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You had no idea why you agreed to this stupid idea of traveling through Europe. It had been five years since the accident and yet you felt like you had a hole so big in your chest that it felt like nothing would ever fill it. Some people you knew who were still close to you will insist that it was a good idea to get out of that damn country and air out, meet new places "It will help you forget this accident a little." "It’s been so many years. You staying like this won’t make him come back." Those among other unpleasant phrases you were bound to hear

Like it’s easy to keep a good relationship with the people who grew up with you other than Téo. It was a total of five people counting on you, and none of your real friends had agreed to think this trip was crazy.

"Maybe they were right," you thought as you looked out the window giving a frustrated snort through your nose and lightly tapping your back on the seat of the bus you were sitting on. While Natasha and Igor hung themselves on their knees on their benches with an old, crumpled leaflet next to a photo.

"Look, it’s this place here the next destination, but the bus doesn’t go there I don’t know why." Igor said pointing a photo of what appeared to be a small village to the sandwich that was forming in the back seat Giovana, Caio and you in the window bothered by physical contact. They looked at the picture with equally curious and intrigued eyes.

"Shit!" Giovana replied as you looked at the photo trying to understand what could be attractive in a place like that. For you all it showed there was a common village in the midst of a harsh winter in Romania. All you wanted was to see something exciting, maybe a huge castle, some vampire legend? As a lover of terror and suspense, a village would bring nothing special to you.

"Can I have the photo?" Your eyes found the eyes of the boy who had long black hair and wore leather bracelets. His eyes rolled in disgust as he handed you the photo and grumbled.

"You can’t even see what it’s like." Typical common offensive comment you’ve always heard from him at least. Igor seemed to be at least for you an unloved boy and it turns out he had a different family than you. He always made a point of emphasizing how you were "different" from the others by being achromatic, not being able to see the colors and by your degree of autism.

"No complaints. It must be a restricted area, I find it exciting." The discussion continued among the others while you could catch Natasha who was the kindest with you from the group giving you a comforting look. Usually she would take some time off to help you if she realized you were uncomfortable with any situation. Being autistic even though at the first level it wasn’t something you were proud of, it was actually the reason most people walked away and you knew it.

"Don’t worry, Lucia. I’m sure you’ll find very good things there." Most of the time Natasha said things that seemed not to come from herself. That phrase was one of them. Leaving you with a thoughtful look while slightly frowning and trying to direct your attention from the discussion of your other companions.

It was not long before the bus finally stopped at the nearest place to this village where everyone went down, including you following a little behind the group at your own speed mainly to avoid the chatter. A lot of voices in your mind all at once got in your way like an ambulance siren ringing in the ear of a person who didn’t have your condition. Your thoughts shuffle from where they should be and you get lost in your own chaos while no one seems to notice.

It was the height of winter and the ground was covered in snow and you loved it. In your home country there was no snow and although you had already seen at the beginning of the trip when you went through other countries it was still exciting the feeling even if it was much colder than you expected. You smiled as everyone continued through a dense forest until it seemed to be the beginning of that village.

Wooden houses began to appear gradually in the midst of the forest that were decreasing significantly. A huge castle on top of a hill, plus a very close church to greet the newcomers. You couldn’t stop looking in awe at the huge building on the mountain, it was beautiful, it looked like it came out of one of the horror books you liked so much. Your mouth opened a "O" of admiration, you wanted more than anything to get in there and began to ask others if they agreed to go to such a castle with you. To your total disappointment, none of them seemed interested in the castle being too concerned about the sullen people who looked at them with poison as their footsteps lead them further into the village.

"Why is everyone here so strange?" Caio asked Igor who looked around looking for some kind of inn.

"I don’t know..." He responded somewhat indifferently as he continued to lead the group away from the commotion of sullen people back to the grass so they could discuss where to go.

You distanced yourself from the group once again while admiring the construction and keeping every detail in your mind. For sure, once you stopped somewhere safe you would draw the castle or maybe even paint it if you could buy some paint and a canvas since your materials were not with you. Running a little to reach the group that wandered aimlessly through the forest complaining to each other about the cold and not getting anywhere.

"I think we should go back and ask for information." Natasha said as always the voice of reason getting another roll of eyes from Igor who had already named himself the leader of the group. Distracted Giovana lifted her phone while walking through the snow passing through the trees in search of any cell phone signal.

The village itself looked like a black hole lost in time by the little they had been able to realize that people seemed to be trapped a few years ago than the rest of the world which was at least strange and began to explain why the bus didn’t pass there. You as always kept your eyes on other things, but listening to the discussion clearly as much as you didn’t want to most of the time.

"All right then go ask Giovana and we’ll stay here while we keep an eye on the baby back there." The long-haired black boy snorted frustrated pointing his thumb back where you were looking at a pine tree a little far away. Natasha only gave him a stern look for referring to you thus that reciprocated the gesture by showing the middle finger to the boy. Caio fall laughing in the face of his friend for the gesture he received.

After what seemed like hours when the discussion was already starting to get too hot, the two girls left. You didn’t like having to be alone with both of them, she knew how to defend yourself even though you didn’t think needed to, but they always treated you with disgust as if you didn’t understand simple things or had some contagious problem. They didn’t even look more than 20 with such childish attitudes. Laughing at yourself with the thought as you lay back in the tree pulling your purse in front of you.

Probably an hour had passed since the two girls had distanced themselves from the group and neither had returned. Both three were tired of waiting, the phones didn’t work and Igor had already insulted Caio and you so many times that you couldn’t count. Your head throbbed to hear his annoying voice for so long.

At a certain moment the sun began to set and the discussion between the two boys under one of them returned to the middle of the village in search of the girls began to warm up again. You would never understand how they had the talent to start an argument so easily.

The screams began to get louder as you listened to the voices at twice their normal volume. Your head was pounding at the rhythm of your heart and you felt it was going to explode. Crouching in the snow until you got your knees under your chest, you posed both hands to the sides of your ears trying to muffle the sound.

"Stop! Enough!" Caio’s voice retorted against Igor as they both rolled through the snow-covered grass. None of them had stopped to hear the sound of cautious steps approaching and even if they had they would not stop. You couldn’t take it anymore so you got up with everything and went after Igor who was on top of Caio at the time trying to strangle him. The punch you threw caught the nose of the boy who came up to hit you back with your fists ready.

"You guys are idiots!" Caio screamed once more as he coughed by grabbing his own throat.

The long-haired black boy approached you with flames that seemed to dance in his eyes, but you didn’t intimidate yourself trying to kick right between his legs. Being surprised when the boy grabbed your leg and even after you managed to get rid of your grip ended up slipping in the snow and falling with your body on the left side hitting your forehead on a small stone that cut you over the left eyebrow. You felt your vision blurred as you tried to get up and failed miserably falling into the snow again with a thump.

The sound of footsteps in the snow has reached your ears and can you spot a figure with a skirt? Or a dress? It was very difficult to distinguish when you couldn’t focus on anything but the deaf pain in your head and the feeling of something wet dripping down your face.

"W-Who are you? My God you’re too tall!"

"Please!" It was Igor, but he was begging for what? Who?

"Lucia! Lucia! Please get up!" Now it was Caio’s voice and your eyebrows frown as you swallowed the saliva looking up at the veiled sky a thin snow began to fall as you tried to fight the weight of your body.

The voices then ceased suddenly as the place where before it was clear by the snow became a dark spot when you finally managed to lift the trunk and was resting on your elbows in front of what you now saw to be a very tall woman, so high that you had to lean your face up just to get a blurry glimpse of her face.

Her dress seemed to be infinite while a very large hat covered her face by hiding it in the shadows, however you could see even blurry that her eyes glowed in a shade as light as a cat in the dark.

You looked away as you moaned with a headache and you can pick up with the corner of your vision that the giant woman carried with her something large on her shoulders like a sack of potatoes. The pain was so strong that you could not say anything, but something in that figure brought an inexplicable chill of terror.

You felt your conscience slipping away as the woman grew closer and closer. Your body already practically lying in the snow again when an almost sensual soft, velvety voice came to your ears like a warm blanket. Was she calling you beautiful? Your vision darkened when you fainted completely.

 

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Alcina hated those meetings that Miranda insisted so much on doing. It was exhausting and as long as it was over and she was already in her carriage driving to the peace of her castle her mind kept repeating all the horrible moments that she could have done several other much better things. The innumerable taunts of that bastard son who was Heisenberg, the petty laments of Salvatore and that insufferable doll screaming the whole meeting, disgusted her.

Her hand covered in leather gloves rested under her temple while she massaged. A sigh followed as she tried to think of other less annoying things. Choosing to focus on the sounds around her, she leaned on the seat of the carriage and briefly closed her eyes attentive to the sounds around her. The hooves of the horses under the snow-covered road were most of what she could distinguish. It was when a noise of loud voices caught her attention; there seemed to be some kind of discussion.

Her heightened senses allowed her to distinguish that she was a little off the road, but not far enough for her not to hear. A sudden and unusual curiosity crossed her mind beyond a desire to go see what it was about. Giving the driver a warning to stop at that location and wait for her. The lady descended bowing down the small door of the carriage and followed the sound of commotion through the snow entering the forest.

Lucky for her, she was wearing boots and a not-so-long dress that almost didn’t drag in the snow. A brown fur coat adorned her shoulders and ran down the length of her trunk. In addition to her classic signature hat.

It was already very close to dusk and she found strange fighting villagers, everyone in the village knew that it was reckless to wander around so close to dusk. Not that she cared about any of those petty villagers, in fact she never cared about anyone other than her circle of trust that only covered her three daughters, to the point of stopping her journey to see a fight. "What’s happening to you Alcina" she thought to herself by mentally berating herself for her actions when she can pick up a scream from a seemingly male voice.

"You guys are idiots!" A smile adorned the lady’s features when she realized she was only a few metres away and could see that it really was a small group of two men and a woman. One of the men was powerless leaning on a tree sitting under the snow with his face down while the other who had long black hair tried to fight the girl.

"Please!" Tired of his useless supplications, Alcina was quick to extend her claws and strike him in the neck. She walked away so that blood wouldn’t stain her dress or her long fur coat as the boy fell into the snow forming a red puddle the other who screamed and tried to get up to run just to trip over her own feet would win a different fate when she preferred to takeIt’s for your beloved daughters. Smiling at the despair and fear of the boy who seemed to look back over and over again and call out for someone

"Lucia! Lucia!" He screamed his lungs deflecting his gaze from Alcina while she just raised a perfectly arched eyebrow. The lady was too tired to play and struck the stupid man-thing unconscious and easily lifted him over her shoulder as she approached the girl.

Her feet were a few meters from where the woman was still lightly conscious, even if the wound on her forehead ran vigorously, she would soon faint. Her face was so delicate, adorned with long red hair like those of her youngest Daniela, but much larger and slightly curly at the tips. She was undoubtedly a delicate little thing that Alcina could not resist her weakness for such delicate and attractive women was too much even for herself.

"Such a beautiful little thing you are dear." The woman she learned her name was Lucia struggled to stay under her elbows as she stared at the lady. Even bordering on unconsciousness his eyes did not seem to contain fear and this also caused an Alcina eyebrow to rise. She clearly wasn’t processing things properly so she wasn’t afraid, that’s all. The smell of her blood was beginning to tempt Alcina and as one leaves the girl’s green eyepieces did not bear the weight of her body and she gave in. Lifting her body very gently the lady returned to her carriage with a triumphant smile. "Perhaps I should stop more often." She thought as she boasted of her new conquests.

The remainder of her journey went smoothly as she took one of the handkerchiefs she always carried with her and cleaned the wound of the girl trying to resist the urge to simply lick it. My God smelled so good, maybe if she just... not now.

Arriving at the castle the lady carefully descended from the carriage and a loving smile painted her countenance as she passed through the great front door her daughters eagerly awaited her arrival near a fireplace to warm themselves from the harsh winter.

"Mother! You’ve arrived!" Both three girls swarmed to close to their mother, but stopped their hug attack when they noticed that their mother was carrying someone in her arms.

"Oh, what is that?"

"Is it a gift?" Cassandra was the first to ask while trying to see the girl’s face without her arms and Daniela followed suit almost climbing on top of her mother, while Bela even intrigued looked a little distant.

"Now now daughters, why don't you check out the carriage, hmm?" Lady Dimitrescu gave a stern look and all three girls agreed as they gave quick kisses to the matriarch and went after what their mother had brought for them.

Giving off a breath she didn’t even know she was holding, she decided to follow up to a suitable guest room for her new gift. She ignored the eyes of the maids, even the boldest ones who tried to find out what had happened and then pretend to be innocent. There was no point in wasting time on such futile things

Arriving at the doors of a guest room, the lady lowered herself gracefully by the doorstep taking care of the girl still in her arms and entered placing her on a newly arranged canopy bed. Alcina sat at the end of the bed looking at the tranquility with which the girl slept it seemed that nothing disturbed her ever. The lady caught herself wondering what dreams the girl was having to be so quiet and somehow envied her a little for it.

That’s when distracted golden eyes saw the girl carrying a mailbag "How did I not notice that!?" She exclaimed to herself unbelieving with her inattention. Taking the bag without thinking twice and removing the girl carefully she opened it looking for any useful information. And what she found was a treasure mine. There was a wallet with documents "Lucia Olsen" she repeated the name to herself as she returned it to the place and continued her search. A notebook with a leather cover caught her attention and she opened only the first page before discovering that it was a diary, quickly she closed it even if her curiosity was big.

Alcina Dimitrescu, a countess of the highest class, would not read the diary as much as she was very curious, after all she also owned one and if anyone read it she would be very angry. "Maybe just the front page." Thought out loud her voice no more than a whisper for fear of waking the redhead. She had complete control over herself as she opened the diary again.

What she saw surprised her, the woman was a handful artist. A very well done drawing all in black of a stained glass window that appeared to be from some church filled the whole page while Alcina admired the details. "A religious one?" thought to herself once again as she ran the pages quickly seeing countless other drawings ignoring the writings, her handwriting was admirable and all her drawings were made in black and white often depicting castles, churches, figures like dark knights adorned the pages of the diary.

A loud noise followed by screams and laughter caused Alcina to once again close the leather notebook and sighed heavily. Apparently the gift she brought to her daughters was not enough for peace for the rest of the night. She got up taking what she thought was relevant so the girl wouldn’t try to escape or call someone and left her for now.

 

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Bela had already taken advantage of the man-thing with her sisters in the dungeons and at the time was leaving the place trying to find out where her mother was. She had arranged with Donna last night that she would call again around that time just before everyone went to her quarters. Swarming through the corridors she sneakily sent a single fly into her mother’s office which apart from her quarters was one of the few places that contained a telephone.

As soon as her envoy landed in a corner on the ceiling of the room away from any danger she snitched displeased outside the hall. Your mother was sitting there still working.

"Ugh, still working?" thought out loud even though his voice was low enough so his mother wouldn’t pick up his option now was maybe to head to his quarters and try his luck. Not that her mother didn’t suspect her relationship with Donna, but she always preferred her actions to be as discreet as possible. It was a perfect day so she could talk for hours on the phone because her sisters were already very busy and this would avoid a possible catch and together teases every day for maybe a week or two.

The blonde then chose to wait for her mother to leave the office, which she deduced would soon be due to the time and use her phone. Sitting in one of the armchairs in a small living room that was in the hall next to the office she began to feel her body tired. Struggling to keep her eyes open, the minutes seemed like hours when she tried to think of various things to keep her mind active "I shouldn’t have overreacted" she thought to herself. Her eyelids seemed to weigh a ton when she closed her eyes just for a minute.

A gentle touch to her face awakened her when she found her mother’s golden eyes caressing her in an attempt to wake you up without scaring you.

"Oh my little bug, why don’t you go lie down in the bedroom, hmm?"

"I... was going, Mother"

"Sure, then go, good night, love."

"Good night."

Bela vanished in a cloud of insects towards her room, but hid and waited for her mother to pass by to slip under the doorframe and enter her office. Dropping a gasp that even she didn’t know was holding fast she leaned under the table and dialed Donna’s number. While waiting for the line to be picked up, she slapped her forehead for napping on the couch.

As soon as Donna’s voice reached her ears all the sleep and laziness went instantly and a loving smile painted her features. The conversation did not last long due to the time and Bela promised that when she could call again. Closing the office door, she walked up to her smiling, bouncing room. Everyone was already in her quarters and she could smile passionately at herself by shaking her arms beside her body thinking of Donna. When she went to bed that night, she was sure she’d dream dollmaker all night.