“Where did you get the candles?” Beth asked curiously.
“Robert’s a fan of candles. There are always some around.”
Lucius set the bowl of water down on the table, and placed the three candles around it. The wicks caught fire suddenly and gave out a soft light. He took a small knife out of his pocket. The blade was black and engraved, though Beth couldn’t tell what the images were.
“What exactly are you planning to do with that?” she asked cautiously.
He smiled and pricked his thumb with the tip, letting his blood fall into the water bowl. It began to glow slightly. He held out his hand to her and after a moment, she put her hand in his.
He pressed the tip of the blade into the flesh of her thumb. It was so sharp she didn’t even feel it. He held her hand over the bowl and, as her blood dripped into the water, the bowl began to glow even more until a bright flash of light enveloped the whole room, blinding her.
When she was able to see again, she wasn’t in the living room. She was in a huge hall made of stone. The vaulted ceiling was huge and there was stained glass in the window at the far end of the hall. There was an altar by the window. Upon closer inspection, the window was depicting images of the Virgin Mary and Jesus, with angels all around them.
“Where are we?” Beth asked Lucius, who was staring at the window with a saddened look on his face.
“It’s an old church, somewhere in the middle of Scotland. We’re not really here; it’s an illusion created in our minds. Here we can’t burn the house down,” Lucius said dryly, the sad expression disappearing instantly.
“How does it work? Everything just looks... so real.”
“It has to be somewhere the caster has been before. For it to work properly, it has to be somewhere you’re familiar with. Most choose places such as their house but there’s more space here.”
“When have you been here?”
“A long time ago with someone I cared about,” he said quietly.
Beth didn’t press any further, sensing it was a difficult topic for him.
“What do you want to do first?” he asked, turning to her.
“Um, I don’t know.”
“Usually, the first thing you learn is really basic things, like how to shield your mind and communicate via thoughts.”
“That’s basic?” Beth asked.
“The most basic thing there is, is shielding, then telepathy. We’ll do shielding first.”
“Is that where you stop people from listening to your thoughts?”
“As long as they aren’t too strong, yes.”
“I think I’ve done that a couple times to Robert, accidentally.”
Lucius’ eyebrows shot up in surprise. “Really? Now that’s interesting. There aren’t very many who can do that, especially by accident.”
“He’s the second most powerful vampire in existence.”
After about twenty minutes, Lucius had decided that she was good enough at shielding, though he seemed distracted.
“Everything okay?” Beth asked him.
“It takes at least a week for someone to learn how to shield as well as you do. You can even block me, and that is interesting indeed.” He thought for a minute. “Do you know what line you’re from?”
Beth shook her head. “No.”