CHAPTER 8: THE BARREN CURSE


"Good Morning." I stuttered

Nathaniel smiled slightly. "I see you're exploring the mansion."

I nod hesitantly, not sure exactly what to think of him. Was he one of them? He had to be, but he didn't have the air of arrogance around him like Jesse did.

"Excuse us Lord Nathanial, I didn't know she would come barging in like this." Dinah rambled taking a hold of my arm and forcibly pulling me back toward the door.

"That's all right Dinah. Let her stay." He said softly and instantly her grip on my arm loosened. I took a step forward turning to glare at Dinah, but my look faltered when I saw how scared she really looked. My mouth opened as I glanced from her to Nathaniel.

"Leave us for a moment ." Nathaniel's strong voice demanded.

Dinah stumbled back a few steps before she bowed briskly. She shot me another nervous look before she closed the large oak doors behind her.

"what did you do to her?" I asked hearing my voice rise a few octaves. When I glanced over at him he seemed to scanning the shelves again.

"She's afraid Jesse might punish her for leaving you alone with me." He said solemnly before flicking a hand upwards. I watched in pure amazement as a book wiggled out of its confinement between other books and floated right into his hand.

I blinked and then I blinked again. Then I tried to focus on what he said as he turned back to me. "Why would he punish her?"

Nathaniel gestured toward a small seating area by a warm glowing fireplace. The rose colored cushioned chairs looked like antiques, dating back to the nineteenth century—at least that's what it looked like. "Have a seat Reagan."

I followed him cautiously and sat in the chair across from him. I watched him expectantly.

"I guess you want an answer to your question." He stated coolly, sitting back in the chair, while his hazel eyes studied me intently.

"That would be nice." I muttered.

"It hasn't sunk in yet has it?" Nathaniel suddenly murmured, completely changing the subject. He sighed bitterly and shook his head.

"What?" I asked feeling a cold chill sweep down my back as the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end.

"That you're not leaving this…ever." He said it so softly, as if he was talking to a small child.

"I'm going to find a way out." I growled at him, feeling myself bristle. When I realized that this was a nightmare that had come true, I swore to myself I would get out. Jesse did not own me and he never will.

Nathaniel shook his head again. "That, I'm afraid is quite troublesome for Jesse…He will always find you Reagan and the more you escape the more coldhearted he will become."

"I don't care! He will have to kill me to stop me from not escaping!" I vowed harshly. The sorrow was consumed fueled the rage in me. I was determined to not give in.

"Then he might just do that…." Nathaniel said with little interest in his voice, he opened one his books and began to read. However it didn't stop him from talking. " I wouldn't put it past him to torture you… to break you."

"What do you mean?' I asked through a constricting throat.

Nathaniel smiled coldly. "I've learned over time that you do not cross Jesse. You want him as an ally but making him you're enemy is only digging your own grave."

My mind felt jumbled and again I repeated. "What do you mean?"

His suddenly black eyes were glaring at me. I scooted back in my chair feeling the air around me getting colder. I couldn't rip my gaze from his black ominous eyes until he finally shook his head slowly. "Reagan, my dear, have you ever heard the simple phrase 'keep you friends close and your enemies closer'?"

"I-what are you getting at?' I growled, relieved that he settled his nice, calm hazel eyes back on me.

"What do you think I'm getting at dear girl?" He asked with a ghost of a smile.

I stared at him curiously, as the puzzle pieces started to click into place in my head. My eyes widened when I finally got what he was suggesting, but instantly my eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Why would you suggest something like that too me?"

Nathaniel chuckled lightly and shrugged. "I'll find it just amusing. It's been quite a long time since Jesse had someone stubborn like you."

"So in other words you just want a show?" I sneered.

Nathaniel grinned.

I jumped to my feet letting my disgust show and stomped away. When my hand touched the large handle on the oak doors, my body went numb. I glanced over my shoulder when I heard Nathaniel's soft yet dark chuckle.

"I warn you, Reagan. That such show of disrespect to a sorcerer will earn you a punishment," His voice was slightly lazy and made me want to kick myself to think that Nathaniel was any different from the others. "I won't touch you today but be pre-warned."

I felt the tingling in my body that told me I had mobility now, and I jerked the door opened. I gave him one last glare before I walked into the dim lit hallway.

Closing my eyes I took in a deep breath and leaned against the closed doors.

My eyes snapped opened and I started running hard and fast. I ran through the hall and found myself in a maze of what seemed like hundreds of halls. I would turn one corner and find myself in the same hall I had started in. I finally jerked to a stop, trying to catch my breath when I found myself in the middle of four adjoining halls.

"I hate this!" I screamed so loud that the echo was giving me a piercing headache. With infuriated tears blurring my eyes, I slammed my back against one of the several walls and slid to the ground. I pulled my legs up to my chest and sobbed.

"Then you should stop crying and do something about it." A female voice hissed and my head snapped up. I scanned every hall but I saw no one in either of the halls.

"Who's there?" I called out, cringing when I heard my own feeble voice. There was no answer and so I swallowed and asked again in a more strong tone.

"Take the left hall…I think you'll enjoy what you find." The silky voice whispered. I glanced over my shoulder; I could have sworn the voice was coming just over my shoulder. "Don't just sit there, get up before the spell switches the directions again."

I jumped to my feet and raced down the left hall. It seemed like I was running for a very long time until finally I saw a large glass door that was letting in the bright sunlight. I smiled brightly, as I grabbed the gold handles. I pushed down and pulled the doors inward.

"Wow…" I whispered. The first thing I saw was a rather big waterfall crashing down into a large pond, the cloud of thick mist spilt into the air. Large plants that looked like they would usually belong in a rainforest surrounded the pond.

"Is it not beautiful?" The same voice from before asked.

I focused on the young woman who was stepping out from behind a large tree. She had blonde hair that was piled on top of her head with a few strands streaming down her face. She wore a long white over the shoulder dress that flowed effortlessly around her.

"Who are you?" I asked softly almost awestruck. I mean, she looked like a princess from one of them fairytales that you always hear when you're a kid, or she was like a magical nymph.

"My name is Sage." The woman said with a small smile. "Do you like my garden?"

I nodded and gave her so called 'garden' an impressed look. "It's very pretty."

"It took a long time to make it." Sage said in almost whisper. I turned my attention back to her and noticed she was still standing behind the tree.

"How many years did it take to make it?" I asked.

Sage's blue eyes sparkled and smiled at the question. "Almost two hundred years."

I looked at her sharply. "It took you two hundred years to build this?"

The woman nodded with a light giggle. "Precisely."

"Well I shouldn't be surprised." I muttered under my breath. I turned my attention back to Sage. "So how exactly long do sorcerers live?"

The girl sighed and shook her head. Then she just faded, it started from her head and slowly spread down her whole body.

"I can answer your question, Reagan" Sage muttered sadly from behind me. I spun around and stepped back when I saw that she was floating a few inches from the ground—no feet. "But in reality I'm just a ghost."

~*~

"Hello?"

My eyes fluttered opened and I stared up into bright blue eyes a smiling blond haired woman.

I blinked. "You're the ghost."

"Yes, my name is Sage and you are Reagan." The ghost replied bubbly.

I sat up and noticed I was on the ground. "What am I doing on the ground?'

The blond haired woman who seemed to be floating above the ground laughed merrily. "Why you passed out Reagan!"

"Oh…how do you know my name?' I asked, rubbing the back of my head that throbbed stubbornly.

"You hit your head pretty hard," The woman said thoughtfully and then her face lit up. "However, my dear Reagan, I know your name because you're the new contract child of course!'

"I'm… uh what?" I asked curtly. Sage smile faded into a frown and she stared at me as if I had seriously burst her bubble.

"A contract child! Don't you know anything?!" Sage demanded.

"Apparently not," I mumbled under my breath. "So what exactly is a contract child, Sage?"

Sage laughed as if I had told some funny joke, but when she noticed my incredulous stare she quieted down. "You seriously don't know?"

I shook my head slowly.

"Well my, my, Jesse sure doesn't like to inform his students… now does he?" Sage said with a girlish giggle behind her words.

"Wait what?"

Student? I hardly got that impression …I thought sooner or later I would have been turned into someone like Dinah… catering to the sorcerers every stinkin need. But it wasn't like I was going to let that get to far…as soon as I found a way out I was out of here.

"Ha ha! Silly girl! A contract child would never be stooped to such a level!"

I felt my anger flare and I muttered through clenched teeth. "Do you mind telling me what it means exactly?!"

"Tsk tsk…such an impatient generation…to answer your question, my dear. Your mother signed a contract with Jesse that as long as her and her husband are still together she will willingly hand over her children to him."

"So he can eat them?" I snapped in sarcastically, but I was also being truly honest. If he did—gulp— I had to be ready…

"NO! He would never be so barbaric!" Sage said hotly as if I just insulted a high king or something.

I pointed to my cheek. "And you don't at all call this barbaric?"

Sage had the nerve to roll her eyes. "That is the punishment for back talking your teacher."

I hissed under my breath. "He is not my teacher! Also there is no excuse for hitting a woman in my opinion."

Sage sighed and looked at me as if I was but a small child. "He could've done worse."

I shook my head and let the subject drop…it wasn't worth arguing about it. "So why am I a student to him?"

Sage smirked. "To learn the family trade of course."

"You mean sorcery?" I asked skeptical.

"Exactly. You see there was a curse put on the sorcerer's race by some mad sorceress who had lost child while giving birth. She was driven mad with sorrow that she placed a curse on her very race…a curse that would keep the magical bloodlines from ever being pure again. As older Sorcerers died and with a war breaking out, sorcerers found a way to keep magic in the world. Experienced sorcerers took ordinary humans who had potential of course and they taught the humans the ways of a sorcerer. Over time the human was converted into a full blooded but weak sorcerer. Mind you it takes decades to wipe out the human blood out of their systems."

"You mean…I'm going to be forced to turn into one of them?" I said slowly feeling my stomach drop to feet.

"Precisely….your brother was quite remarkable and so Jesse decided to take a chance with though he's had your brother since he was a babe" Sage said smugly.

"My brother?" I breathed out but Sage's face suddenly became distant and I knew instantly she wasn't going to answer any questions pertaining to my older brother. I sighed and took a step back. I actually had a older brother.

"Roselyn was also Jesse's contract child too." Sage said smugly. I glanced up sharply and stared at her with a confused look.

"I thought Roselyn was Jesse's mother…" I trailed off as the 'unable to reproduce' rung in my head. I turned my question around. "Why does Roselyn look so much older Jesse…. if Jesse is older?"

Sage smiled. "Because the more powerful you are the more youthful you can pretend to be…Rolland—I'm sure you've met him—anyway Rolland is the oldest in this small town, now that his brother is dead."

"And Adam…" I whispered. The ache in my heart made it obvious I missed that obnoxious boy. When I glanced back up at Sage she was smiling sadly at me.

"Adam is a half-breed…his mother was a human. I guess the curse was only to keep sorcerers from making the bloodline pure. Anyway Adam didn't gain in magical genes and so Jesse's grandfather Randolph—he adored Adam's father Caden and Caden's younger brother, Rolland. And so he gave Adam the power. However Adam hasn't exactly dominated his powerful ability yet." Sage tilted her head to the side. "It seems Dinah is looking for you…you might want to go to her."

"I…but-"

"I'm sure he'll be in a better mood today Reagan. Ask him the questions and he will be obligated, as the teacher, to answer them." Sage murmured quickly before making a shooing motion with her hands.

"Reagan! There you are!"

I spun around and saw Dinah standing in the doorway watching me with curious eyes. I turned back and saw that everything had disappeared, Sage, the large waterfall, and the pond. The only thing was bright green grass that stretched out for miles until it was blocked off by a white fence.

"Are you all right?" Dinah asked uncertain.

No.

"Yeah fine." I murmured and turned to follow her back into the house.

"Jesse will be home any second…" Dinah murmured under her breath giving me a swift glance.

"I thought he was gone all day?" I said sarcastically.

Dinah managed a harsh laugh. "You've been missing most of the afternoon Lady Reagan. The sun is about to set and that's when your first lesson will begin."


HMM this chapter is pretty much a filler to get you into the details of what is going on..Nathaniel if don't remember is mentioned in either chapter three of four of fve.. so we get to Jesse...hmm hell be in the next chapter....lol hes going to be slightly nicer in the next chapter he does have his moements.....Adam will come back up in a few chapters also...Honestly i didn't like Adam when i created him and then he sorta of rubbed off on me....so yeah......hehehehehehe...I hope you enjoy this chapter as the next wil have a lot of magic....^^ R&R please!!!