Shadows Sins of the Past
Professor Stokes House
Time was still frozen, time had stood still and the residents of Professor Stokes' home were trapped again in a time warp and suspension of time. When the spirit of Julianka of the past disappeared the others turned to peer at each other. "How are we going to help her with this?" Barnabas turned to face Elliott and Julia, glancing to Quentin who finally lifted his head from his arms.
"I used George Patterson to come back through the stairway of time I am not sure what happened to him, I should go back to make sure he made it back." Quentin turned to once again traverse through the forty-seventh parallel and enter the doors to Collinwood in ethereal form. He walked into the drawing room to find George slumped in a chair appearing to be sound asleep. Walking to his side he checked to make sure he was not dead but was as he hoped sleeping.
"I brought him back Quentin, but Victoria is not out of danger. She is now in the time when she will be tested again and this time there are no others there that could protect her. She is with you as we speak and you think she is . . . "
"Joanna Mills, Daphne's sister." Quentin responded and sighed softly. "I have to return to that body so I can make the right decision and not give him back his hand or we all are doomed." He paced to the foyer and looked up on the landing to the second floor was Josette she smiled and shook her head.
"No Quentin this time it is for Victoria to convince you that you should not abandon your wife Jennie and you should not give up the hand that Magda secures for you. To go back with the knowledge you have now you will make too many mistakes that will affect us all in this timeline. So, you should return to your body and allow Sarah and I to see that Victoria is directed to do what she was sent to do and that is destroy Petofi." Josette disappeared from view. When she had Quentin felt his own body begin to dissolve.
Opening his eyes he glanced up and sighed softly, "We must not interfere with what is about to happen. I saw Josette and Sarah, and because she did not kill Petofi she has been sent to 1846 to finish what she should have done in 1796." Quentin slumped down on the table. He was exhausted and he just wanted to sleep at this point. At least he did not have to worry about Duke Henri. Quentin was reliving those memories of so long ago, when he first laid eyes on her in front of Collinwood and he had mistaken her as Joanna Mills. Sitting back he began to remember the memories as if they were fresh and were just occurring for him.
Vicki turned to peer at Quentin, "What did you just call me?" She faced Quentin and studied him realizing he was the original Quentin with those memories and none of her because they had not met in the future. Quentin cocked his head and studied her, then with that charming and devilishly delicious disarming smile chuckled.
"Why I called you Joanna that is who you are is it not?" He took her elbow and started to lead her to the porte conchere. Vicki tugged her arm from him and looked around and sighed softly. She had no idea whom this Joanna was suppose to be but she was going to make it know at this time she was not Joanna Mills.
"Sir, you are mistaken, I am not Joanna Mills. I fear there has been some sort of mistake. My name is Victoria Collins; I am married to Barnabas Collins. I was to meet my husband at the old house is this not the old house?" She stepped back from him and played her part well looking around curiously. She watched the slow easy smile spread across his face and he bowed.
"Well if that is who you wish to be today that is fine by me. It is an honor to meet you Mrs. Collins. However, as Barnabas Collins moved to England some years ago, and would by my estimation be very old by now I cannot see how you could possibly be married to a man that very well may be dead." He gave her a half mocking bow. He continued to study her and felt there was somewhat of an affinity between them. They were attached and he felt the draw to her and wondered what had changed about Joanna to bring about this delusional thought she was not Joanna. "As for this being the old house, the old house lies in that direction and is about a ten minute walk. Would you care for an escort to meet this fictional husband you claim to have?"
Victoria stood back turned to look at the pathway she knew would take her to the old house instead she had already planned to go to the mausoleum and awaken Barnabas from his captive sleep. She knew she could rely on him to back up her claims. Turning back to peer at him she shook her head. "No thank you I really do not believe it will be necessary to have an escort to go and find my husband. I thank you for your offer Mr.?" She knew she had to play it out and pretend she had never met him in order to see through her assignment and to return home to her Barnabas.
"Collins, Quentin Collins and this is Collinwood, the big house. The house you are seeking is through the woods. I fear though my mother gave the gypsies living there permission to reside in the home while they are living on the property. So, if you think you will be allowed to live there I fear that is a grave mistake."
Victoria knew that Joshua had granted the Old House to Barnabas when Joshua and Naomi had relocated to Collinwood. She merely nodded her head and spoke softly. "Thank you Mr. Collins for your help. I can assure you once I am with my husband we shall clear up any misconception as to who has a right to occupy the old house." She turned and felt his hand clamp down over her arm and she was unceremoniously jerked around to face him.
"Cocky little thing are you not. I think you have played this game a little too long and it is time for you to realize you will be expected to be here for dinner. I might add I am sure your fiancé' my brother Edward would not be amused by this claim that you are married to a fictitious Collins family member. Go run along and see for yourself the old house and I shall see you at dinner." He released her arm and turned entering into the vestibule of Collinwood to come up short, looking into the drawing room he saw Joanna Mills standing with her sister Daphne. Turning he watched the tiny figure of Victoria Collins disappear into the wood line and he chuckled. "Well, well, well there are two of you this will be interesting."
Eagle Hill Cemetery
Vicki walked quickly to give the impression that she was going to the old house when she got to the fork in the path she took the one that lead directly to Eagle Hill Cemetery. Walking quickly along the pathway she paused to look around she was sure she heard she was being followed and was not happy if Quentin had decided to follow her. Picking up her skirts she began to run towards the Collins family mausoleum reaching the iron gates she pressed into the gate hearing it squeal in protest at being forced open. "No one has been here for a while obviously." She muttered softly, walked into the crypt area and looked around.
Naomi, Joshua, and Sarah laid to rest and it seemed so sad that they were here and no one had come to pay their respects. "Hello Miss Winters." Vicki smiled and spun around Sarah sat on her sarcophagus pitching her ball. "I have been waiting for you and so has Barnabas. Only he is not your Barnabas in this form. He is my brother that was cursed by Peter Bradford." She clutched her ball close to her chest. Sliding off the top of her resting place she turned and smiled. "I missed you and I am glad you will be here with my brother."
Vicki walked to her and stooped down, reaching forward holding her shoulders. "Do you know why I am here?" Vicki spoke softly she needed a little more information. This time she needed to know who was on her side and who was not.
Sarah hugged her and spoke softly in her ear. "I know you have to keep Quentin from giving Count Petofi back his hand and this time you are going to have to do what you did not do the last time." Sarah stepped back paused looking to the door to the mausoleum. "You were followed, I have to go now. You should come back at dusk and help Barnabas get out." In her way she had placed a light kiss on her cheek stepped back and faded from view. Vicki stepped back into the shadows and watched the door.
A dark figure wearing a heavy cloak walked to the door peering in to the room. Vicki hoped she was hidden from view. The figure tried the door and found that it would not open for him. Frustrated he stepped back and from her corner Vicki could hear another voice outside the door. "Hello, were you looking for something or someone?" She could hear Sarah and thought she was the reason the stranger could not enter into the mausoleum. Her heart skipped a beat when she heard his voice.
"Hello there little girl why are you not in school?"
Vicki held her hand over her mouth to keep from gasping out his name. Mentally she shuddered, "Trask!" She continued to listen to Sarah speak so innocently sweet to that man that sounded so much like the man that had created so much grief for her in the past, surely this was not the same one. Vicki listened to Sarah while she conversed in her oh so innocent voice.
"I do not need to go to school. Why are you here?" Vicki edged to the window to peek out at the two. Trask stood dressed in a large hat and cape, he stood in superior form over Sarah's smaller form.
"What do you mean that you do not have to go to school? You are a child where do you live?" He folded his arms and frowned down at the child whom he had never seen before. "All children around here should attend school and you should be in school now or in your home now what is your name and where do you live?"
Sarah stepped back and looked around, shrugging her shoulders she pointed to the mausoleum. "I live there that is why I do not need to go to school. I know who you are Mr. Trask. You are not a very nice man. You hurt people and you should go now because it is getting dark and you will be here in this cemetery with the dead and it won't be safe for you."
Trask laughed and then reached forward to grab Sarah and found his hands passed right through her. He fell back astounded. "What deviltry is this? What kind of spirit are you?"
Sarah laughed and faded from view, "One that watches you and knows what you do." He could hear her childish giggling with her disappearing from sight.
"This was a figment of my imagination. It did not happen." The wind began to pick up and the sound of howling moans of a thousands seemed to surround him causing him to take flight and run from the cemetery.
Secret Room Collins Family Mausoleum
"He is a silly man and mean, you will need to avoid him Miss Winters, now you need to hurry, and enter the secret room. Barnabas will be awake in an hour." Sarah smiled then disappeared from sight leaving Vicki to shiver in her thin dress. Taking a deep breath she walked to the lions head pulled the ring and waited for the door to open. On silent hinges the door opened exposing the darkness inside, stepping down the stairs, Vicki closed the door and waited for her eyes to adjust. Walking to the nearest candelabra she took the flint and hit it against the edge of the metal frame, starting a spark, she removed the candle and using the same method lit a candle.
Getting one candle to light she lit the other five and stood back and sighed, now all she had to do was wait for an hour and open the casket. Looking around she found an iron post and lifted it and began to work on the chains that had held the casket closed. One by one she worked the chains off and broke the locks. Stepping back she dropped the post on the floor. Bracing her back to the wall she rested and waited. Looking at the locket that held a watch she smiled, it was time to open the casket and release the man that would some day be her husband.
Pushing off the wall, she took a deep breath and knew he had lain in this state for over fifty years he would need blood and she was prepared to give him her blood, she owed it to him. Putting fingers on the casket she found the release and slowly raised the lid. Looking down into the startled gaze of Barnabas by instinct he reached up and grabbed her by the throat. Using his own strength against him, she grabbed his hand and pulled it free and staggered back rubbing her throat and waited for him to exit the coffin. She watched him shift to mist floating to the side of the coffin to slam it with a powerful force. "MISS WINTERS?" He was shocked to see her.
Vicki nodded her head and spoke with a soft rasp he had held her throat tighter than she had expected. "Yes, Barnabas it is I. I have to speak with you and I know that you will not be able to understand what I am saying until you have feasted, so I am offering you my blood to help you." She titled her chin up and exposed her neck to him.
Barnabas was astounded to say the least and he was not sure what trickery or act of witchcraft this was. "Give me one reason why I should not kill you now!" He growled not sure if this was some of Bradford's or Angelique's trickery. He was at her side and in amazement watched her put the coffin between them before he could grab her throat again. "You disappeared and we did not know what happened to you. Then father . . . "
"Chained you in this coffin because he could not bring himself to kill you Barnabas and for that I shall be eternally grateful. You Barnabas Collins are recorded in history that you went to England, your Uncle was not shot but suffered an accident and Josette threw herself from widows hill and no one knew it was because of Peter Bradford or what he did to you." Victoria watched him pacing his movements. When he made a move to attack her she countered his moves with faster ones of her own.
"How is this possible that you can move faster than me? What has happened to you Victoria Winters that you can best a vampire or his powers?" He decided to hear what she had to say. He watched her; his own needs now filled with bloodlust. He could hear her heart beating fast he could smell her sadness and was curious as to why she was not afraid of him.
Vicki took a deep breath and let it out slowly, "I am going to tell you about me Barnabas and how I know so much about you and your family. That is because I come from the year 1969. I traveled through time and space to come back to right wrongs in your timeline. When I had stopped the total destruction of your family line by saving Daniel. I was thrust once again back to my time where I met you Barnabas, where we fell in love and we are planning on being married, but before we could set our wedding date, I died. Your life force and that of your cousin Quentin's who by the way is an immortal was used to bring me back to life." Vicki began to carefully lay out all the details of what had brought her to this point. She watched him study her and the look of incredulity lay on his face until she said one thing.
"You may not wish to believe this but Barnabas I would lay down my life to you now and not use your own powers against you if I thought for one moment that someday I will be back in 1969 planning our wedding. I love you that deeply that I would allow you to end my life now." She stepped around the coffin walked slowly towards him never letting her gaze fall from his. She stood in front of him lifted her chin and closed her eyes. "So, take my life, take my blood and end my life now if I cannot have your love again in the future Barnabas." Her words had grown so soft and were filled with such anguish he looked at her, grabbed her arms, and jerked her hard against his body.
She went limp in his arms and laid her head on his chest and waited for death to welcome it. He held her and something in him began to hear reason in the beat of her heart. "Victoria look at me." He spoke softly waiting for her to lift her chin and look up into his eyes. Peering into her eyes he saw something he had never seen before. He saw his life with her in the future, he saw a look of hope and the undying love she held for him. "You love me?" He spoke softly against her neck, he could hear the blood rushing through her veins, he could hear the soft beat of her heart. He felt her pliable and willing in his arms.
"With all my heart my love. I love you enough that I would die for you this night if that is what it takes to make you understand I need you now. We are in the year 1846. I am trapped in time away from you. We just fought hard against a very evil influence that had taken over your house in the form of your cousin Henri and his friend Count Petofi, he threatens our family in the future." She felt him stiffen with the mention of Petofi and Henri.
The longer he held her the more he was pressed to drink from her to take what he needed. Pushing her away from him he turned his back on her. "I cannot be with you Victoria, I will take from you and I do not want you that way." Victoria pulled his arm tugging him to face her and she smiled.
"My darling, my most precious one, you might take me to the brink of death. You may almost take everything I am from me, but thanks to you and to Quentin, I will recover. I can be killed but not by your drinking from me. You can break my neck, shoot me, trample me with a horse and carriage but you cannot kill me by taking from me. I replenish my supply a lot quicker than most because of what you and Quentin shared with me. So, please my love do this for me so I can keep you safe in this time." She bent her neck and closed her eyes.
Gently at first he took her in his arms and lowered his lips to her neck. Slowly he bit into her neck and held her head in his hand to keep her from jerking away and tearing her throat open. He drank deeply until he heard the beat of her heart slow. Withdrawing from her throat he carefully lowered her to the floor watching her close her eyes. Going down on bended knee he lay next to her while she slept from his feeding from her. There was so much more he needed to know. She said they were in the year 1846. Obviously he would need clothing and a place to stay other than this mausoleum. He needed to protect her. He did not know why he needed to protect her but he knew it was his duty to do so.
Looking to the door he looked at her and made a decision. Rising he spoke softly, "You rest my dear, I shall return." Walking quickly to the secret door he triggered the switch and waited for the door to open. When he stepped out into the main room of the family mausoleum he noticed the three sarcophagi and his father's name and date of death. Turning he stopped his lovely little sister Sarah stood in the corner and smiled.
"She tells the truth Barnabas. She has come from the future to right a wrong she did not finish in our time. You will need to find clothing an you will need to watch her closely so she can complete her task or she may die in this time and you won't be married in her time." Barnabas stepped forward happy to see Sarah seemed to be happy now in her ethereal state.
"Sarah sweet Sarah. Did you bring her to me?" He stood in his 18t century clothing. Having noted when Victoria came to him she was still wearing a dress he had seen her wear many times before. While Sarah stood before him in the day dress she had been buried.
"Yes, I directed her here and that evil Mr. Trask tried to interfere with us but I sent him on his way. You must go to the old house and seek the hidden money Poppa hid there for you along with the deed to the house. There are strangers at the old house and you need to make them understand that they need to help you and Victoria. They do not realize she is part of their tribe, she is half Romano but they will think she is not of their people." Sarah drifted into the corner and smiled for her brother before she faded from view.
Josette's grave sight
Barnabas now had a direction to move in and he had a purpose and she lay on the other side of the door to the secret room. Turning he shifted to mist form and drifted into the cemetery that now filled with the curling tendrils of fog that obviously was rolling in from the ocean. Reforming he stood and looked down at the tombstone he had materialized before and sadness filled him. The name written on the tombstone was Josette duPres Collins. Knelling by her grave he ran his fingertips over her name and spoke softly. "I was not the husband you needed, Jeremiah was and now you and he are gone. Know this my love no one could have loved you as much or more than I had. Now I am here and I want you to know I will take care of Victoria as you always expected me to and I will make you proud of me and not afraid and before I die, I will make Bradford pay for what he did to the both of us." Over head the sky lit up with lightening and the ground vibrated with a roll of thunder smiling Barnabas turned and headed to the old house and a new beginning for him.