Chapter One Hundred and Forty Nine
"Did I just get back?" I asked Eric, sitting up and noticing I was still in the red dress and gold jewelry. I had a weird taste in my mouth and wanted to brush my teeth but first I wanted to hear what Eric had to say.
His well shaped brows knitted slightly in confusion at my question. "No, I brought you back here last night. You went into your daytime rest an hour early, most likely due to the potion the witch gave you. Do you feel well now?"
The term "daytime rest" was the one I was most comfortable with. It wasn't really sleep and it sure as shootin' wasn't actual death like the myths said. It was easy to understand why humans in the olden days thought vampires were the walking dead, or the undead. With no pulse, breath or body temperature we gave all the signs of being actually deceased. Of course we weren't. We were in a complete state of suspended animation I figured, something brought on by the direct rays of the sun.
"I feel fine, but I wasn't here today," I told Eric.
"Where were you? How did you leave this room without leaving a trace?" he asked, glancing at the impressive electronic security panel next to the thick locked door. All the lights were steady green meaning it had not been breached. Eric had it designed that way so that the person in the safe room could see at a glance if any of the security measures were threatened.
He looked back to me, his face both puzzled and worried. I might have sounded a tad loopy.
I told him about my experience with Drevan, the castle and my role as Oracle. I explained my concerns over doing anything to alter the past if it was our past and not one from a nearby nearly identical dimension. Last I told him that I heard him calling me from outside the castle walls.
He sat next to me, taking my hand and we leaned back on the wedge shaped pile of pillows I preferred when I had my daytime rest. Since Eric woke almost an hour before me I wanted to look nice. Before I fell asleep I liked to fix my makeup, lie down in a carefully arranged gown and fan my hair out on the pillow, looking like a fairytale princess awaiting the kiss that would wake her. When Eric looked at me I would still be beautiful and inviting. Hey, this was my little fantasy world, it might be a tad Disney but I liked it.
"That is strange ..." he said slowly. "I had a dream ... I was dreaming, at least I thought it was a dream ... that you had been kidnapped by Drevan and were locked in a tower atop a stone castle. I was calling and calling, looking up at the only lit windows ... then an owl flew overhead, swooping down at me. I put up my arm to protect my eyes and when I lowered my arm I was here. Do you think I traveled through time with you?"
I was relieved he didn't think I was just having a crazy dream. His experience verified that we had shared some supernatural event together. We seldom had dreams during our rest. For us both to have interlocking dreams was beyond a coincidence. Something had occurred.
"How did you know I was taken?" I asked, snuggling closer to him. He felt so real and here, things I really needed.
"Through my blood. I felt an unbearable stretching of our bond, like having all my veins and arteries pulled from my body. I saw you in my mind, saw you in the round room. I could not move, only call."
He wrapped his strong arms around me. "Do not ever leave me like that again. We must remain together. If you do go you must take me with you. It is torture to be apart from you."
He meant that literally, not emotionally. He suffered actual pain at my leaving this plane of existence, I could sense his distress when he spoke of it.
"I won't have anything more to do with witches," I said. Mentally I excluded Amelia. She wouldn't drag me into another time zone.
Did I succeed in keeping the past the way it was? I was pretty sure of Drevan's plan and that he was hellbent to carry it out. I didn't say anything to dissuade him. Now I wished I had been more forceful, telling him exactly what to do. I needed to talk to Anna Hita about this. There were so many pitfalls I simply couldn't hope to use trial and error to learn.
"What do you know about Jure?" I suddenly asked Eric.
"He is engaged to our daughter. He lives across the lake from us. He is wealthy and powerful..." Eric trailed off, his good humored eyes asking me if this what I wanted to hear.
"I think I better call Linda," I said. "I want to make sure she is still engaged to Jure. Eric, this is very disturbing. By making contact with the past I have no idea what kind of a world I am waking up to."
Eric gave a short laugh based on long insight. "You are fortunate to live in a time and place where the forces that rule are relatively stable. In my life few people, vampire or human, would know what the new day or night would bring. Violent overthrow of governments, cataclysmic weather and natural disasters, plagues and wars, all these and worse were the normal state of things. Even now the vampire hierarchy is ruled by power and wealth, subject to change without notice. That is why we need to be always vigilant to keep our freedom."
I looked at this man that had seen so much, survived so many things. He was my inspiration. If he could do it then I could too. I would just need to be more careful in the future, actually, careful of the future, by avoiding traveling back to the past.
I called Linda and through careful questioning determined that, aside from painting the office ocean blue, things were the same as when I left. I also called Adele and Charlaine just to reassure myself that their lives were proceeding normally. Only after Eric finally spoke to the human bouncer from Fangtasia did I truly relax. Whatever I had done or not done in the past, it hadn't shaken things up here or there.
I had to wonder, was my prophecy the thing that had originally instigated Drevan to try to usurp Jure? Was it my visit in the far distant past that had been the accelerator. How did I end up being called? There were other Oracles before me, why were they not the ones called to prophesize for Drevan? Had any of this really happened or was it a drug induced dream centering around my concerns for Linda's safety and future?
I felt that only Anna Hita could enlighten me on these things and I would need to wait until I was back in Louisiana before I could schedule an appointment with her.
Right now I was engaged in visiting former sites of interest to Eric. I would focus on this journey and what it meant. I would really pay attention to what he was telling me, to imagining what it was like for him to live in those times.
More than ever I wanted to experience the present moment. More than ever I want to give Eric my full attention. I realized how precious and important every moment with him was, like a shimmering bubble, beautiful and delicate, drifting on the chance breezes that fate would bring.
more to come ..... (Greeting my friends, thank you for coming. I am always happy to see you were here. See you next Saturday. Be well until then.)