Beth gasped, spinning around to face the female. A relatively short woman in a black robe that pooled on the floor around her wore a veil so thick that it was a wonder she could see where she was going.
“I didn’t mean to give you a fright, child. My apologies,” said the woman. Despite the veil covering her whole face, her voice was as clear as polished glass.
“No, it’s... it’s okay. I wasn’t expecting anyone to be in here,” Beth said breathlessly, her heart pounding.
“Beth, isn’t it? My great-great-great-granddaughter, and yet one of mine children,” said the woman cryptically.
“What? I’m sorry, who are you?”
The woman raised her petite hands to her veil and raised it, throwing it back over her head. Her delicate features were so obviously feminine that they couldn’t be anything but. Her lips were a rosy pink; her nose small and slight; her cheekbones defined in her slim face; her eyebrows neatly trimmed; though her eyes... Her eyes were haunting and endless. They were the type of eyes men had nightmares about. They were black as pitch and they drew you in, just as treats entice animals into the traps where they will ultimately meet their end.
“I am Fate,” the woman said.
Beth stared at her. Somehow, this was not the woman she had pictured when she had heard of Fate. She wasn’t quite sure what she had expected, but it certainly was not this.
“Fate,” Beth whispered, still simply staring.
“You have met my mate, have you not? He and I are quite opposites. I hear you have also met my favourite grandchildren.”
“That would be telling,” Fate said with a small smirk.
“You called me one of your children. I have learnt my true parentage. What do you mean?”
“They did not tell you?”
“Who didn’t tell me what?”
“Lucius and Robert. I am surprised of Isabella especially. They all know the manner of your destiny.”
“What about my destiny?”
“It is nonexistent, child. You are a Child of Fate, metaphorically. You have no destiny. You shall decide your own future.”
“I don’t understand what you mean,” Beth said, confused. “How did Lucius and Robert know this?”
“Lucius spent an awfully long time studying your Threads. He knew you were different. He saw that your Thread moved, winding in and out of others of its own will. It was never set.”
“Hush, girl. You will not understand while you do not listen.”
“But I am—”
“Hush,” Fate responded, almost sharply. Beth fell silent immediately, waiting for her to continue. “Good. This library is filled with diaries of the ancient peoples of this world. Samuel’s ancestors among them. As well as that—”
“Who’s ancestors?” Beth asked.
After a moment, Fate said, “He is known to you as Storm.”
“Why not his real name?”
“He deserted that name long ago. There are very few who know it now.”
“Without the two of us, Destiny and Mary and that is all.”
“Not even Evil?”
“The child that Evil took in was scared and lonely. He did not speak for many years, and even then it was only venom aimed at the doctors my panicked son brought in. They did not help the situation.”