♱ Chapter 9 ♱

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Irina to the side or above ^>

Raven's P•O•V

I woke up with a gasp and sat up suddenly. I looked around and felt at ease a little bit. I instantly realized I must have dozed off in Piper's room.

I sat over the edge of the bed and stood. I glanced down at my palm and sighed when I saw the clear, injury-free skin look up at me. I clenched my palm into a fist and walked out of Piper's room, trying carefully not to step on clothes.

Once I was out of the door I was faced with the large hall that Piper and I had walked briefly through as she led me to her room. I knew that the room I first woke up in after getting kidnapped was down the hall and I should go to the left. Yet, for a curious person such as myself, a magnificent place like this was not to go unexplored.

I went down the hall, getting further away from Piper's room, and found myself at the end of the hall where it turned into two more halls. One was to the left, and one was to the right. I decided to go with my gut and went left.

I kept going down the hall until I found myself faced with self-portraits and family pictures all staring down at me. Well... Assuming that they all were staring at anything at all.

I stared in awe and found myself turning in circles slowly, as I studied the intricate paintings of the romantic-style portraits. All obviously painted by artists of the past centuries.

The man and woman in the painting were painted with such detail I swear the painter even made sure to detail everything down to the sharp cuts in the gems of their crowns. They both had a baby in their arms as they stared into nothingness. I could almost see the flecks in both the babies' eyes as I got closer. I touched the frame softly and felt a wave of fascination hit me.

When I turned away from the painting, I was faced with the opposite wall filled with pictures. One caught my eye and I stepped up to it slowly, not believing my eyes.

Alec and DeMalo stood together, both looking no older than eighteen. But their age wasn't what shocked me. What shocked me was the age of the picture. There was no way this picture could've been taken anytime recently. The picture was something you'd expect to see in an antiquities store. The black and white format and stiff poses the two held gave it away. I took a step closer to the large photo and peered up at it.

The clicking of heels against the intricately tiled hall caught my attention. I gasped and was faced with a man and woman staring at me.

"Oh," I heard a woman gasp from down the hall. I snapped my gaze back and forth to the man and woman and felt a jolt of disbelief hit me.

They were the two from the painting. Although today she was dressed in a floor-length, red velvet dress with long, off-the-shoulder sleeves. The red darkness of the dress made her ghostly white complexion more prominent. Her hair was pitch black like Piper's and Alec's, and her eyes were a gleaming garnet red. That's when I realized she had to have been their mother.

She looked nearly forty, although in the portrait she looked late-thirties. Beside her was the man from the portrait as well. His dark brown hair was almost black and he looked eerily like an older version of DeMalo.

I turned fully to face them as they came closer to me.

"You must be the girl Alec was talking about," The woman observed, her voice thick with an elegant Romanian accent. She was quite tall and her beauty was intimidating, to say the least.

"You're so... mortal," She looked over me with fascination, her eyes raking over my features. I gulped as she said that. It wasn't the compliment I was expecting.

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