Chapter 18

Victoria's Bedroom Collinwood

Victoria was not sure what it was that awoke her from a sound sleep. She just knew her heart was racing and she had the feeling she was in immediate danger. Throwing back the covers from her bed, she sat up and felt the cold hands come down around her body and physically lift her from the bed. She screamed and felt another hand clamp over her mouth and the guttural tones of a man's voice that was vaguely familiar to her was whispering in her ear. "Shut up bitch, you are coming with me!"

The force of the pull was enough to wind her and make her feel she was about to throw up or gag on her own bile. Her body was thrown over a bony shoulder and she was being dragged with her bed clothing down the hallway. Whomever it was that had grabbed her knew Collinwood well, and from the change in the carpeting she now knew she was in the west wing portion of the house. A part of the house that was suppose to originally be her new home with Burke Devlin. She tried to push against the iron tight grip that held her.

Roughly the arms tightened around her cutting off circulation and air that is when Victoria knew she was in serious trouble unless she used what she had gained from Quentin and Barnabas. Shifting her weight she pushed with her enhanced strength and threw the weight of her body to off balance her captor. Feeling him lose his grip she tumbled backwards trying desperately to untangle herself from the bed clothing. A well-placed punch to her face sent her sprawling backwards in an unconscious heap. Reality was no longer her ally but a fleeting thought as blackness descended on her.

Gabriel Collins smiled manically over the now unconscious prize he had sought and was determined to possess. Lifting her in a more conventional manner, he turned and marched to the door that would take him to the stairway in time. "I have you now and nothing can prevent me from losing you. You belong to me and will live out an eternity in my loving arms." He chuckled for once he had what Quentin had desired and always cherished and there was nothing that would keep him from taking what he thought rightfully belonged to him, Gabriel Collins.

Old House

Daphne sat at the feet of Barnabas Collins, her gaze caught and held intently by his. A gentle fingertip traced over her features and he smiled. "I can see some of Josette in your features. You are so lovely my child and I always wondered why I felt so drawn to you. Now I know you are the descendent of a long line that leads back to the first love I ever knew." He bent and placed a chaste kiss upon her forehead. Daphne's eyes closed and she cherished that moment she was sharing with her great, great, great grandfather.

"I always felt there was a connection to the Collins Family, but never did I realize it was through you my beloved Grandfather. It seems so odd that I would call you that. I guess we need to decide what I shall call you from this moment on."

Barnabas chuckled, "I am sure that Victoria would prefer to be a mother before a Grandmother and as you are family, perhaps we should settle on Honore' in French it means Honored one, Grand-père sounds so like Grandfather and that would I fear raise eyebrows unless you wished to call me Pere."

Daphne lifted her chin and took on a thought pose, and smiled. "I like Pere. You and I would know the true meaning of those words spoken from my heart." She watched her Grandfather's face start to pucker up with concern and felt she had said something wrong. Then realized that Quentin too was reacting in much the same way. "What is wrong? Why are you both acting upset? Did I say something wrong?"

Barnabas carefully stood away from Daphne and paced to the window. "You feel it too don't you Quentin, the connection is still strong between you and her." He turned to seek confirmation from Quentin.

Quentin nodded, "We need to go to Collinwood, now." Daphne, with Quentin gently guiding her to the door, turned and looked at Barnabas. "I know you don't want to use conventional means to get to her, use whatever is necessary she is in terrible danger." Barnabas acknowledged and waited for them to leave. This was one thing that was personal to Barnabas and he did not want anyone to witness his ability to metamorphism into a bat or change to mist.

West Wing

Gabriel fumed, the stairs were not there, and did he get the wrong door or closet. Vicki lay still and tried to collect her thoughts and get her equilibrium back. This was not how her life was suppose to end, she was to grow old with Barnabas and live out her life with the one man she ever loved. Trying not to move to much to alert Gabriel of her awake state she assessed her options and knew she had to bide her time. She also knew that if she lay perfectly still, perhaps the fact she was so afraid earlier would alert Quentin and Barnabas to her panic.

Closing her eyes she controlled her breathing and then began to concentrate. "Quentin, Barnabas, it is Gabriel and he has me in a closet in the west wing, please help me." Over and over she kept repeating those words in her mind. At the very peripheral of her mind she felt a nudge and then the calming voice of the man she had come to love more than life itself etched its calm loving words into her mind.

"Calm my love we are on the way and I will be there in less than two minutes. Does he know you are awake? Is he aware of your abilities?"

Vicki let out a slow easy breath. "I don't think so, I am not sure why he has me here. What does this closet have to do with Gabriel being here? I thought Quentin and Daphne said Gabriel died?"

The next voice Vicki heard was that of Quentin's. "Vicki, the closet you are in, is there stairs in that closet?"

Vicki cracked one eye to peer at the closet and she thought a moment and mentally answered Quentin's question. "No, I only see shelves with old linens on them."

"If you see stairs suddenly appear do me a favor you need to keep thinking this year no other year do you understand me? If he picks you up to take you down those stairs, you keep thinking this year, this date only."

Vicki watched the closet to appear to go out of focus and she closed her eyes and began to think only of this date. She remembered a long time ago when that horrid man Jubbah had come to take her from here and how he had brought her to a door that had stairs and they had fought and that is how she had ended up in the time with Quentin. She kept her thoughts focused on the current date when the door was thrust open and Barnabas reached through the door and grabbed Vicki and jerked her into the hallway to the disgruntled shout of Gabriel Collins.

"NO! NO! You cannot have her! She belongs to me!"

Barnabas slammed the door shut on the frustrated and screaming voice of Gabriel. Lifting Victoria up he carried her down the hallway and away from the closet. "Tell Quentin I have you my dear, let him know you are safe in my arms."

Victoria smiled, "He knows my love he and Daphne have arrived and are in the foyer headed this way." Vicki and Barnabas felt themselves thrust forward as Gabriel charged them both from his position down the hallway to throw his body against them both. Vicki tumbled and rolled then stood and glared at Gabriel. "I have about had it with you!" She snarled and faced Gabriel.

"I have about had it with him and he is about to die and I will not be denied your company no longer!" Gabriel shot forward with a knife drawn and ready to plummet it into Barnabas, when Victoria stepped between them and with a sharp hard push much to Gabriel's surprise sent him flying down the hallway, just as Quentin arrived with Daphne.

Gabriel pushed himself up saw Quentin with Daphne and shouted, "NO YOU ARE DEAD!" His rage now focused on Quentin, he charged towards Quentin again this time with blade drawn when he felt himself physically picked up and thrown down the hallway again. Barnabas was raging mad and he had with little effort was able to throw Gabriel with enough strength for him to land with a sickening thud and 'oomph.'

"Stay down Gabriel it will be easier on you if you stay down". Quentin snarled at his brother unable to believe he had found the stairway in time and unable to believe that he had also survived somehow to come here. That would be a question he would soon have answered once they secured Gabriel and carried him to one of the vacant rooms in Collinwood's west wing. Throwing him down in a chair Barnabas glared at him.

Quentin and Daphne stood back they contemplat4ed how this was possible. They both knew that Quentin after Gabriel had thrown Daphne off the cliff; had then been thrown by Quentin from the cliff. The fall had killed them both. Except at this time and in this moment, Gabriel was here and Daphne must have been from another issue that had produced the eighteen hundred Daphne

Vicki huddled in her blanket and looked from Quentin, Daphne to Gabriel. "How can this be explained?" She softly mused hugging the blanket up to her nose and appearing disheveled and confused.

"I know how it was done." A soft sweet voice responded from behind the group, Barnabas and Vicki instantly knew that voice. All turned to peer at sweet Sarah Collins.

"What do you mean you know how it was done?" Quentin was the first to ask the question that was on everyone's mind.

Sarah smiled, "It is really kind of easy if you think about it." She skipped forward and started throwing her ball up in the air and catching it. "It is the same way I sent Victoria back to the past when she needed to know the truth, the difference is this time Angelique had a spell in place, she does not like Miss Winters and she wanted to make trouble along with that Judah Zachary who hates all Collins, that is why Josette and I stay around to protect everyone."

Vicki's brow furrowed, "Judah Zachary who is he?" She looked around for an explanation and no one seemed to be forth coming with any information that would be helpful.

"Maybe we need to ask Professor Stokes or check the family books, it is the first time I have heard this name before." Quentin remarked while watching his crazed brother huffing and puffing with his anger.

Gabriel looked around at all those surrounding him and he glowered, "You all need to just let me take Victoria back with me, once we have her in the past the problems you are having with what happened will be fixed."

All eyes were now on Gabriel, "You know what is going on and how you're here after I threw you off he cliff?" Quentin accused Gabriel and watched the slow knowing smile of deceit cross his face.

"Yes, I made a pact with Judah Zachary and he promised me he would show me a way to get Victoria and he said it would reverse what happened. That I would not die and I could go and be with Victoria." Gabriel crossed his arms over his chest and glared defiantly at them all.

Sarah skipped up and cocked her head sideways, "You know he lied to you, he has no intentions of letting you keep Victoria he wanted her for his own reasons and you were just his pawn in his chess game."

"From the mouths of babes no truer words were spoken." Elliott head heard voices from the West Wing when he went looking for Vicki and Barnabas, now he walked up from the long hallway and stood looking at young Gabriel, "And this is a problem. From my calculations, I believe it will be next to impossible to send him back by your stairway through time Quentin, he is I fear stuck here for now."

This was news to Gabriel who now stood up in outrage, "NO! HE SAID HE WOULD LET ME COME BACK WITH VICTORIA!" His fear and anger had now consumed him and he had balled his fists up and his eyes were bulging.

"SIT DOWN GABRIEL!" Quentin shouted back and shoved his brother down in the chair. Quentin had about had it with Gabriel and his simple-minded directness. "Be quiet you are not leaving with Victoria and you are now stuck in a time you have no clue how to survive. Now shut up and let us figure this out."

"Perhaps to keep the family from being upset we should take Gabriel and head to the Old house, at least there we are the only ones that knows what is going on and see how we can resolve this issue. " Barnabas was the first voice of reason, "Daphne, take Victoria back to her room and help her dress, Professor Stokes, why not go ahead of us to make sure no family member accidently meets Gabriel and we have some unnecessary explanations to make."

Daphne gently laced her hand around Vicki's arm and helped her cover up with her blanket and untangle her legs from the twisted ends of her blanket. "Come on Vicki, we can get you dressed."

Elliott dropped the monocle from his eyes and nodded, "Very good old boy sound and logical reasoning that is what is needed right now, if we are in deed to come under the attack of one Judah Zachary, then we will need to regroup, and yes I do have some of the information you were seeking about this man and his dealings with the Collins Family. I shall be your advanced guard." Elliott turned smartly and walked down the hallway.

Barnabas and Quentin lifted Gabriel up from the chair, and escorted him at a more leisurely pace down the hallway. "Gabriel do you even know what year you have fallen into by taking that stairway through time?"

"I don't care, I came to claim what you wanted and I would have succeeded had you and Cousin Barnabas not interfered I could have made her happy." He mumbled childishly.

"That explains how Daphne and how Gabriel are here, if Judah switched the timelines and placed a spell, but Sarah said Angelique had her hand in this too, she was around during that time as another wife to you Quentin, was she not?"

"As Katherine, she appeared as Evan Hanley's sister. She was a powerful witch and said she could end my curse by Magda." Quentin sounded regretful," So yes she was summoned by Evan."

"Well in this time, Quentin Evan is known as Nicholas Blair, and she has appeared here as his sister Cassandra Blair. So, your friend Evan was also a part of the dark order of Diablos and they have transcended time and created problems for us all in one form or another." Barnabas remarked glaring at the struggling Gabriel. "Gabriel I am not your brother and you are annoying me. If you do not settle down when we get to the old House I am going to have you shackled in one of the slave cells in the cellar and you would not like it. So, you are caught, now cooperate."

Gabriel let out a long protracted sigh and relaxed in their hold. "Fine, for now I shall cooperate."

They escorted him down the hallway where Victoria and Daphne met up with them, and entroup they walked to the landing of the main hallway. All was going fine until they got to the bottom of the stairs, and noticed that young David Collins had distracted Elliott; who in a typical David way had sensed something was amiss. "Professor Stokes, I did not know you were here, I am glad I kind of wanted to ask you about a book I found and it had some spells in it."

"David dear boy, why not bring it by the house tomorrow, we shall look at it together, I can send Hallie out to pick you up if you wish."

In was in that moment that was when Elizabeth Collins Stoddard decided to open the door to the drawing room and stepped into the hallway "What is going on?"

She let that assessing gaze shift over Vicki, Daphne, Quentin, Barnabas, and Elliott to come and rest on Gabriel. "Who is this? Why was I not told we had a guest?"

Gabriel was struck by how much this woman looked like his sister Judith, the clothing was scandalous and the hair more tightly rolled in curls but he definitely recognized the jewels she wore as belonging to his mother. "I am Gabriel . . . "

"He is a friend visiting me dear Elizabeth," Elliott quickly cut Gabriel off and turned to Barnabas and Quentin, "I think young Gabriel should be escorted to my house, would you gentlemen please see him to my car?" He smiled turned to Elizabeth walked to take her hand and kiss it gently. "I might add you look especially radiant tonight my dear Elizabeth and might I say that dress does so much for your eye color, it draws out the deep blue of your lovely eyes."

Barnabas and Quentin did not need any more than that distraction to hustle Gabriel out the door and into the night and to a strange contraption made of metal and glass. "What mode of transportation is this?" Gabriel looked around the car in amazement. "Is this one of those horseless carriages?"

Quentin slid in on one side while Barabbas sandwich him between them. "It is called a vehicle, a motorized and gas operated conveyance that can achieve speeds of up to one hundred miles per hour." Quentin said through clinched teeth.

"What an age I have landed in, what other advances have we made?" Gabriel was astonished. Then the drone overhead caused him to duck and peer out the back windshield to see the flashing red and white lights of a low flying airplane. "What magic is that contraption?" He was amazed and astonished to see something so large suspended in the air.

"That is an airplane and we own one Gabriel and we will let you see what it is like to travel in one if you are a good boy and not cause problems." Quentin reassured his brother through gritted teeth. "We are in a modern age Gabriel only what could have been imagined to be impossible has become possible. I shall show you some of the marvels as long as you behave and leave Miss Winters alone. She is Barnabas' fiancé' here and they will be planning their wedding soon, all that you knew is gone here and you are the stranger in paradise when it comes to this time."

Gabriel watched Elliott exit the big manor house and come to the driver's side of the car, sliding in behind the wheel, he watched and paid attention, he was by far not stupid but this was fascinating. It held him spell bound. The odd silver key went into the dash and it turned and the car's engine purred to life, then they were moving and driving down the driveway at a speed he had only achieved in a horse and buggy when the horses were in a full gallop, he could smell an odd warming smell coming from the front of the car, and surmised that Elliott had heat. "This is amazing you have a conveyance that is self heated?"

Elliott sighed softly, "If we ever get him back, we will need Julia to do her magic on him." He remarked to no one in particular and got no response from those in the back seat. Elliott surmised they knew what he had intimated and left it at that. They drove out to the highway and Elliott got the car's speed up to a healthy forty-five miles per hour and Gabriel closed his eyes to imagine they were traveling faster than he had ever except on a train that was steam powered and even then the train did not go as fast as this single vehicle.

No longer obsessed with coveting Victoria Winters he was now possessed to learn all he could about this time. "What of medical advances? How far have they come in that field?" He was most curious and this somewhat pleased Elliott and concerned him. However Elliott knew that if he had Julia to erase his mind when he was sent back it did not matter what he saw or how much he saw.

"Major advances dear boy and once you are acclimated to this time I shall take you and show you a modern hospital and to the College campus so you can see that education has come further than you could imagine." This did excite Gabriel. Elliott turned the car and drove up the long winding driveway that was now the old house's driveway, the front of the majestic building was alight with front porch lights, the circle drive way had been paved, and the house must have gotten a fresh coat of paint.

"You know I don't think I ever recall this house looking so well, as it does now. Is it complete with modern conveniences like Collinwood?"

Barnabas looked down, "That was not my original intention but yes, because Victoria desired it and I wish to make her happy." He held his hand in one hand and looked at the silver wolf's head on his cane and sighed, "We have plumbing and electricity and heat although I still enjoy the charm of the fireplaces, we have updated the house to fit the needs for this time."

"Why would you not like to updte your house? Surely, you would not like to live as your ancestor had in the late seventeen hundreds Cousin Barnabas or like your other ancestor did in the mid Eighteen hundreds." Gabriel was waiting for the confession from Barnabas that he like Quentin and he had arrived from the mid eighteen hundreds to this time and had easily adjusted.

"I embrace what is true to the nature of the house when I first arrived it was not until I gave my heart to Victoria and she was sucked back in time that I had to follow her and in this time we have grown extremely fond of one another and I gainsay I have fallen in love with Victoria and she has consented to be my wife." Barnabas would broke no argument from Gabriel on this point, this was something he wanted made abundantly clear, Gabriel was not to interfere with his romance with Victoria.

Quentin sighed, "You see Gabriel, I did come forward through that stairway in time, and found myself here in this time and had to adjust and I have become very wealthy in this time. I met the current family and as you noticed Elizabeth does look like Judith but she is nothing like Judith, Elizabeth is a strong and brilliant minded woman with a good business sense, and she runs the Collins Cannery here in this time and before we tell her tyou are a Collins you need to become more acclimated to this time and we need to find an explanation for your being here."