Amanda Daily loves James McCallester. She knows that the moment he leaves to go back to Scotland. For months she tries to write him but all of her letters go unanswered. Finally she decides to travel to Scotland to find him. When she gets there she finds James, but also much much more than she bargained for.
The night was dark, and the trees rustled in a cold wind blowing in from the moor. The wind howled, and to all ears that beheld the sound it resembled the doleful moan of the listless spirits that made the castle their home. The full moon shone brightly overhead, a beacon to the supernatural. The paths to and from the castle were worn down, mostly by the supes who walked them by day as humans and as creatures by night. No moat stood between visitors and the castle, as none were needed. The legend of McCallester Castle guarded the doors better than anything else could. The doors were bolted this cool October night, but not to keep out intruders. It was to keep control of one of the most dangerous things there, Lord McCallester’s own son. Inside the castle it was dim and shadowed, with the only light being that which shone through the windows. Far off the sound of rattling chains echoed through the silent, empty halls. In one of the rooms James McCallester was kept prisoner by those employed by his father. So cruel did they seem, chaining him to a wall and leaving him there. He simply didn’t know, or was otherwise too stubborn to realize, that the magic of the McCallester blood had already laid claim to him the moment he returned to the grounds. But in equal unknowing or stubbornness, those employed at the castle claimed it not at all possible to break the magic. They claimed that what James had become is what he would remain forever. Little did they know that his salvation would come to the front door seeking refuge, and the beast that now resided inside.
An American woman wandered the paths alone tonight, lost and seeking refuge from the eerie wind. To her the sight of McCallester Castle was welcoming and not a beacon of danger. She walked boldly to the doors, and perhaps it was ignorance that let her walk so proudly. Her knock startled those there in the castle, and echoed strangely in their ears. The halls became filled with silence again until the door creaked as it was opened by a butler with skin as pale as a corpse.
“Yes?” The word was cold, dead, and uninviting.
“You’re American,” she said.
“Is that a question or a statement?” the butler asked her.
“A statement. Pardon me, I was expecting someone well…. Someone Scottish. Anyways, is this McCallester Castle?”
“It is, and who might you be?”
“Amanda Daily. I’m here to see James.”
“James is… unavailable,” He said, and stepped back to close the door.
“When will he be available?”
He paused. “Tomorrow, but he said he will see no one. I’m sorry. Have a nice evening, Amanda.”
The butler paused and looked at Amanda.
“I need a place to stay tonight. Please. I walked here from town and God only knows how many miles or kilometers whatever that was and there's no way I can walk back to town tonight. Can't I stay just one night? I promise I'll leave first thing in the morning.”
“One moment, I'll go ask Lord McCallester if you can stay in one of the guest rooms for the night.”
“Are you talking about asking James? If you are I'm sure he'll be ok with it. Maybe he'll even ask to see me.”
“Donovan McCallester is the Lord of this manor. James is his son.” With that the butler closed the door and disappeared outside, leaving Amanda shivering in the late- night moor wind. Several moments later he returned and opened the door.
“You can stay the night, but in the morning you must leave. Come in out of the cold and I will take you to your room.”
He opened the door and stepped aside to let her come in with her two large rolling suitcases in tow. When Amanda looked around the room she was speechless. The place was elegant, if not simple. Old portraits hung on the walls and a grand staircase sat directly in front of the door. To the left of the staircase was what looked to be a dining room and beyond that what she could only assume to be a kitchen. To the right was a large sitting room with a very inviting fire burning in the hearth. Behind the staircase she could see just a mere portion of a door, but what was beyond it was a mystery. To Amanda's dismay the butler began to lead her towards the stairs. Silently she followed him, all the while wishing that she had packed much lighter. The wheels of her luggage bags moved smoothly enough across the floor, but the stairs proved to be a noisy challenge.