Monday, February 4, 2013

"BLOODLINES" FULL PROLOGUE (UNEDITED FIRST DRAFT)

Hey everyone,

Just in case you wanted to read the entire Prologue of the first book without any interruptions.



BOOK ONE

PROLOGUE:

The Bloodlines
June of 1844

Romanian-Hungarian Border (Transylvania)
Nicolae Ganoush was a young man of nineteen when he took his eleven-year-old brother Sebastian out of Romania.  Nicolae was a wanted man.  Wanted for murder and treason. 

A pale moon hung in the black, starless sky as the two boys fled into the thick Transylvania woods.  Nicolae knew that Romanian officials would be on the hunt for him and would likely be alerting officials in the neighboring countries to be on the lookout for the two Roma slaves on the run from the law.  The boys would travel through the night and into tomorrow.  They wouldn’t be stopping to rest until the following night and even then they couldn’t be still for too long.  Nicolae knew that he and Sebastian didn’t have much time and a long journey lay ahead of them.   
The boys felt their way through the brush, keeping at an even pace despite Sebastian’s protests of being tired.  Nicolae ordered his younger brother to keep his mouth shut and the two boys continued deeper into the dark forest. Ghostly clouds floated passed the full moon high above the trees, taunting the boys with a small amount of light before enveloping them in darkness.
Sebastian was hungry.  The younger Ganoush boy tried desperately to keep up with his older brother, unaware of all that had occurred just moments earlier.  He had been asleep in his bunk when he was awakened by Nicolae grabbing him from his cot.  Sebastian had noticed the blood on Nicolae, but the older boy offered no explanation other than the two of them having to leave at that very moment.

Sebastian was relieved when they came to a stop at a creek in a clearing.  Nicolae set down the small bag he carried.  The sound of water flowing over rocks and small branches was a soothing contrast to the heated tension radiating from Nicolae.  Sebastian watched as his brother knelt down and roughly scrubbed the drying blood from his hands in the creek.
“Nicolae,” Sebasian said cautiously.  He hoped that Nicolae had some food in his bag.
“What,” Nicolae replied without looking up.  He had removed his bloodstained shirt, dipping it down into the water.  The moon had come out from behind the clouds casting it’s pale beam into the clearing.  Sebastian could see the intensity on his brother’s face as he worked to remove as much of the blood as he could from his clothes and skin. 
“I’m hungry,” Sebastian said.
“Well you’re going to have to wait!” Nicolae snapped. 
Sebastian flinched backward, his mouth gaping.  Hot tears began to form in Sebastian’s eyes.  He was scared.  Hungry, confused, and scared.  All he wanted at that moment was a scrap of something to eat and for Nicolae to tell him what was going on.  He was tired of Nicolae thinking he was nothing more than a silly child.  Sebastian turned so his brother couldn’t see the tears threatening to escape down his face. 
“I’m sorry,” Sebastian heard Nicolae say.  He looked back at his older brother.  A genuine remorse had fallen over Nicolae’s face. 
“I’ll give you something to eat soon,” Nicolae continued, “we just need to go a little further while the moon is still out.”
Sebastian responded with a slow nod.  Nicolae pulled his damp shirt back on over his head (he had been able to get most of the blood out).
“Come,” Nicolae said picking up his bag, “another mile and we’ll stop and eat something.  I promise.” 
Sebastian gave his brother a small but grateful smile.  He followed Nicolae along the creek, trying his best to keep up with his older brother’s quick, long strides. 
“Where are we going?” Sebastian asked, breaking the silence between them.
Nicolae paused before answering, “America.”
Sebastian’s eyes widened.  He looked up at his brother who kept his eyes forward. 
“But…what about Eloisa?” Sebastian said furrowing his brow into a frown.
Nicolae came to an abrupt stop at the mention of Eloisa’s name.  Sebastian thought he could see tears forming in Nicolae’s eyes. 
“I’d rather not speak of her,” Nicolae said, his voice strained.  Nicolae began walking ahead before Sebastian could say anything more. 

The two brothers walked on in silence with Sebastian sneaking occasional glances up at his brother.  Nicolae wore a look of pain and sadness.  Eloisa was not coming with them.  Sebastian’s mind began to race with the possibilities of what may have happened. 
The swift departure, the blood on Nicolae, Eloisa not coming with them…
Chills crept over the younger boy’s skin as more clouds formed a curtain in front of the moon, once again leaving the brothers in the dark.


Illinois-Iowa Territory Border, United States
On the other side of the world near the Iowa Territory, Jonathan Blake rode his horse Samson on the plains of the American Midwest.  It was early evening, but there was still plenty of daylight left.  Enough for the eighteen-year-old Irishman to get in a good, long ride before nightfall.  Riding Samson across the open terrain was a much loved pastime for Jonathan.  He had come to know the area well, but there was always new uncharted territory to discover.  But on this particular evening, Jonathan was on a mission.

Jonathan had come to America in the autumn of 1832 with his parents, Charles and Emma, and his younger brother, Brendan.  The Blakes had been a working class Black Irish family who had emigrated from Ireland when the beginnings of what would become the potato famine began taking place in some areas of the country.  Charles Blake’s intention was to buy his family land further out west near the Iowa Territory.
Neither Jonathan nor Brendan could recall much of the boat ride from Ireland to America.  At the time, Jonathan was barely five years old and Brendan was two.  But Jonathan did have a memory of getting off the ship with his family after docking at a port in New Jersey.  He had been a curious child and could hardly get enough of his new surroundings.  He remembered taking in how different the new country seemed compared to Ireland.
Upon their arrival, Charles had only had enough money to get his family to New York.  He was fortunately able to get a job with James Livingston’s publishing company and would work for Livingston as he tried saving up money while also providing his family’s needs. Within a year’s time of settling in New York, Charles and Emma would welcome their daughter Frances (or “Frankie” as family and friends would call her) into the world.  The Blakes were thrilled with the new addition to their family and considered the little girl to be a wonderful blessing.  But with one more mouth to feed, the land out west seemed to be a far greater long shot than before. 
Charles and Emma had been considering the possibility of a permanent stay in New York after the birth of their fourth child, a son they named Isaiah.  The devoutly Catholic family had come to accept being thankful for the things they did have rather than covet more.  Charles had also found an unlikely friend in the very wealthy James Livingston.  Livingston would come to have a larger role in the lives of the Blakes than anyone would ever be able to imagine and after five years, the Blakes would finally get their land out west.  The youngest child of Charles and Emma, their daughter Rachel, was born on the new land.

It had been eight years since the Blake family had been living on the land Charles Blake had dreamed of buying for his family.  Jonathan was grateful to be riding along the open trail with the warm, late afternoon sun warming his face.  A light wind from the east tousled his dark brown hair.  His thoughts were about the young woman he had seen two days ago along the path.  His mission was to see her again.  She was the most beautiful girl Jonathan had ever seen and he had figured her to be part of the Dakota Sioux tribe nearby.  He had seen her two days ago while out riding Samson.  Jonathan had turned Samson onto a trail when he had seen her walking up from the opposite direction. Jonathan had slowed Samson down, approaching the girl with caution.  He was able to hear that she was singing softly to herself (and was able to get a better look at her) as he got closer.  She appeared to be a couple of years younger than Jonathan, possibly about sixteen. 
The young woman had stopped her singing and was looking up at Jonathan with a curiosity as he brought Samson to a halt.  Her dark eyes then went from expressing curiosity to more of an apprehension.  Jonathan didn’t want her to be afraid of him and smiled warmly at her.  He wanted her to know that he meant her no harm. 
She stood studying him for a few moments before seeming to relax a little.  Jonathan slowly dismounted from Samson, hooking the horse’s bridal to a strong branch on the tree closest to them.  He turned back to her and their eyes were locked, her black eyes to Jonathan’s grayish-blue eyes.  Jonathan watched as a light wind caused some strands of her black hair to flow around her face.  He could feel his heart beginning to pound in his chest as the world around him seemed to disappear.  At that moment, only Jonathan and the young Dakota Sioux woman existed.  Jonathan had felt his feet taking him toward her.  She stood, seemingly paralyzed as she watched him move closer to her.  He was just close enough to speak to her when she suddenly became startled and disappeared back down the path and into the field.  Jonathan’s first impulse was to run after her, but he was able to stop himself from doing so.  Instead, he had stood there staring after where she had run to wondering if he would ever see her again. 
He had returned to that area over the last two days hoping to see her again but she hadn’t been there.  And now here he was, back again.  Jonathan was surprised at the effect this girl had had on him.  Of course, he had seen plenty of girls in the towns and neighboring areas who were also beautiful.  But none of them had done to him what the young woman on the trail had.

A happily infatuated Jonathan Blake was unaware of the two Romani boys on the other side of the world.  Unaware that Nicolae Ganoush (a young man only a year older than he was) and his brother Sebastian (who was the same age as Jonathan’s brother, Isaiah) ran for their lives through a dark forest in the middle of the night with barely anything to their names.  As Nicolae and Sebastian Ganoush stopped at the creek, Jonathan had stopped his horse at the trail where he had originally seen the young woman a couple days prior.  Jonathan began taking Samson down the trail as Nicolae and Sebastian began to follow the creek toward the Romanian-Hungarian border.  The three boys each had a purpose for their movement.  As Nicolae and Sebastian would pick up their pace along the creek, Jonathan would slow Samson’s trot as he watched intently for the young woman.  Over in Romania, Nicolae had stopped to give Sebastian the food break he had promised him.  As Nicolae and Sebastian took that brief, sweet moment to eat a piece of stale bread and drink a little water from Nicolae’s small flask, Jonathan had brought Samson to a halt, his heart leaping at the site of her.  She was there, walking along the path, singing softly to herself as she had been doing when Jonathan had seen her for the first time. 

Nicolae’s heart raced as he relived the horrific moments in his mind.  The events that made him a wanted man on the run.  At the same moment, Jonathan’s heart raced as he offered the young woman a nervous yet warm smile as she slowly approached him, reaching out to pet Samson.  The event that would make Jonathan a young man in love.


Plains, New York, United States

The Livingstons had been among America’s founders having been in the country since the mid 18th century.  They were among the most prominent of America’s aristocracy, owning large portions of the land surrounding the Hudson.  Many in the bloodline held prominent political positions including that of Chancellor, mayor, and drafter of the Declaration of Independence.  Others practiced law and where prominent lawyers and judges.  It was typical for a Livingston descendent to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors.  James Henry Livingston would be one of those in the bloodline who would pave a slightly different direction with his inheritance. 
James had been born in America and had had a love for literature since he was a young child.  He had studied business law at the request of his parents and would be a lawyer for a short period of time before opening his publishing company when he was just shy of his 31st birthday.  Livingston Publishing had it’s main offices in New York City and James had been working at opening a branch in Plains.  James had been among the founders of the town of Plains, an area just short of an hour outside of New York City.  He would be among those who would oversee the building of the new town and would be the founder of it’s public library.  The Plains Public Library would open in 1832, the same year the Blakes would arrive in America. 

James was a handsome man and now just shy of his 48th birthday.  On this evening, he sat in a carriage on his way out to his house in Plains.  His wife Samantha was at their home in New York with their three boys, Jesse, Samuel, and Lawrence.  James and his family lived in New York City, but he had purchased land in Plains where he had built another house for weekend or holiday retreat. 
James carried a portfolio case containing paperwork he intended to finish that Friday evening and into tomorrow.  The documents concerned Livingston Publishing, new additions to the library, funding for the orphanage his good friends Cedric and Margaret Fleming were building, and the letter to another good friend of his, Charles Blake. 
James enjoyed the long carriage rides out to Plains.  When he was alone it gave him opportunity to clear his mind and if he was in the company of friends or family, it made for a pleasing ride of great conversation.  Tonight, James was grateful for the silence.  The only sounds present at the moment were that of the horse’s hooves clomping on the road in front of the carriage and the occasional call of a crow or hawk out in the distance.   It had a hypnotic effect on James, lulling him into a trance.
“Sir?”
 James was shaken to attention.  The carriage was no longer moving and now stood in front of his holiday home.  Bradley, the coachman, stood holding the carriage door open for James to exit.  James could see a rather puzzled expression on Bradley’s face.
“Are you quite well, sir?” Bradley asked.
“Yes,” James replied gathering his document case, “yes I’m quite alright.”
James stood, shaking away the last of his dreamstate, and exited the carriage.
“My lord,” Bradley said with a small bow as James emerged with his boots landing on the dirt road in front of the house. 
“Safe travels back,” James said turning to Bradley, “I will be needing a carriage back to New York tomorrow evening.  Seven ‘o’ clock sharp.”
“Yes, Master Livingston,” Bradley replied. “Will there be anything else before I depart?”
“No.  Thank you, Bradley.  You are relieved for the night.  Samantha has our servants in the home should she need anything.”
“Very well, my lord.  I’ll return here tomorrow at seven ‘o’ clock,” Bradley said before returning to the carriage and riding it back to New York.

James stood alone in front of the dark, two story house, peering up into the top window.  It was so quiet, so still out here.  A breeze traveling west lifted his cloak as he started up the pathway to the house.  James was halfway to the house when he began to feel as though he weren’t alone.  From the corner of his eye, he could almost swear to seeing a small figure run across the field toward the woods behind the house.  James turned toward the field but it lay open and empty.  The running figure was gone.  He thought he could hear an animal howling somewhere far in the woods. 
James quickened his pace up the rest of the path and into the house, shutting the door.  He lit a few oil lamps before settling into his study.  He set his portfolio onto the desk, putting everything in neat piles, and focused his mind on work. 
James sat at his desk looking over the new paperwork concerning the orphanage.  With his pen in hand, he started reading over the document.  But it wasn’t long before the words on the page began to blur together.  James slammed his pen down and brought his hands to his face, trying to will the throbbing in his head to leave him.  He shifted his gaze over to his liquor cabinet.
A drink…he thought, I could use a drink. 
James rose from his desk chair, walked to the cabinet, and fixed himself a brandy.  He swirled the dark liquid before taking a first sip.  In the dim light of the study, James’s mind began wandering back to that evening a week ago…

Now, James Henry Livingston was a reasonable and sane man.  He attended the Presbyterian church with his wife and sons every Sunday.  But James was one to always believe logical explanations for things and never entertained the notion of anything other than what could be physically seen and touched.  So one can only imagine the pains James was taking to explain what he had seen up at the Nathaniel Fleming Orphanage property a few nights ago.  The orphanage property was not far from James’s second home.  He was considering heading up there.  Going back up to the third floor of the second building and into the same room where he had seen it, just to prove that there was a logical reason for what he had seen there. 
But there is no logic.  None.
James was very fond the Flemings and was happy to help them in any way he could.  He had been up to the property to oversee the building of the orphanage a few times and it was nice to see Cedric and Margaret in good spirits.  The tragic death of their young son Nathaniel five years ago had had a devastating affect on the Flemings.  But the orphanage, along with their daughter Maxine, seemed to have given them a sense of purpose again. 

James absently raised the glass to his lips, once again taking the sweet, warm liquid into his mouth.  As the brandy trickled down his throat his thoughts went to her.  The small, dark-haired girl he had seen at the orphanage. 
James had gone with Samantha and the Flemings to the new building that had just been finished on the property.  The kitchen and dining hall was on the first floor and classrooms would be up on the second.  The second floor also included a small library that Cedric insisted on naming after James.  The third floor held rooms and living quarters meant to house the school instructors.  James had wanted to venture up to the second and third floors to have a look around.  He had left Samantha, Cedric, Margaret, and little Maxine (who looked quite restless and bored as the adults engaged in seemingly endless chatter).  The voices of Cedric, Margaret, and Samantha faded behind James as he made his way up the stairs with a lantern.  He spent a considerable amount of time on the second floor, looking into all the rooms.  The building was, for the most part, completed only in need of furnishing.  James was feeling pleased that he had agreed to help sponsor Cedric’s orphanage. 
He was taking a look in all the rooms, satisfied with how everything was turning out.  James then went up to the third floor.  Everything seemed to be in place.  He made his way to one of the rooms located halfway down the hall, stepping into it as he had the others before it. 
James was leaving the room when the flame in his lantern flickered out.
Strange, James had thought, I didn’t feel a draft…
The room was cloaked in shadows, but it was early evening and there was still enough light streaming in through the windows.  At least enough for James to make his way back downstairs.  He had seen basically all he needed to anyway. 
He was at the doorway when he felt a vibration in the floor.  James paused feeling his skin prickle.  He turned his head back to the room to see shapes beginning to materialize. A bed and a desk appeared in front of him.  James shut his eyes tightly thinking that surely this was the evening shadows playing tricks with his eyes.
Perhaps I’ve been working too hard as of late...perhaps I need a holiday.
James counted to ten.  He opened his eyes, expecting to see an empty room.  But there they were, the bed and the desk, even more vivid than before.  Then he saw her.  The small girl with long, dark hair.  She appeared to be about twenty years of age and she wore dark clothing.  James’s heart began racing as he watched her, standing on a chair securing a hangman’s noose to a hook on the ceiling.
What is going on here?
James stepped further into the room in an attempt to get a better look at the girl.  He paused at the desk, placing his hand on the surface and nearly fell over as his hand went through it.  A current vibrated through James’s body as he stood, trying to collect himself.  He continued over to the girl and stopped right beside her as she finished securing the noose.  The girl then stood, staring at it.  James could see her delicate chin and hollow cheeks as her face was on the gaunt side.  He reached out to touch her arm and his hand, as it had done with the desk, had gone right through her.  James could feel another current pulse through him, followed by a sudden wave of sadness.  Sadness, anger, anxiety took over his being and paralyzed him to where he stood.  James found himself unable to move.  It was as though some invisible force were holding him back. 
The girl turned in James’s direction.  Her eyes met his, but it seemed she were looking through him.  Looking at him, but not seeing him.  The more James stared at her, the more her eyes told a story of who she was and what had happened to her.  Terror rose in James at the moment he knew who the girl was.  He struggled to move his legs as the girl turned back to the noose, placing her hands around it.  He had to stop her from what she was about to do.  The terror he felt rose from his chest into his throat.
“No! Please, stop!” James managed to lurch out. 
He was suddenly able to break free of whatever invisible force constrained him, lunging forward to grab the girl.  The lantern fell from his hand, hitting the floor with a crash.  James ran into the wall as the girl, the chair she stood on, the bed, the desk, and the noose disappeared leaving James alone in an empty room.  James collapsed, lowering his hands to his knees, his eyes on the floor as he willed his breathing to return to normal.  He noticed the tears in his eyes as he tried to blink them back. 
The broken lantern lay on the floor in shattered pieces.  James knelt down to pick up the lantern’s remains as he searched his brain for an explanation he would give to Cedric of how it had broken. 
James remembered Cedric, Margaret, Samantha and Maxine for the first time since he had stepped into this room.  He wasn’t sure how long he had been up there and surely they would be wondering what was keeping him.  James rose back to a standing position, holding the pieces of the broken lantern.  He jumped back at a small figure standing in front of him.  He relaxed when he saw that it was little Maxine Fleming.
“Maxine!” James had said, “good heavens, you startled me.  I didn’t even hear you come in here.”
“Sorry,” she said, “it was getting boring downstairs.  Momma and Daddy said I could come up and find you.”
“Well, thank you Maxine.  Tell your parents and my wife that I’m on my way down.” 
“Are you well, Mr. Livingston?” Maxine asked him.  The ten-year-old’s face was given a red tint from the rays of the setting sun trickling into the room.  Her eyes almost glowed as she gave him a rather peculiar look.  James could feel chills returning to his skin.  But he forced a smile at the little girl and said, “Yes.  Yes, Maxine…I am.  Run along and tell your parents and my wife that I’m on my way back downstairs.”
“Yes sir,” Maxine said.  The little girl turned and headed toward the hall.  She stood in the doorway, turning back to give him a final glance before disappearing out into the hall.

James now stood in his study swirling and sipping his brandy as he recalled the events of that evening.  The image of the dark-haired girl and the noose burned in his brain.  He had seen the girl in his dreams almost every night since that evening and he would feel her torment before waking up in a cold sweat. 
James gulped down the last of his brandy allowing the liquid to burn in his throat.  He welcomed the sensation and poured another glass to take back to his desk. 
James took out the letter he was writing to Charles Blake, opting to put his other paperwork aside for the time being.  Finishing the letter to Charles did help to put James at ease.  James thought about another important document that sat in his safe back at his home in New York.  His Last Will and Testament.  James’s lawyer was coming that Sunday evening so that he and James could make a couple changes in the Will.

James put the letter to Charles in an envelope, stamped it, and put it into his portfolio case as something completed.  He then turned his attention back to his paperwork when something in the hallway caught his attention.  The door to the study was opened a crack and James strained to see a shadow moving passed the study.  Without thinking, James reached into his pocket, fishing out his keys and unlocked his bottom desk drawer where he kept his loaded pistol.  He picked up the firearm and crept out into to the hall.  He opened the door to his study with caution, peering in the direction he had seen the shadow move in.  The door to one of the rooms at the end of the hall was open ajar.  James frowned, certain that the door had been shut when he arrived. 
Armed with his pistol, he made his way down toward the room at the end of the hall.  He noticed the soft glow of a lamp coming out from the room.  He stopped just outside the room listening.  The sounds of movement from inside the room confirmed that he was not in the house alone.  James drew in a breath and whirled into the doorway, pointing his pistol toward a figure standing at a dresser at the far end of the room.
“What are you doing here?!” James bellowed.
“Master Livingston, please!”
James lowered his pistol.  “Winifred?”
It was indeed Winifred, the housekeeper of the Livingston’s holiday home.
“Yes, Master Livingston,” Winifred replied turning around.
James could see a bewildered expression on Winifred’s face.  He let out an exasperated sigh. “Good God, woman!  What the hell are you doing sneaking around in here?!”
“I’m sorry!” Winifred protested, “I had left my reading spectacles in here earlier today.  I let myself in with my key and I saw lamps had been lit so I called to let you know I was here.  You didn’t answer so I figured you were occupied…I…I’m sorry…”
“Winifred, it’s alright,” James said quickly, “I supposed I was so engrossed in my work I must not have heard you.  I apologize for my outburst.”
Winifred nodded as she made her way passed James heading toward the stairs.  At the top of the stairwell, she paused and turned back to face her employer.
“Master Livingston if I may be so bold…please.  Get some rest.  You do not look well.”
James looked at the gray-haired woman and nodded his head before waving her dismissal.  He stared blankly ahead as he heard Winifred leave.  He wondered how he had not heard her call to him.  A thought then occurred to James.  One that made him chuckle rather loudly.  That had been the third time that week someone had made the suggestion of his not seeming well.  First little Maxine Fleming, then Bradley, and now Winifred.
James leaned back against the wall, raising his eyes to the ceiling.  His thoughts returned to the small dark-haired girl and the noose.  The girl he knew. 
“Perhaps I’m not well,” James said aloud as a helpless feeling came over him, “perhaps I never will be again.”



Tuxpan, Mexico
Hector de Fuentes walked along the ocean’s shore, taking in the peaceful serenity of early evening as he walked to his place, a secluded area at the end of the beach.  It was a place that only Hector knew of, a place he had been going to since the age of twelve.  To a bystander who didn’t know any better, Hector’s place appeared to be nothing more than a cluster of large rocks in a pocket of the coastline.  But the sixteen-year-old had been the one drawn to it enough to go exploring around it do discover a beautiful, underground cave.  At the age of twelve, Hector had been thrilled at the find.  It was another world where he could go to be alone to think, read, and watch the ships sailing in the distance toward ports in Mexico and America.  It was his place and it belonged only to him.

Hector was the grandson of Ernesto de Fuentes, a Spanish nobleman who had settled in Mexico in the late seventeenth century, aiding in the country’s colonization.  Ernesto would eventually bring his wife, Hortencia, and their three children, Isabella, Francisco, and Miguel over for a permanent settlement in Central Mexico.  Miguel de Fuentes had married a woman from the Aztec tribe and Hector had been the third of their five children.  Miguel had moved his family to an area near the coast of Tuxpan shortly after Hector’s birth.  The family would visit Ernesto and Hortencia in Central Mexico and Hector did enjoy exploring the glades of the area.  But his cave was where he always felt at home.  He sometimes would joke to himself about wanting to be entombed there after he died, whenever that would end up being.  But the more he thought about that, the more Hector came to realize that that was just what he wanted.  Hector was a loner.  He had friends his age and he got on well with his siblings, but he treasured the time he would spend alone, exploring his cave and the wonders it had to offer.

On this evening, Hector had come to the cluster of rocks his cave was housed in.  The waves crashed along the shore as he climbed over the rocks to where the mouth of the cave sat open and waiting for the boy to enter it.  Hector smiled, turning to sit down on the rock that looked out to sea.  It was here that he felt the entire world was at his fingertips and he could look out to eternity. 
He thought he could see a ship far away, sailing from a port and fading into the setting sun.  There was something in the air at that moment.  Hector shut his eyes, listening to the waves and feeling the salty sea air in his face.  He could see things.  He could see people.  He could see two boys, one eleven and one nineteen, making their way through a dark forest across the ocean from where he was.  He could see a young Irishman approaching a young Native girl on his horse far north of him.  Then he saw the quaint, American colonial town in New York state.  Hector saw the man about his father’s age, standing in his home very troubled.  Hector knew the man’s son, Samuel.  Like Hector, Samuel was from a background of privilege and more of a loner.  He could see Samuel sitting on his bed reading a book.  Hector tried to see what Samuel was reading, but could not make out the title.  Hector’s eyes snapped open as he was interrupted by a low vibrating in the earth. 

That vibration had also been felt by four other individuals in different areas of the Earth.  For a brief second, Nicolae Ganoush, Jonathan Blake, James Livingston, Samuel Livingston, and Hector de Fuentes would slip into a plain that was outside of their own.  It wouldn’t be more than a brief flash, but each man would see and feel it and it would be etched into time and they would feel it pulse through their blood.  Their senses would be heightened as a veil between dimensions thinned and the Earth tilted on it’s axis toward the Sun for the Summer Solstice.  

Read the next installment, PART 1, NICOLAE'S ESCAPE: First Interlude (UNEDITED) *Explicit*

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