A/N: I just want to make this clear. I am have not forgotten this story, it has just been on hiatus while I try to recover everything I lost from my last computer. I have not finished the next chapter, but to assure everyone watching this story that I am still working on it, I pulled out a small section of the beginning of the next chapter as a preview. So a little bit of hope for my readers. Enjoy.
A young Ilona laughed gleefully as her mother tickled her by the hearth. It had been a bountiful summer and many were in high spirits, which seemed very contagious throughout the village. It was a time of happiness for Ilona and her family. Cili and Marinanna were still naive and venturesome, Deli was sword fighting with sticks, and her father's clients and trades meant plenty of fresh food, new clothes, and exotic toys. But even as the scene unravelled in her dream, Ilona knew in the back of her head that such times had ended long ago with her mother's untimely passing. The dream moved from a picture of joy and contentment to something strange that Ilona did not recognize. She was still a little girl, but she could tell that she was not herself, but someone else. A lovely Dacian woman stood before her, staring down at her with love and concern in her eyes. She had dark brunette hair, a fair complexion, frostbitten red cheeks, and liquid black eyes.
"Do not forget who you are, my sweet, do not forget what lies within you. Never abuse what you have. Treasure it and it will reward you, but misuse it and it will punish you. Embrace it and it will grow to be as beautiful as you, but deny it and it was grow cold and hinder you. You were born of a bloodline both beautiful and powerful, your ancestors were proud leaders and great witches. You will never be ordinary, you lineage will bestow upon you a destiny worthy of your gifts."
The woman leaned down and kissed the crown of Ilona's head.
"The power is seductive, do not give in. Wisdom compliments power and balances it. Remember this, Lavinia," the woman whispered, cupping Ilona's face with her soft hands. "Remember this and may the gods grant you the wisdom they have bestowed upon me."
She turned so suddenly, Ilona briefly lost her balance. Adrianna pulled a hood of her beautiful features and fled in a swirl of dark ruffles, her cape cascading down her back like an onyx waterfall.The young Hungarian was not sure how to react. She had encountered odd visions in her dreams before, but not of someone she had never met before. As she attempted to call after Adrianna, her dream crumpled around her.
Ilona found herself back in her bed. The sun had barely crested the mountain tops, which meant the rest of her family might still be abed at this early hour. Not sure whether she should go back to sleep or get up and begin her chores, the young girl stared out her window, into the forest, knowing that within the wooden laybrinth's dark heart lay Ambrosius. She wondered at the choice she had to make. Should she return and suffer his brutality, or should she risk her family and stay here?