Ashlyn is drawn to Dragonstone Castle for a reason she doesn't understand. She travels to England taking a tour of the legendary castle.After escaping the tour guide, she falls through a weak spot in the ground and discovers a large ruby-like stone which magically transports her back in time. Only, she is still in the catacomb like tunnels beneath the castle. With the help of two fae, she finds her way to the Lord of Dragonstone. Together they face the Sorcerer, with the help of the fae and an a
Scene 1: At Ruins
“And would ye be telling me why ye be mimicking me fine Scottish brogue today, Griffin?” Drustig asked.
“Because you’re no’ a Scotsman laddie,” Griffin explained with perfect logic. “No’ with a name like Drustig.”
“I be today,“ Drustig said. His posturing was wasted on Griffin who’s interest had turned elsewhere.
Griffin caught sight of another group of people. He hated they gawked and pointed at the once beautiful castle now just crumbling piles of stone. He kept visiting this time period and dragging Drustig along. He’d hoped, the current owner would restore it to it’s legendary beauty. And hide too...from the Sorcerer. Under the Sorcerer’s control, time had no meaning. Today, the future, tomorrow the past. The two had once been in a trusted alliance with the lord of these ruins. Now, they had the appearance of trolls. Their fae beauty stripped with an ease no mortal should possess.
Perched atop the decaying walls of the castle, Drustig and Griffin had bickered all morning. Several times their banter had digressed into a physical brawl. Drustig did not want to be in this time, in this place, and tried to leave several times. The only perk that came with being the Sorcerer’s puppets was the power to move through time…and other things. Truth be told, he was a coward and he didn’t want to get caught, then turned into something worse than a troll. If there was anything worse.
Twenty-five feet below, a young woman lagged behind her tour group. She was dressed in a fashion Griffin found objectionable for a lady. Having lived through many centuries and observed many forms of female clothing; he preferred seeing a lady in some form of a modest dress. Of course, he had to admit the baggy pants and long sleeved shirt was more conducive to rambling about the castle ruins.
“Harvard University” Griffin mumbled, reading the bold black letters written across the the front of the woman’s shirt. He loved to read anything. Some thought it an odd peculiarity he suffered from, and given the chance, Griffin also liked to mark a few words on parchment. He had kept both passions to himself for fear of ridicule. Drustig, being a nosy bastard, caught him marking down his thoughts once, but under threat of torture, Drustig promised to keep Griffin’s secret.
“What?” Drustig asked. Not sure if his friend said something to mock him.
“On the lass’s shirt,” Griffin said. “The words read, Harvard University.”
“Educated women,” Drustig scoffed. “Not fit for God nor men.”
“It’s asinine remarks like that...”
“Not asinine,” Drustig interrupted. “Astute. I would say astute.”
“You should try not saying anything at all,” Griffin dropped his brogue. “You might sound more intelligent.“
“Ha! You’re jealous because I’m the smart one.“ Drustig jumped up to dance a jig. It was beyond him to pass up an opportunity to needle his companion.
Griffin didn't want the distraction of trying to outwit Drustig. He ignored the comment. There was something about this girl. She reminded him of something or someone. The answer floated on the edge of his memory, elusive and frustrating.
A deep sigh of relief escaped Ashlyn. She had finally managed to escape the vigilant eye of her tour guide. Not an easy feat considering she had tried losing the man and his group for the past hour. She could hardly believe she was in England at Dragonstone Castle. Her common sense warned her that moving about the ruins without the guide could be dangerous. She pushed the thought to the back of her mind. She was not a coward, a little scared maybe, but not a coward.
Ashlyn leaned against the centuries old stone wall and looked around. She had felt an immediate and overpowering sense of something the moment she had stepped off the bus. Her compulsion to journey to Dragonstone Castle had been due to more, than just the castle’s history. A history that was shrouded in mystery and legends that told of tunnels and dragons and precious stones. Still, there was something else. Some indefinable something that was as necessary as breathing.
She imagined the castle as it must have been, fantasizing about its long ago inhabitants. In her mind’s eye, she could see the Lord of Dragonstone as she thought he would have looked. He would have been tall at least 6’5“, with broad shoulders and thick, well muscled arms. His brown hair, highlighted with sun-kissed blond strands would fall in soft sexy waves to just below broad shoulders. She saw a well defined jaw covered in just enough stubble to make her knees weak, and gray eyes, the color of a foggy highland morning.
The distant sound of the guide’s voice intruded into her fantasy. He had warned them not to leave the group. He would cut the tour short, he’d said, because the ground was unstable. Ashlyn pushed herself away from the wall and felt the crumbling stone shift beneath her hands. Ground gave way beneath her feet and she found herself falling through the soft earth. Grasping at loose clods of soil, she landed with a bone jarring thud in one of the many tunnels.
The guide had likened the tunnels beneath the castle to the catacombs in Rome where thousands of bones had been discovered. No way was she moving. Not for somebody to find her bones in a couple of centuries. They could pull her out the same hole she fell through.
The jagged edge of a rock had sliced through the tender skin of her left palm on her way down. A burning sting preceded the wet stickiness of blood as it gushed from a long gash. Ashlyn felt something cold smooth and round beneath her injured hand. She could see from the small amount of light shining down through the hole that it was a ruby the size of a large egg. She watched as her warm crimson blood covered the stone. Strangely, her panic subsided when the stone began to pulse with an energy and life of its own.
She felt the cut on her palm stitch itself together. Its smooth surface surged with a power that vibrated throughout her body. Images flashed through her mind with unbelievable speed. Thoughts, impressions and feelings flooded her consciousness. Crumbling stone began to reassemble itself to perfect order as time wound itself backwards.