07 - Fortune's Gate

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It was fifteen years ago and she remembered it like it was yesterday. The day she stumbled upon a conversation that revealed Julieta as her mother. She never did understand till date why Julieta had insisted on keeping that truth from her. It was one of those days her subconscious drifted from her. She'd felt it soar into Julieta's study where she was having tea with the strange man she was never allowed to glimpse. They spoke of her like a prized trophy, something about their plans for after she truly woke. It was in that moment Julieta made the statement that shocked her.

I should know Ancient One. I bore her. A mother knows best.

The days that followed were troubling. She wondered three things really; the need for the deceit. What her mother and the stranger had planned for her, and what she was. How could she listen in on a conversation without being in the room? what was she?

"Really Croft?" Mason's sonorous voice snapped her back to reality.

Both men stood, noses almost touching by the door of her loft. The heavy brown metal door was slightly ajar, welcoming the rays of the non-existent sun into the room.  Mason and Ian glared wickedly at each other, emitting enmity she could almost taste in the stifling of the air, one that carried across time. They are your protectors. There it was again, her mother's voice. She looked about the living room but saw nothing, no one.

"What's the story?" Amelia asked.

They turned from each other to her. Amelia looked from one to the other and the flashes that tormented her since Julieta left, attacked again. They were clearer this time, more a vision than a passing flash that never made sense.

"You're otherworldly creatures, both of you," she half marveled at the revelation, her revelation. The two eyed each other, bile still brewing. "The Lycans destroyed your world in the war of the worlds and fell to earth to save their race from extinction."

"And they followed for revenge," Mason gestured to Ian with a tilt of his head as he spoke. "As if their breed ever stood a chance against us," Ian walked away from Mason as Amelia smiled.

Mason reeked of trouble, ego, and some more trouble. There was a dangerous edge to him that she couldn't wait to experience. Ian reached her and caressed her cheek. The unexpected, tender gesture surprised her. The warmth of his hand against her cheek sent a woozy sensation throughout her body.

"Are you alright?" Ian asked her. She nodded with a smile. The hardness in his eyes gave a little and he managed a placid smile to her, then turned to the Lycan. "What do you want here Mason?"

Mason scoffed at the condescending tone. His gaze slipped to the mystic whose scent was incredibly about the loft. Her eyes held his with an exciting tease that threw him. "I'm here for the oriental," he said matter-of-factly. Amelia shook her head as she walked to him.

"We've been through this, Mason. I am not oriental," Amelia said.

"Then what are you?" Mason asked. He folded his arms across his chest. "You certainly aren't mundane, and you shouldn't be here. You could get in trouble," she touched her warm fingers to his arm. Lycan. She frowned, she already knew that. "Amelia, what are you doing?" 

Her eyes raised to his and held. They were a different color now. Brown, with a hint of danger. "Your eyes," Amelia muttered.

Follow the trail to the cottage on Crow's Track, Sapphire, hurry. Amelia sprung around. Mum?

"Amelia, what is it?" Ian asked. He took her hand and turned her to him. "Is something the matter?" she walked away from him to the door and shut it.

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