This story takes place in the summer of '98 which I'm
telling you for reference purposes, I suppose. Also as a
note, I am not trying to infringe on the copyrights of
the creators of P:TL or its distributors. They deserve
all the credit for the characters and some of the places.
I, however, take full credit for the character (and other
characters who are a part of her history) I created for
this story (and others to come). I am borrowing those
from P:TL and have done so with love and care for the
rights of those who own them! I didn't write this for
monetary gain. Hope you like it!
Nick silently stood in the hall and watched as two, brawny moving men began placing boxes and furniture into a once empty bedroom not far from his own.
A transfer from the Milwaukee Legacy House would be arriving within a day or two. Maybe even sooner. Nick had only recently heard the news from Alex. It was by accident that she had even heard.
Nick hadn't been told the name of the transfer, but from some of the items being hauled in, he assumed the transfer was female.
Derek supervised the movers to be sure nothing had been damaged or misplaced during the trip over as the transfer had requested. The transfer had also sent an inventory along so she could be certain everything made safely it to the Legacy House before her.
Nick silently walked over and stood in the doorway behind Derek. "I need to talk with you," he harshly whispered in his Precept's ear.
Derek froze a bit as he hadn't expected anyone to be behind him. "Take a break, gentlemen," he gently ordered. The men shrugged and left. Derek then turned to Nick. "What is it?" Derek requested.
"Who's the transfer," Nick asked, "and why weren't we told about her?"
"Well, at least you know the transfer is a female," Derek flatly returned.
"Would you at least tell me her name?"
"Do you really need to know?"
Nick was rapidly growing tired of not receiving answers. "Yes," he curtly replied.
"If you won't give me a straight answer --"
Derek slightly smirked. "You shouldn't be so worried about her," he stated, "She'll be here soon enough to answer your questions."
"Where's she from?"
"The Mystic and Magick Shoppe in Milwaukee," Derek replied.
Nick was slightly confused now. "So she's not a transfer?"
"She's a transfer from the Milwaukee Legacy House. Things haven't been working out there for her and she requested a transfer."
"What do you mean? Not working out there?" inquired Nick. His brow was wrinkled thoughtfully.
"You can ask her yourself soon enough."
Lysa Ryan vacantly stared out the window of the airplane as it soared over now tiny cities. She loathed flying so very much, but it was the only way she could get to San Francisco before it was too late for her.
Lysa wondered how much she would have to tell them when she arrived. She also wondered how she would be received and what kinds of questions she would have to answer. Lysa nearly shuddered at the thought.
By her calculations, the trip would take all of three hours -- give or take an hour. Since they had taken off at 8 AM -- Central Standard Time, she should arrive in San Francisco by 8 AM -- Pacific Standard Time.
Lysa sighed deeply and closed her eyes. She desperately needed to sleep and she hoped that getting off the ground would keep her from the nightmares that plagued her on the ground.
Rachel and Katherine Corrigan entered the Legacy House early on the bright Friday morning and instinctively knew something was different. Katherine dashed upstairs before Rachel could warn her not to go. Rachel quickly followed her daughter's path.
Rachel could hear things being cautiously placed on the floor. Katherine was already standing in the doorway to the room.
"Kat," scolded Rachel, "you know better. We only stopped by on our way to the school so I could pick up some papers I left."
"There's a transfer coming," Kat said. She was holding a teddy bear from one of the boxes. "She's scared. There's something after her and she's not sure she's powerful enough to handle it."
Derek nodded in silent agreement to Katherine's statements. The moving men left the trio alone in the room since their job had been completed.
"Kat, that's not yours, honey," Rachel coaxed, "Put it down."
Kat only pulled the bear closer to her chest. "She's my friend," Kat complained, "It's okay, Mom."
Rachel turned to Derek for help. Kat had never behaved this way before and it was unnerving Rachel a bit about the transfer. She hoped Derek could persuade Kat to at least let go of the teddy bear.
"Put it down, Katherine," Derek reasoned, "Lysa wouldn't like you taking her things if she's not here."
Kat reluctantly placed the teddy bear back in the box where she had found it. Then she slowly exited the room.
"A transfer," Rachel said once Kat was gone. Derek nodded. "When did this happen?" she asked.
"Last week," he pronounced, "She's from the new Milwaukee House."
"Haven't they had a lot of problems lately," inquired Rachel. Her slight distress and distrust of the transfer was becoming apparent.
Derek absently stared out the window as he responded. "Yes, that's why she's coming here." He paused. Rachel would be the first to hear part of the reason behind Lysa Ryan's transfer. "That and her services haven't been needed there -- not recently at least."
"Lysa is a witch. She also has the Sight. It was passed on through generations of her family. Her grandmother taught her about them both. It's her life, her legacy."
"No matter where you go, Lysa," a harsh voice whispered, "We will be there."
"There's no where to run anymore, Lysa," another breathed, "And no one can save you now."
Lysa jumped at least an inch from her seat. She could feel the stinging sweat running into her ocean blue eyes. The passenger seated next to her wore a look of concern, but he never uttered a sound. Lysa forced a small smile and dashed to the restroom to wash the sweat from her face and the sleep from her tired eyes.
In the restroom, Lysa cleaned herself up a bit. The plane was nearing its final destination and she had been fortunate enough to nap through more than half of the trip, but not fortunate enough to escape the nightmares. Absently, Lysa scrutinized a reflection in the mirror she hardly recognized anymore.
There were times when Lysa had been mistaken for a 16 year old and other times when people believed she was at least twenty-five. At that moment, Lysa appeared no more than eighteen. She wore a frightened and innocent look on her usually cheerful face.
The plane suddenly began to pitch and shake a little. The captain announced it was turbulence and they would safely land in approximately 15 minutes.
Lysa snickered to herself. "Turbulence," she laughed, "right. It's more like the work of those who are after my soul."
"A witch?" remarked Nick. He couldn't help laughing a little at the thought.
Rachel nodded and replied, "At least that's what Derek says. He also says this girl has the Sight."
Nick softly laughed again. "No wonder she's coming here."
Alex, however, was genuinely curious about the transfer and this new information made her even more curious about her. "Did you find out her name?"
Rachel thought back to her conversation with Derek. "He mentioned it once -- to Kat. I think it was, um. . . Lysa."
"Are you sure?" Alex asked. Rachel nodded. "And no last name?" pressed Alex. Rachel shook her head.
Alex pondered what her next course of action should be. Then she began to type information into the computer and download the data files from the Milwaukee Legacy House. Moments later, the printer spewed forth the papers for Alex to read.
"What are you doing?" Nick requested.
Alex looked up. "I'm finding out more about our transfer."
Lysa impatiently tossed her shoulder blade length, ginger brown hair back and waited for her ride to the Legacy House. Soon a Range Rover pulled up. Inside were two men. Lysa readily recognized one of them.
"Pip," she gushed, "is that really you?" The color returned to her cheeks and she looked much cheerier than moments earlier.
The priest smiled. "Get in, Lee."
Lysa dutifully did so. She tossed a duffle bag and three suitcases in before her. Then she sat down and buckled herself in.
"I'm Derek Rayne," the driver said, extending his hand, "I've heard a lot about you, young lady."
Lysa smiled. "Lysa Skye-Ryan," she replied, shaking Derek's hand, "and don't worry. I'm not as bad as you may have heard."
Philip took the hint. "Hey," he defensively stated, "I didn' tell 'im anythin'."
"So, Mr. Rayne," Lysa began.
Derek held up his hand to interrupt her as he pulled out of the airport parking lot. "Please," he announced, "call me Derek."
"Of course," replied Lysa, "but as I was saying, you're the Precept of this House, correct?" Derek nodded as he drove. "How much did you tell the others about me?"
"Nothing at all," Derek stated, "so you'll have a lot of questions to answer regarding yourself and your transfer."
"Thanks a lot," she grumbled.
Philip laughed. He partially turned in his seat to see his old friend's face. It had been nearly five years since they last saw each other. Lysa wasn't more than 15 years old then. It might have been longer, but Philip was certain that the little Lysa he had known then had grown up to be a very accomplished young lady.
Something about the expression she wore disturbed him though. "Ya look worried," Philip expressed, "frightened." Now he, too, wore a concerned look for Lysa.
"You've heard about the specters following me, correct?" Philip nodded slightly for he knew they had always been with her. "They're still following me," she responded, "Still after me."
"Why," pressed Philip. He hadn't thought these spirits would ever do anything to harm Lysa, but from the look on her face, he knew they were.
"Because I have a great power within me that's been passed on through generations of my family. They crave my power. They demand that I turn my back on everything I've worked for to do their bidding. And because they know I'm afraid that I can't overcome them, they desire me even more."
"Lysa Miri Ryan," Alex read aloud, "Born on July 22, 1977. Her father is Henry Ryan, age 42, Precept of the Milwaukee House. Her mother was Romany Skye-Ryan, deceased in 1988. Her siblings are Tawnie Ryan, sister, deceased 1981; Alika Ryan, sister, age 19, student at Harvard Law School; and Cam Ryan, brother, age 16, student at the Milwaukee School of the Arts. She has a step-mother, too. Dai Shiro-Ryan, age 38, high school biology teacher."
"Anything else?" Rachel anxiously asked.
"Not much. Just her history, other relatives. Stuff like that," Alex replied.
Nick stood up. "Well, at least we know more than before," he stated, "but we still don't know enough."
"Well, Derek and Philip went to pick her up from the airport so she'll be here soon enough to answer our questions," Alex contended.
"Yea, I know," continued Nick, "but I'd rather not be at such a disadvantage in this situation."
Philip carried two of Lysa's suitcases while Derek took the other. That left Lysa with her duffle bag which she refused to let the others touch.
Once inside the estate, Derek and Philip silently showed Lysa to her room and placed her bags inside it. Her Victorian-style canopy bed was already assembled and her dresser, two cabinets, nightstand and desk set were placed in the sites she had designated for them earlier.
Lysa tossed the duffle bag onto her undressed bed and reopened all of the boxes. She immediately began emptying the contents of each box as the men made their silent retreat.
Soon she was placing shelves on her walls and items on the shelves. An old fishing net was tacked in one corner and Lysa piled all of her stuffed animals onto the net.
As Lysa continued to work, there was a sudden knock at the door and a small child slowly entered. Lysa proceeded to hang clothes in her closet as the girl watched. The only task left her now, besides blessing the room, was to dress her bed.
"Hello, Katherine," stated Lysa as she completed her current task.
"Hello," Kat shyly replied, "Is it okay for me to be here?" Lysa nodded. Kat looked over at the pictures on Lysa's dresser. "Who's this girl here?" she asked.
Lysa immediately halted. "That's my sister, Alika, when she was six," Lysa replied, kneeling next to Kat," Do you know what Alika means?" Kat shook her head. "It means 'girl who drives out beautiful women'," Lysa continued with a giggle, "Your name, Katherine, means 'pure'."
Kat brightly smiled. "Where were you?"
After a moment of reflection, Lysa replied, "In. . . in Scotland."
"You've been to Scotland," Katherine excitedly queried.
"I've been to a lot of places."
"Who are these two girls?"
Lysa frowned. Her face saddened. "It's Tawnie and me. We were about three. Tawnie died the next year."
"Is that why you're so powerful?" pressed Kat. Her tiny hand rested on Lysa's shoulder.
Lysa didn't answer the question. "Want to help me dress my bed?" asked Lysa instead. Kat eagerly nodded. "I'll explain everything another time, Kat," Lysa added, "I promise."
"I know you will, Lysa."
All of the Legacy members were gathered in the library. Lysa sat opposite Philip and next to Alex. Even Katherine was asked to be there.
"Does anyone have any questions?" Derek began.
Kat quickly spoke up. "What happened to your sister?"
"Katherine," Rachel reproved, "you know better than that."
"No," Lysa stated, "it's okay." She waited for a response but received none. "Why don't I start with my name? I'm Lysa Miri Skye-Ryan. That's Lisa with a 'y' not an 'i'. I know the database states my name as Lysa Miri Ryan, but that's my father's doing. I'm sure you've all seen the file," she rambled.
Alex nodded while the others refused to acknowledge it.
Lysa continued, "My grandma, whom I call Tika, taught me about witchcraft and my Sight when we lived in New York. When we relocated to Scotland, where my father was a temporary Precept, Madame Mikaela continued to teach me. Anything else?"
"What did happen to your sister Tawnie?" Alex requested.
Lysa deeply sighed. She knew she'd have to answer this question sooner or later and she'd just as soon get it over with. "Tawnie and I were twins. My father named me because Lysa means 'God is my oath', but my mother changed the spelling. She named Tawnie because it meant 'little one' and it's a Gypsy name. Anyway, Tika told my mother that Tawnie and I had a strong bond and that our power would be the end of one of us. My mother ignored it for awhile, until our second birthday. Tawnie and I got very sick and were put into the hospital. Tika said there were many evil spirits around us trying to take hold of our souls and our power. Tika said there were also good spirits fighting for us and they were winning. It was two years later that evil took a hold of Tawnie, but it was I who held the power to fight their desires. Again we ended up in the hospital. The doctors had no idea what was wrong, but Tika knew. She said she would have to perform a soul transfer so that my body would hold Tawnie's essence, her power while the rest of her soul passed on. My father refused, but my mother had Tika do it behind his back. Afterwards, I grew well and strong quickly and I watched Tawnie grow sickly and die. From that day on, my IQ rapidly grew. My memory rapidly increased. My spirit became ready to learn the ways Tika wanted to teach me."
"What happened?" Alex anxiously asked.
"Well, my father refused to let me learn. We moved to Seattle where Cam was born and stayed there until my ninth birthday when we returned to New York," replied Lysa.
"Why did your dad take you back to New York?" Nick asked.
"The House there needed his services so the Precept of the Seattle House let him go," answered Lysa, "It also seemed something was drawing us back."
"It said in your files that you began studying Wicca when you were ten," Alex stated, "Why did your grandmother wait so long to teach you?"
Lysa let out a laugh that sounded more like a breath. "A boy, Frankie, died in my arms a few days after my tenth birthday. To protect me, Tika decided it was time, regardless of what my father said, to teach me Wicca and about my Sight -- which I knew nothing about until then."
Philip slightly smiled. "What about those spirits?" he asked, "What do they wan' with ya?"
"Well, Pip, I've already told you and Derek about it. There are strange specters following me who crave my power and I feel I'm too weak to combat them alone," Lysa replied, "If I'm not careful, I may be swayed by their dark power."
"Pip?" Katherine asked, "Why do you call Philip 'Pip'?"
"I've known Father Callaghan since I was about 13 or so. I've always called him Pip and he's always called me Lee. I don't think that's changed. Has it, Pip?"
Philip smiled again. "No, it hasn'. At least not t'my knowledge."
"Any other questions?" Derek requested.
Nick eyed Lysa for a moment. "When did you join the Legacy?" he asked.
Her blue eyes locked, for the moment, with Nick's hazel eyes. She was utterly enchanted by Nick. She mentally shook it off and answered his question.
"I was seventeen. I had just completed some college courses in ancient languages, mythology and paranormal phenomenon when I was recruited and initiated by the London House. It was the first and possibly the last time the Legacy would allow something like that to happen," she replied. There was a lilt in her voice as she spoke to Nick. One that made her sound as if Nick made her feel nervous.
"Why did you transfer?" asked Rachel.
"My father is the Precept of the Milwaukee House. He asked me to join him from the Inverness House in Scotland. My Precept, Dr. Duncan Munroe, allowed me to make my first transfer since moving from the London House to the Inverness House," Lysa explained, "Well, I wasn't as needed as my father made it sound. He needed a cover for the House and my background in Wicca gave him one. Since being there, I only kept the books for the Mystic and Magick Shoppe. I requested a transfer. I could feel something coming, something evil. I'm afraid the Milwaukee House may soon turn on the rest of the Legacy and I didn't want to be there when it did."
Derek stopped the others from asking any further questions. "I think it's time we showed Lysa around the House, shall we?"
Nick stood in the hall and watched with a sense of awe and wonderment as Lysa began some sort of Wiccan ritual in or to her room. He wasn't sure which it was until he heard Lysa speak.
Lysa began by finding the center of her room with a beautiful, golden goblet in hand. The goblet was filled with cheap, red wine.
First, Lysa faced the East. Her eyes were closed. "Lady of Love and Power and all blessings," she chanted, "breath love into this room, fill the air with good. Through you, in you, I bless this room." She concluded by taking a delicate sip from her goblet.
Next, she turned to the South with closed eyes. "Lady of Love and Living and all blessings," Lysa pronounced, "warm this room with comfort. Through you, in you, I bless this room." Again, she concluded by drinking the wine.
Then Lysa turned to the West. "Lady of Tide and Time and every blessing," she said, "let every hour flow sweetly in this room. Through you, in you, I bless this room." Following this, Lysa again drank from the goblet.
Finally, with eyes closed tight, she faced the North. "Lady of Strength and Riches and all blessings," sang Lysa, "make this room strong and filled with earthly good. Through you, in you, I bless this room." This time Lysa emptied the goblet and turned to the four points, announcing she had finished blessing the room.
Once Nick realized she had concluded her ritual, he knocked on her open door. Lysa turned toward the sound with an odd look on her face. "May I come in?" he politely inquired.
"I don't see why not," Lysa replied, gesturing for him to enter. The bellowing sleeves on her long, white dress flowed with her as she did so.
Nick smiled slightly and stepped inside. "Can we talk?" he asked.
"I thought that's what we were doing."
Nick softly chuckled. "You know what I meant," he stated. His voice held a playful quality to it.
Lysa smiled. "Yea," she replied, "but I like being a smart ass sometimes."
Nick nodded his understanding. "So I've noticed," he added, "I was just wondering about some things." Lysa eagerly nodded for Nick to continue. "Do I make you nervous?" he suddenly asked.
Lysa stared out the window. "It's Frankie," she murmured, "He'll --"
"He'll what?" Nick walked over to her and reached out to touch her shoulder. Just as his fingertips brushed it, Nick felt some force hit his stomach so hard that he flew back onto Lysa's bed.
She went to Nick's side and bent over him protectively. "Leave him alone," Lysa cried, "He didn't do anything to me."
Frankie suddenly materialized. He appeared to be no more than thirteen. "He tried to touch you Lee," Frankie snapped, "He can't touch you."
"Nick is my friend, Frankie," firmly stated Lysa, "You had no right to do that."
Nick stared at the child-spirit behind Lysa. "I'm sorry," he nervously breathed, "I didn't know."
"Don't, Nick," begged Lysa, "Don't give him that advantage over you."
Frankie smirked. "If he hurts you, Lysa," he threatened, "I'll kill him. . . like the others." He began to fade away.
"Frankie, don't you dare," Lysa growled, "Just pass on and leave me to live my life in peace."
Frankie was not just a misty figure. "Not until I get my dying wish," he whispered.
"Which was?" asked Nick.
By then Frankie had disappeared and he either refused to reply or left the area because Nick never got his answer.
"That's what makes me nervous," Lysa stated, helping Nick to his feet, "Are you okay?" She tried to smile to make him feel better.
Nick forced a smile himself. "I'll be all right," he replied, "eventually."
"You should lay down and rest, Nick," Lysa added with concern. She had her arm around his waist as she helped him from her room.
"What happened, Nick," said Alex, "You look like death warmed over."
"Frankie happened," retorted Nick. He winced in pain and drew in a sharp breath.
"What?" Alex said as she helped steady Nick as well.
"Nick touched my shoulder and Frankie snapped," Lysa explained, "The only man Frankie lets touch me is Pi -- er, Philip. . . and older guys."
Nick chuckled and winced again. "I guess that counts me out," he stated with pain apparent in his voice.
"That's obvious," retorted Alex, "You should really lay down, Nick."
"That's what I told him."
"I'll be all right," Nick said, "as long as I don't touch you again."
"You're touching me now," Lysa replied with a slight smile. Alex nodded in agreement.
"So then, where's Frankie," Nick requested. There was a tinge of fear in his voice.
"Maybe he gave up," announced Alex with a shrug.
Lysa smiled to herself. "Or maybe he got his dying wish."
Lysa stood outside in the garden. She breathed deeply to take in all the perfumed, summer air around her. It was beautiful out there. It was almost as if Lysa was transported to another world of beauty and grace like one she had never seen before. The wind gently blew. The breeze drew her dress closer to her body.
Lysa silently strolled through the garden. Her mind was cluttered with thoughts.
Philip watched from a safe distance. He smiled at Lysa. He envied her freedom. Her freedom to live. Her freedom to love. Philip envied Nick, too, because Nick could act on any feeling he may have for Lysa. Philip could only offer her friendship where Nick could offer her an intimate form of love.
Lysa finally noticed Philip standing there. The wind was picking up and her hair was whipping around her face now. "Pip," Lysa called, constantly brushing hair our of her eyes, "Pip, when did you get here?"
Philip walked towards Lysa. "I've been he'e for a while," he replied, "Ya look happy." He looked down at her face.
"I think Frankie is gone," Lysa said, "but I'm not sure."
Philip allowed himself a small smile as he brushed some of the hair out of Lysa's eyes. "I heard what happened t'Nick," he announced, "Is he all right?" Lysa nodded. "That's good," Philip continued, "and I hope Frankie is gone."
There was a long, awkward silence between the two. Then Philip added, "What was Frankie's dyin' wish?"
Lysa stared down at her slipper-like shoes. "He wanted a kiss," she softly replied, "and for me to find someone willing to care for me and love me the way he would have loved me."
Philip put his arm around Lysa's tiny waist. "Cheer up, Lee," he said, "Maybe half of his dyin' wish came true t'day." Lysa only gave him a look of confusion in reply. "It's Nick that ya found, Lee," Philip clarified, "I know ya care for him. And I'm pretty sure he likes ya."
Lysa gently and playfully punched the priest in his stomach. "Let's get back inside. It's getting cold out here," she pronounced with a shiver.
Philip nodded in agreement and together, arm in arm, the old friends entered the House again.
Nick was seated on top of the table in one of the many rooms in the estate. Philip walked in first with Lysa in tow. Nick only glanced up and nodded his greetings before continuing to read through the papers spread before him.
"Where's Derek," asked Philip. Nick nodded towards the wall in response.
Philip understood. He walked towards and then through the wall, leaving Lysa alone with Nick.
"What's that," requested Lysa. She sat in a chair in front of Nick.
Nick slightly lifted his head. From his angle, he could peek down the front of her dress although Nick didn't understand why his eyes wandered down there.
"Um, it's just some papers Derek asked me to take a look at," he finally replied. Get a hold of yourself, he thought.
"May I?" Her delicate hand was outstretched.
Nick slightly smiled and handed her one paper. "A guy swears he saw his wife walking around his house. The only problem is she's been dead for at least a year," Nick explained, "So, we took some readings over a two-week period and this is what we got."
Lysa nodded and turned her attention to the paper Nick had handed her. "The PK readings are off the chart," observed Lysa, "Any impressions from Alex or Derek?"
"Right here," stated Nick, handing her the handwritten reports. He was visibly impressed by Lysa's extensive knowledge of the paranormal. "Derek wasn't sure we should trust his account," Nick added, "because he had prior knowledge of the incident."
Lysa only nodded her head as she read one report and then the next. She looked up and handed Nick all the papers. "Sounds like they both received similar impressions," she stated, "Both felt a woman in her early-thirties who was newly wed. Both felt she was sad and refused to leave her husband. So what else does Derek need?"
Nick shook his head then said, "Well, you've dealt with this sort of thing before. What can we do to send her on?"
"Give her a reason to believe she can leave her husband -- unless the husband wants her to stay. Then no amount of effort is worth it because she can feel her husband's desire to have her there."
Nick smiled. His hazel eyes danced at the enthusiasm in Lysa's voice. "That's what Derek said," he replied. Please don't be mad at me, he thought.
Lysa studied Nick. "Derek didn't need you to look over those, did he?" she requested. Nick didn't reply. "This is Derek's way," Lysa continued as calmly as she could, "or yours, of seeing if I'm going to be a help or a hindrance. Excellent job, Nick. You got me there."
Nick hopped off the table. "It was Derek's idea," he stated, "If you haven't done much for the Milwaukee House, he couldn't be sure you'd do much here."
Lysa followed Nick into the control room. Immediately, her eyes fell on Derek. "Nice way of testing me! And what if I didn't give an acceptable response, Derek?" she roughly requested, "Would you send me back?"
Derek looked past the anger Lysa showed towards him and saw she was afraid of being sent back. "I would have evaluated your response before making a decision on your future in this Legacy House."
"Meaning you'd send me back."
"No, meaning I'd make a decision according to your answer," retorted Derek, "but you have nothing to worry about now, do you, Lysa?"
Lysa contemptuously rolled her eyes. "So, what's going on?" she asked Alex.
"Well, we've been tracking the PK readings in the House since you arrived," explained Alex, "Frankie isn't the only one following you."
Suddenly a rush of wind blew through the room. The screens all began blinking and things were beeping in warning. The room was losing power and losing it quickly. Everyone felt the cold, almost sinister wind blowing around them.
"What is it?" Nick shouted over the noise.
Lysa's voice dramatically changed. It was deep and ungodly. "We're taking her," she stated in this wicked voice, "Lysa is ours."
Lysa had marched out of the room, leaving a tremendous mess behind. Philip began picking up and soon Alex joined him. Papers had been scattered and their printer went up in flames. Derek stood amid it all and sighed.
"What is it?" Nick asked.
"We've lost her, Nick," Derek plainly stated.
"No," replied Nick, "I don't believe that. There has to be something we can do."
Philip watched Nick and saw the passion in the young man's eyes. Philip knew Nick wouldn't give up until they saved Lysa. "She thinks she's t'weak t'defeat this," Philip announced, "We all heard 'er say that."
"So," was Nick's anxious response.
"So," continued Philip, "if we can make 'er believe she's strong, Lysa will have a better chance."
"What if we help her believe she'd lose too much by giving in to these -- whatever they are?" Alex asked.
"It might give her the strength she needs," answered Derek, "so it's worth a shot."
"How do we convince her?" Nick inquired with a sigh.
"She cares for ya, Nick," said Philip, "and if Lysa knew ya cared for 'er, that's one thing that might convince 'er t'fight these demons."
"We need her," Alex added, "and if she knew how much we needed her, it could help as well." Philip nodded.
"What about Katherine?" Derek asked.
"What do you mean?" Nick inquired in return.
"Where is she?"
"She's getting out of school right now. She only had to go for the afternoon," Alex replied, "Why?"
"Get Rachel on the phone and tell her to bring Katherine with her. Tell her it's an emergency," Derek ordered. Alex nodded and quickly did as he asked.
"What are ye thinking, Derek?" Philip requested.
"Lysa and Kat have a connection," Derek rambled, "Kat could give Lysa the strength she needs. With Katherine here, we'll have a better chance of guiding Lysa back to us."
Philip struggled to exorcise the demons within Lysa. Everything he tried simply had not worked and Philip was running out of ideas.
An unhallowed voice rose from Lysa's throat. "Try all you like," it boasted, "but she's ours now. The child is far too weak to overcome us both! Lysa has been forever drawn from your life, priest!"
He listened to the words, but Philip refused to believe a single one. "My sweet Lysa," cried Philip in desperation, "ya are strong, child. Ya can defeat this. I know you can so please, Lysa, try."
Lysa's voice weakly squeaked out, "I am, but it's too hard. I have nothing to live for, Pip. It's so much easier to let them have me. So much easier."
"Lee, no, don't let yuirself believe that. We need ya 'ere," stated Philip, "Ya have t'be strong."
"No," the demons shouted as they took control again, "Lysa is ours, fool. You cannot sway her anymore. You had your chance. Now it's too late."
Suddenly Lysa felt the ground spin beneath her feet and her head was pounding. She wanted to speak for herself again, but it was too much of an effort for her to fight the other two voices in her head.
Yet Philip's words echoed through what was left of her mind. If he was right, then Lysa could finally end this. She wanted to believe it, but Lysa found the more she tried the harder it became.
"God, give me strength to overcome this," Lysa murmured toward the sky, "If You exist, please help me now."
As the words passed her lips, Lysa violently flew back from the place where she stood. With what seemed to Philip to be a deafening thud, she hit a tree and was knocked unconscious.
"What is it, Derek?" Rachel asked as she quickly ushered Katherine in the house before her.
"It's Lysa," he briefly explained, "She's been taken."
"What do you mean -- 'taken'?"
Kat looked around her as if she was seeing the estate for the first time. "She's outside with Philip," Kat uttered.
Derek nodded. "Yes, but she's not herself anymore."
"Why was it so important that I bring Katherine here?" Rachel queried.
Derek's eyes were fixed on Kat as he spoke. "We don't know how else to bring Lysa back. We were hoping Katherine could help us," he explained.
"No way," Rachel angrily said, "Something told me from the beginning that we couldn't trust her. You're not using Katherine to help Lysa if you don't know how you're planning on doing that."
"Don't you think Kat should have a say in this?" Nick challenged in a near whisper.
"No, I don't. I'm her mother and I know what's best for her."
"Why don't you trust Lysa?" Nick more angrily inquired, "Is it because she's a witch? Because she has the Sight? What is it, Rachel, that makes you hate Lysa so much?"
"Why are you taking up for her now?" Rachel returned. She avoided his questions at all costs.
"Because she's a good person inside," he sincerely stated, "I don't know why I think that, but I do. Lysa has never done anything to hurt us. Her father hurt her. She told me that. Lysa was trying to get away from the pain he caused her. I guess I see some of myself in her then, don't I?"
"Lysa's evil," Rachel insolently declared, "and I'm not going to let her get her hands on my little girl."
"I want to help," Kat chimed in as if her mother's words didn't matter, "What do I have to do?"
"No, Kat," ordered Rachel, "they don't even know what's wrong with her. Maybe it's nothing at all, honey. You don't have to do anything."
Kat pulled away from her mother. "I want to help," Katherine replied, "Lysa's my friend. I have to help."
"Just tell her why she has to fight the demons within her, Katherine," explained Derek, "Philip is already trying everything he can to help her fight it."
Katherine straightened herself up. "I'm ready."
Sighing in defeat, Rachel stated, "I guess it's worth a shot. Just be careful with my little girl." She slowly started up the stairs.
"Where are you going?" Derek asked.
"I need to be alone," replied Rachel, "I wouldn't be much help anyway. I don't trust Lysa." She then made her way towards the bedrooms as the others left the house.
Lysa slowly pulled herself up off the ground. She shook off the sudden, stabbing pain that hit her. Scanning the area, Lysa saw Philip with his back turned to her. That's when the voices started to take over her thoughts.
"Stop it," she breathed, "Please, just leave me alone."
Philip heard Lysa's voice despite its volume. He turned to face his friend again.
"This isn't over, priest," the demons growled, "She might try to fight us, but her attempts are in vain."
"Lee," cried Philip, "listen t'me. Ya canno' give up."
The winds suddenly picked up and the sky darkened around them.
"She's ours," it replied, "How many times must we tell you? Stop your games. It's too late now."
"Lysa, you have to be strong," Alex shouted as she and the others made their way outside, "Please, honey, be strong."
"We need you here, Lysa," added Derek, "We need your help."
"Then why do you test her," it asked, "If you need her, why do you test her?"
Derek explained as he slowly walked towards Lysa, "None of us were sure of her abilities. To our knowledge, she never did much at the Milwaukee House. Now, we know she's intelligent and strong. Now, we're certain of how much we need Lysa."
"Lysa," Alex desperately cried, "Nick's here. So is Kat. Honey, we're all --"
"Rachel's not here," the demons growled, "because she doesn't trust Lysa. You all don't believe in her because you are not all not out here to help her. Game over." Lysa then waved her hand and Alex flew back a few feet.
"Lysa," Kat shouted, "don't do this! You're hurting people. Stop it!"
"It's not me, Kat," whispered Lysa, "I--I don't want to do any of this, but I'm too weak to fight them."
"Don't say that," Katherine ordered, "You can fight it and we can help you. Just believe what we're saying."
"I believe you, but I--I can't do it. Besides, I don't have anything to live for but my work." Her knees buckled and Lysa fell to her knees. The more she struggled the weaker Lysa felt inside and out. She was ready to surrender herself now.
Rachel found herself standing in the center of Lysa's room. A wave of calmness enveloped her. She quickly scanned the contents of the room. Looking out the window, Rachel watched the others try to help Lysa. Lysa was again standing and the others looked desperate to find an answer to their dilemma soon.
"Why don't I trust you?" Rachel wondered aloud.
Moving away from the window, Rachel picked up one of Lysa's stuffed animals and held it close to her heart. Smiling, she continued her inspection.
Brushing her fingers over some books on one of Lysa's shelves, Rachel found one book was slightly sticking out. Pulling it from the shelf, Rachel took the book and stuffed animal over to Lysa's bed.
Rachel sat down in the middle of the bed and opened the book. Flipping through the pages, she found some have been earmarked before. One page in particular caught her eye. It had been marked recently. But by whom?
She began to read it aloud.
ills I sorrow at
Chucking to herself, Rachel asked aloud, "How could she read this without getting depressed?"
From her place on the bed, Rachel could clearly see the framed pictures on Lysa's dresser. Getting up to view them, Rachel felt like she owed Lysa an apology. Each picture represented a happier time in Lysa's life. A time when she was part of one big, happy family. First, Lysa's twin sister died and seven years later, her mother died. Poor Lysa had to take care of herself and keep the family together as a child.
"Lysa," sighed Rachel, "how could I have been so wrong about you? You're just being cautious. You don't want to be hurt anymore."
Quickly, with the stuffed animal and a more recent family portrait in hand, Rachel made her way down the stairs. She just hoped she wasn't too late to do any good.
"Lysa," called Nick, "listen to me. I know how much you care about me and I want you to know how much I care about you. That's why I'm out here -- because I care."
"You made Frankie leave, Nick," Lysa softly replied, "I know you care." She started to reach out for Nick's hand, but before Lysa could take it in her own, she felt a sharp pain fill her body. It hurt so much that she fell to her knees and began to cry.
Rachel had just arrived as Lysa fell. Taking a deep breath, Rachel made her way towards Lysa. Katherine joined her mother.
"Make it stop, Rachel," Lysa pleaded as she looked into Rachel's eyes, "Please make it stop."
Rachel handed Lysa her stuffed dolphin. "It's okay, Lysa," she soothed as Lysa squeezed her stuffed animal tight.
Kat looked at the photograph her mother had. "Is this your family?" she asked Lysa, pointing at the portrait.
With teary eyes, Lysa stared at the picture. She nodded and felt another wave of pain roll over her. Lysa's eyes rolled back as the demons fought for control.
"How much longer do we have to play these silly games with you all?" the demons voiced through Lysa.
"Did you see how long you had control, Lysa," Alex asked, "You can do this!"
"Look at this picture," Rachel demanded, "Look at the family you're going to leave behind if you give up now. Look at us, Lysa. Look at the friends you'll let down if you give up now."
"Is that the best --"
The demons were cut off by a sudden cry of pain by Lysa. "God give me strength," she shouted, "Banish these spirits to Hell for all eternity. Take them from me and end my suffering."
Philip instinctively crossed himself as the words passed Lysa's lips. He knew there was nothing more they could do but wait. He just knew.
As she stood up, a white mist surrounded Lysa. As the mist grew, a dark haze was drawn out of Lysa's body. Everyone stood silently and watched as the mist consumed the dark haze. Shrieks of pain and horror seemed to come from within the white mist as it rose back up and disappeared.
Exhaustion overcame Lysa and she fell again. This time she was lying on the ground and didn't move.
"Is she all right?" Kat asked softly.
"We won't know until she wakes up," Derek replied, "Nick, carry her inside to rest."
Nick nodded. As he lifted her, Lysa dropped the dolphin. Katherine quickly picked it up and followed Nick inside.
"Why the change of heart," Alex inquired as she and Rachel made their way inside behind Derek and Philip.
"She needed us," replied Rachel, "All of us. Something told me I could trust her when I was in her room. I'm just hoping we helped her."
Slowly Lysa came to in her bedroom. Shaking away the cobwebs that filled her head, she looked around her. At one side sat Nick; at the other was Kat.
"What happened?" Lysa softly asked. As she sat up, she felt the room spin. Taking a deep breath, the feeling subsided.
"Don't you remember?" Kat asked. She was still holding Lysa's stuffed dolphin in her arms.
Lysa watched as the day flashed before her eyes. She gasped as she felt all the pain again as well. Nick squeezed her hand and brought Lysa back from her trance.
"What have I done," cried Lysa, "I've brought such evil with me into this House."
"Kat," Nick said, "would you mind leaving us alone. I'd like to talk with Lysa alone." Kat nodded and quickly left the room.
"I'm so sorry, Nick," Lysa blurted out, "I never should have come here."
Nick shook his head. "No, you belong here with us," he replied. He brushed some of the ginger brown hair from Lysa's eyes.
"I never meant to hurt anyone," she explained, "If I had known this was going to happen, I never would've come here."
"It's all right," soothed Nick, "You're safe now. Everything is fine. We understand it wasn't your fault."
Lysa smiled. "Nick, thanks for caring," she said, "Can you give me a few minutes to change?"
Nick smiled in return. "Yea," he said, "you betcha. I'll wait outside the door. Derek wants to see you anyway."
"Maybe we could go to dinner and see a movie," suggested Lysa, "If that's okay with you."
Nick softly laughed. "If Kat hears, she'll want to tag along," said Nick as he opened the door to leave.
"If Rachel will let her," replied Lysa, "I wouldn't mind at all. We can go on a real date some other time."
Nick stood in the doorway smiling. "I'll check with Rachel and Kat while you change."
"How are you feeling?" Derek asked. He wore a concerned look as he spoke.
"I've felt better," Lysa honestly answered, "but I'm all right."
Nick walked in with Kat in tow. "We're ready when you are," he announced.
"Where are you going?" Derek asked.
"Dinner and a movie," Lysa replied, "That's all right... Isn't it?"
Derek smiled. "Yes, of course," he said, "Have fun. You, of all people, deserve it."
"Thanks, Derek," Lysa replied before gently kissing her Precept's cheek, "We'll be back before the witching hour." The trio left the room.
"What's the witching hour?" Kat asked, taking Lysa's hand.
"Midnight is said to have been the hour when all witches would roam about and cast their spells," Lysa explained, "Now it's just a figure of speech."
Half way to the front door, Rachel stepped out. She kissed Katherine's forehead. "Behave, Kat," she gently ordered, "Not too late, you three."
Nick smiled. "We'll be back before dawn," he joked.
"Thanks, Rachel, for helping me," Lysa stated, "I'll be sure Katherine is on her best behavior. Right, Kitten?"
Kat looked up. "I like that name," she said, "and I promise to be good."
Rachel smiled. She kissed Lysa's cheek. "No problem," she said, "I know you'd do the same for me or Katherine."
Nick impatiently pulled the other two towards the door. "Let's go before we miss the movie," he said.
"Bye, Mom," Kat called, "See you later."
"Have fun, Kat," Rachel said, "Remember you still have homework to do."
"Bye, Rachel," Lysa called as she slowly closed the door, "We'll have Kat back before you know it!"
Alex entered the entranceway as Lysa shut the door. "She seems to be all right," Alex commented, "Where is she off to?"
"The movies and to dinner with Nick and Kat," Rachel replied.
"Philip's leaving tonight," Alex absently stated, "He has some church business to take care of again."
"As long as he doesn't go without saying good-bye," said Rachel, "I don't think Lysa would be able to take it if he left without saying good-bye."
Nick carried a sleeping Katherine inside. It was well after 11 PM. Kat had fallen asleep on the way back to Angel Island.
Derek caught the trio sneaking in. "Take Katherine upstairs, Nick," he whispered, "Philip is waiting to speak with you, Lysa. He's in the living room."
Lysa nodded as Derek left. "I had a good time, Nick," she said before kissing him on the cheek.
"Next time we'll have to try this without Kat," Nick suggested as he carried the little girl upstairs.
Lysa waited until Nick was gone before going to see Philip. "What's up," she said, "Derek said you wanted to see me."
Philip beckoned her over to sit with him on the couch. "I have t'leave, Lee," he replied, "The church needs me."
Lysa bit back the tears. "But I just got here," she said, "You told me you'd stay until I got used to this place. Can't you stay another day or two?"
Philip shook his head. "I wasted enough time waitin' t'tell ya about it," he stated, "I was t'return earlier t'day."
"At least you waited to say good-bye," Lysa said. Her voice was shaky as she fought back her tears.
"I'll be back t'help when ya need me," soothed Philip, "and Nick knows where t'find me if ya need t'talk."
Lysa buried her face in Philip's shirt and sobbed. Philip held her tightly in his arms until she stopped shaking.
"Good-bye, Lee," Philip whispered, "for now at least."
Lysa looked up to meet Philip's eyes. "I won't keep you here when I know you have another job to do," she softly said, "but I'm not happy about this, Pip."
He smiled and kissed Lysa's forehead. Then Philip stood and began to leave with Lysa in tow. "I'll ne'er be far away," he stated before getting into the Range Rover with Derek.
Lysa watched as Derek drove Philip back to San Francisco. Then she trudged upstairs and into her room. Lysa opened her new journal and set a pen next to it. Sighing, she decided to leave the task of writing her first entry for the morning when her head would be clear.
Instead Lysa stepped out of her clothes and into her nightgown. After saying her bedtime prayers and turning off the lights, she slipped into her warm, familiar bed and drifted off to sleep.
Special Notes: More to come in my series of stories about Lysa as a member of the SF Legacy House. Next, the Wiccan ritual was changed from a house blessing to a room blessing which I got from a friend. Also, the poem in this story was borrowed from the works of Countee Cullen and is titled "Any Human to Another". My thanks to my high school English teacher who made me read it my Senior year otherwise I never would have discovered it! Finally thanks to Sherri and Meg (from the online service Prodigy) for beta reading this for me!