into his brother’s mansion. He gave Shane a sly wink as he pulled Misty close to him. David noted that Shane looked perplexed. “Why aren’t you with that woman of yours, Bro?” It was an obvious question, since he knew that they were normally inseparable. Shane raked his fingers through his hair and tried to find an excuse. “She needed to rest….so I went out to see Amelia.” It was a half truth, since Shane didn’t want to spread his concerns about his wife just yet. He needed more time to uncover the mystery. Misty tilted her head and then blew a kiss at Shane as she and David started to descend the stairs to their daylight quarters. “Night night Shane.” Her fingers wiggling, as David swept her up off her feet and carried her down the rest of the way. With the couple gone, it was just Shane on his own. He contemplated going into the den and just checking the safe, but then Tala, the wolf padded up towards him and whined softly – nudging his hand with the top of his head. Shane gave the wolf a soft pat and then wondered if the wolf was hungry. “Come on, I’ll get you a snack before bed.” Shane led Tala into the kitchen, which took him away from the door to the den. Little did he know that Neema was searching his den for the very thing he was about to check on.
Inside the kitchen, Shane brought out a juicy red steak for Tala and tossed it onto the wolf’s feeding dish on the floor. Tala didn’t wait, practically pouncing on it and then taking off to her spot in the house to enjoy the meat in piece. Shane licked his fingers of the blood, then headed upstairs to his own room. Normally he would sleep with Carmen….but something just didn’t feel right. He simply didn’t trust her.
Neema heard the voices in the hall and froze where she was. Tiptoeing to the door, she pressed her ear to the wood to listen.
“Why aren’t you with that woman of yours, Bro?” came the voice of a male. Neema didn’t recall his name.
“She needed to rest….so I went out to see Amelia.” she heard Shane state. Ah, Amelia, is it? she thought to herself. Must be his bit on the side. Good. Now I won’t have to cater to his needs. she smirked. Carmen bit her tongue upon hearing that. There was no need to bring danger to Amelia.
“Night night Shane.” she heard a female voice state. After a few moments, it was quiet. She was about to take a chance to sneak out when she heard Shane speak again.
“Come on, I’ll get you a snack before bed.” Wondering to whom he was speaking, she quietly opened the door and peeked into the hall in time to see a white furred tail disappear into the kitchen. She clenched her teeth in anger. She knew there was no chance of her sneaking past Shane as he seemed to be aware of every movement within his vicinity. She was thinking of going out of a window when there was the bleep of an alarm and the shades of the house began to go down. She whirled around in shock as she watched the metallic room darkening shields descend over all the windows in the office. There went her chance to leave that way.
A noise in the hall caught her attention and she peeked out once again to see Shane headed upstairs. She waited a full 10 minutes before she left the office, closing the door behind her. The house was silent as a tomb. She moved to the front door, thinking to leave that way, but in addition to the shields over the windows, there was also one over the doors. She wanted to scream with frustration. She needed to get out of this house.
She moved around the downstairs area, searching all the doors and windows but there was no exit to be found. Moving back into the kitchen, there was a door she hadn’t noticed before and it wasn’t shielded like the others. She opened it and found herself in the open air garage. The morning sun was slowly coming up over the horizon and she could clearly see all the different cars under the canopy. She may have been new to this era, but she had Carmen’s memories to draw upon and knew how to maneuver in one these “horseless carriages”. With a grin, she slid into the blood red Corvette and started the engine, listening to the smooth rumble beneath the hood.
Putting the car in gear, she pulled out of the garage, down the drive and out the gate, unaware that her exit from the property may have been noticed and heard.
Across the street, Vlad’s driver had been watching the house through binoculars and had seen “Carmen’s” exit. It had shocked him somewhat since he knew from his Master that the woman was a vampire. How was she able to be out during daylight hours? He made some notes on a pad he kept on the dash and put the car in gear to follow. One thing was for certain…his Master would definitely be interested in this news…
…(thread change for Neema to Downtown)…
It was just after 8 am and the sound of Charmaine’s VW beetle could be heard pulling into the driveway of Shane’s estate. The main house was now locked up tighter than Fort Knox with the vampires within all sleeping peacefully. Out round the back was the pool house, that Shane and Carmen had specially fitted out for Shane’s best friend, Amelia. Bringing her bug to a stop, the crazy haired Charmaine got out of her car and slammed the door, before skipping round the back of the property till she came up to the tiled path that led to the pool house. All the shades had been pulled down, as Amelia was trying to get as much sleep as she could before going to work. Charmaine tapped on the glass door, then not hearing an answer, she slid the door open and padded inside. Little did Charmaine know that Amelia had been up half the night with Shane, after the weird vibes that Carmen had given off.
Charmaine was used to making herself at home in the pool house, and immediately put on the TV, as she went into the kitchen to start making Amelia some breakfast. First she filled the jug with water to boil for tea, before starting to go through the pantry and refrigerator eggs and bacon. The sounds of the television woke Amelia, who came out bleary eyed to find the ditzy blonde witch already working in the kitchen.
“What time is it?” Amelia asked with a yawn, scratching her head as she blinked at the TV. Charmaine happily chuckled; “Just after 8. I figured you had another all nighter and could use a lift to work after I cook you some breakfast.”
Amelia let out another yawn and then saluted Charmaine, before turning on her heel and going to go have a shower and get ready for the day, while Charmaine continued to cook breakfast.
On the television was a news broadcast about a break in at the museum, and the disappearance of the archaeological student. Charmaine took in the news that was unfolding, as she was cutting up some parsley, unaware that the very people that did the break in, were Amelia’s hosts; Shane and Carmen. Trouble was brewing it seemed, and this was just going to add to Amelia’s woes as she came to discover this for herself.
Coming out of the bathroom, and getting dressed Amelia was ready for the day, though she could have used a few more hours sleep. She opened all the shutters that showed the pool area in all it’s glory, as well as the well fortified house of Shane. Amelia has the worst possible feeling about Carmen, and little did she know that Neema – Carmen’s alter had done the bolt as the sun had come up.
Walking into the kitchen, she wrapped her arms around Charmaine, who was making Amelia a cup of tea. She kissed the cheek of her friend as Charmaine was about to hand her the cup.
“Ready for your first day at my store?” Charmaine asked. Amelia had given notice at her job at the police station. She wanted to start a fresh, and be as far away as she could be from her memories of Jason – the detective she had fallen in love with long ago. Working for Charmaine, was a good chance to meet with other local witches, and also catch the newest books that came into the store from time to time. “It will be a breath of fresh air, that is all I can say.” Charmaine was pleased to hear this. She wanted to see Amelia take on life in a better way. Embrace her inner self. With the breakfast plates ready, she served them up on the counter, and both girls started to tuck in. There would be enough time for talking when they headed out to the car.
Charmaine winked at her best friend. “You know, some days we get some pretty handsome warlocks coming in. Who knows, one might cast a spell on you?”
Amelia laughed at the thought of it. In the back of her mind, she always knew Jarvis was watching her. Would she ever give him a chance? Could he control his urges around her? That remained to be seen.
“Come on…let’s get going. I am dying to unpack the latest book shipment from Europe.” Charmaine said, taking up the dirty plates and washing them in the sink, before grabbing her bag and escorting Amelia out the door.
(thread change to Downtown – “Hocus Pocus Book Store”)