Chapter 5: The Stalker and the Viking

I slow down, just before I get to my buildings glass doors, so I don’t have another incident like I did in Baurices, at least this time it would most likely only be the floor manger at the front desk, like he always seems to be.

I walk through the red carpeted lobby, towards the elevator. Once in, I immediately hit the lit up 3rd floor button, start scrolling through the names on my phone and wait for the elevator to take me home.

Upon getting through the door of my condo, I immediately hit the call button. Waiting for Ciaran’s voice on the other end of the phone, I started pacing back and forth. It never took Ciaran long to answer the phone; after Milly disappeared, he hopes any phone call is the one telling him she is safe.

His unfamiliar yet comforting voice rings out from the other end of the phone. “Des!”

I sigh, knowing that I won’t be saying what he wants to hear. “Hey Ran. I’m sorry I haven’t heard anything.”

“I figured, but was hoping. What’s with the phone call?”

“What, can’t a sister just want to talk to her older brother without any ulterior motives?” There was a pause on Ciaran’s side, showing his obvious opinion on the matter.

I chuckle before continuing, “Okay… so I was wondering, after an incident today, are you stronger than you used to be?”

Hearing Ciaran’s laughter is a nice change. “How long have you been alive, yet you still haven’t realized that we are incredibly strong?”

“Well, it’s not like I’m going around beating people up.”

“Yeah, well I think it’s used for the ‘taking over peoples identity’ part of our existence and sense you don’t do that, you’ve never had to use it to overpower someone, so you didn’t know you had it, it was probably ‘dormant’ if you want to call it that.”

“So, not only are we immortal, but can overpower anyone?…So much for being fair,” I say, sitting on my black leather couch.

“Hey, I never said it was fair, but I sure enjoy it. And I’ll enjoy it even more when I get my hands on whoever took Milly.”

Sitting forward, no longer relaxing, I ask, “Yeah, how is the search going? It’s been about a year now hasn’t it?”

Sadness emanate in his voice as he speaks, “Next month. We missed her 7th birthday Des.”

“And what happened again?”

“She had just turned 6 and the urge kicked in, you know what I’m talking about. So she tried to fight it, but ended up hurting someone, in the process, not killing anyone, but hurting. The next thing we know, she was playing in the front yard and I heard her screaming, so I ran to the window and saw her being drug away by two men in all black.

“I couldn’t get to her in time, the white van had already sped away by the time I reached the curb. Ever sense then her mother and I have been scouring everywhere doing everything we can think of to get her back.”

“It sucks because you can’t go to the cops for help.”

“No we can’t, wouldn’t know how to explain what she looks like, especially if she changed and if she hasn’t they might bring us her double ganger. We just have to do everything we can with the help of the people we know, which so far hasn’t gotten us very far.”

“Have you told Beccan yet?” I asked already knowing the answer.

Scoffing, he answers, “No, wouldn’t know what to tell him, he doesn’t even know that she exists. You know how he is.”

“Yeah, unfortunately I do.” I sighed. “Well I’ll do everything I can. I love you Ran, and thanks for the help!”

“No problem, I’ll see you later Des.”

Upon hanging up the phone, my memories are flooded with visions of Beccan.

He was the brother that refuses the easy route and it had hit him hard. Over the years, he tried everything he could think of to end himself, and I think all the failed suicide attempts have slowly driven him to the edge. Before we knew how we could really help him, we had even admitted him into an asylum, but he managed to get out. I’m sure it wasn’t that hard, considering his identity as a changeling.

We do still see him around the holidays, when we all meet to catch up, but other than that we haven’t seen much of him lately. Though we’re older now – a little more capable – it’s already too late for us to help him. Beccan refuses anything we try to give him, but it’s enough for me that he still talks to us.

I do understand why Ran and his wife didn’t tell Bec about their daughter, they were just protecting her. I’m just surprised that Ran found a girl that was okay with him being a changeling, especially since their daughter turned out to be one as well. At least the people he kills are criminals, doesn’t make it much better though.

Ugh! I have to get out of here! I’ll go walk by Turtle Pond, I haven’t gone by there in awhile.

I walk through Central Park, passing The Great Lawn, and all of the sights I saw this morning, to see them under the afternoon light. It’s amazing how the exact same sight can look completely different at different times of the day.

After a short walk, I finally got to Turtle pound, with it’s amazing view of the miniature ‘Belvedere Castle’, atop ‘Vista Rock.’ The inside was amazing, but the view outside was just as beautiful.

No matter how much I describe the terraces and gray brickwork, you can’t imagine how beautiful it is unless you see it for yourself.

Then you have ‘Turtle Pond’ right below, the many trees and plants surrounding the pond make it even more beautiful, green- hues atop of the water, hiding the turtles until they pop their curious heads out of the water, revealing their brown and yellow shells.

I can finally breath and relax after freaking everyone out and embarrassing myself, heaven knows how many times today. Usually that doesn’t happen and certainly not villain strength, almost taking down a building, embarrassment.

I just need to put it out of my mind. As I cross my legs and sit down on the grass, I’m leaving the comfort of the grass and my muscles are moving me. Not again.

Before I knew it I was hiding behind a tree, watching him: gripping a tree so hard the bark is tearing into the tips of my fingers.

He was at the bottom of ‘Vista Rock’ bending down, next to a turtle sticking his head out, talking to the hard shelled reptile and looking as if they were having a conversation. Huh.

Taking a step closer, I heard a snap, looking down I see the wooden snitch, snapping my head up, right as his started to turn around, adrenaline takes over my body making it so I could resist whatever charm has been put on me.

I am off running as fast as my legs would carry me, catching myself before I tripped on the gravel, it’s just a good thing I hadn’t changed out of my workout clothes and tennis shoes, or else I would be a lot slower.

Guess I can add stalking to my resume!

It’s been hundreds of years and I haven’t let myself have these kind of feelings, the burning urge to be around a particular person, but I knew Vlad before those feelings arose, I didn’t just see him in the park.

Dang now he’s in my head again, why does he keep popping into my memory? It took me a long time to get him out of there, I haven’t really thought about him for centuries and I like it that way.

Heck, the monstrosity of that relationship between me and Vlad ended in Iceland, 910AD.

I had just figured out everything about my new cursed life, when I met him. Yes it took me 246 years, I was very slow to accept my new reality. I had figured out we stayed at the age of 23, which sucks, the people who are looking for eternal youth, they don’t know what they’re asking for, and I had figured out that we can only keep the same body for 15 years.

The keeping-the-same-body-for-15-years part was the thing that sucked the most, because I would get in a relationship and then it would inevitably end horribly. I had just stopped my search for the Fae, searching everywhere in Ireland and finally ended up in Scotland where I was told that all the Fae had been eliminated. I decided to go to Iceland after that, unable to stand being around the death place of my parents, and to a degree, the memories of my old self.

After getting off of the ship that harbored me to Iceland, I immediately fell in love: the lakes glistened like glass, surrounded by footprints of volcanic eruption. Puffins and guillemots, just to name a few of the diverse avian life, nested atop of the sea cliffs.

But what made me ultimately fall in love with Iceland were the colors that danced across the night sky. It was when I was sitting on the Dyrholaey Peninsula, dangling my feet over the side and listening to the waves crash against the volcanic rock below, watching the aurora borealis, that I heard a mans voice behind me.                                                                                                                                                 

“You know, you shouldn’t be out here alone.”

The sudden sound made me jump, and I nearly lost my footing over the edge. Luckily the man was fast, grabbing me before I fell over the 390 feet drop to the death rocks and waves below. I wouldn’t have died, but the pain would still be real and I don’t know how I would’ve explained walking away from that one.

“I’m sorry, I startled you. I guess you are happy today.” He immediately apologized and then started to make absolutely no sense as he pulled me up to my feet.

“Why, would I be happy?” I asked, brushing off my robin blue dress and adjusting my long light-brown overcoat.

“You didn’t die, so you are happy.” Still standing there dumbfounded he continued, “You have good fortune.”

“Ohhh, yeah! Thank you for saving my life, I must be very happy.” I said and started to walk away.

Feeling fingers wrap around my arm he stopped me. “Wait! I didn’t even get your name and you haven’t gotten mine either.”

Turning towards him, my hazel eyes locking with his green. “My name is Orlaith and you?”

As bright copper, ringlet hair waved in the wind, surrounding my pale face, he replied, “It’s Vlad.”

I could tell from his harem pants, animal pelts hung around his neck, a  knife in a sheath on his leather belt, wearing a brown hat with a brown and white fur rim, to contain his red long frizzy hair, that this ‘Vlad’ was a Viking.

I had heard that they had settled around here about ten years ago but I wasn’t really sure, I guess I had my proof.

Never having met a Viking before I only had the knowledge of them from the rumors people told: they were vicious, killing, monsters, who pillaged towns and stole women from their beds.

Well if you could guess I wasn’t really interested in staying around to find out if the rumors were true. “Well I better take off.” I said, pointing the way in which I had started to walk.

Dropping my arm, he asked, “Will you be here again?”

Something about this guy made me want to see him again; his eyes didn’t look vicious, they looked sweet. “Tomorrow night, here,” I replied and walked away.

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