Pompeii, 79 AD
Flora and Stephanus are star-crossed lovers, forbidden to carry on their relationship due to Stephanus's jealous sisters who are also witches. A pact is made between Flora's father and the three sisters to keep the couple apart. If the wizard suspects Flora's defiance, he’ll carry out his threat of placing a spell on Flora and making her forget her lover ever existed. However, Stephanus and Flora's betrayal are unfortunately discovered by the three witches, and in a jealous fit, they curse Flora, turning her into a succubus.
"Forever shedding your human skin, always leading a life of sin, forever a succubus, sating men's carnal desires."
Olkus discovers the sisters' treachery and in turn, steals their beauty from them by transforming them into hideous, twisted crones. Knowing how vain the sisters are, this leaves the wizard an opening to hopefully one day restore his daughter's humanity....
Present Day, MD
Jake Matthews has given up on love. The only moments of true happiness occur when his dream lover visits him during the night. Happiness and fulfillment is his, until the next day when she disappears. Glimpses of the past, from another time and place haunt his dreams....
Sabrina answered Jake's lonely calls in the night. When strong emotions for the mortal develop, she discovers she must follow her instincts and pursue the man. After being cursed in her human life, she's existed centuries as a demon and now feels the strong pull of love. Invoking the power of her father, a wizard she becomes mortal. Now she must persuade Jake to confess his love for her in four short days. If she succeeds, she'll be reunited with her soul mate, if not she'll return to her demonic state forever.
Pompeii, 79 AD. One Week Before Mt Vesuvius Erupts
Flora tossed and turned on her mat, unable to sleep. She listened until she was certain, her father, the wizard Olkus was sound asleep. If he suspected that she was defying his wishes weeks after he’d forbade her to see Stephanus, she knew he’d carry out his threat of placing a spell on her and make her forget her lover existed.
The very thought of not knowing Stephanus at all sent an eerie chill slithering down her spine, yet; anticipation welled inside her as she contemplated her rendezvous with the one she knew she was fated to spend the rest of her life with.
Briefly, her mind drifted to her lover’s three jealous sisters who were none other than witches. Alessandra, the youngest had especially grown to loathe Flora, out of fear that someday she’d take their brother far away from them all. Having lost their parents to fever a year earlier, their half brother had become their only living blood relative.
Again, it was her bold cockiness in being the daughter of a powerful wizard that Flora continued to rendezvous with Stephanus even after the sisters confronted she and Olkus behind their brother’s back a month ago. Flora threatened the sisters with a spell, and an argument ensued, eventually breaking out into a full on power struggle.
It was Flora who, with a wave of her hand; sent Alessandra hurtling face first into a mud puddle while Cipriana and Francesca’s tempers flared and began chanting. In a twisted fury, the witches would have cast their spell, but wise Olkus made a pact that he’d forbade Flora to see Stephanus ever again. He also stated that if she were to break that pact, there would be a suitable punishment for Flora to endure. Bellona Satisfied and with twisted smiles on their beautiful faces, they left the wizard and his daughter alone.
Setting his searing, sky blue eyes on her, he began to explain that there were far more important things to think about--like the teeth shattering earth tremors they’d been experiencing for the past month.
Some citizens of Pompeii deserted their homes, fearing something far worse than a simple tremor would happen, yet after peering into the future and having visions that no harm would come to Pompeii or it’s inhabitants, Olkus assured everyone in the village that nothing serious would come to pass.
He’d also stated to Flora that night at dinner, that he was binding her powers for using them in a senseless feud over a simple mortal man and she’d one day find someone more suitable than he to wed.
With a heated sigh of frustration at the memory, Flora sat up and eased herself out of her bed, her toes connecting with the cold stone of her bedroom floor. Beads of sweat erupted on her body as she quietly strolled out of her bedroom through the tiny living room and out the front door.
As she continued to walk, she gazed up to the full moon and breathed a sigh of relief and hurried down the winding stone path that eventually lead to The Sarnus. Once on the riverbanks, she found Stephanus standing there, awaiting for her arrival.
When he turned around at her presence, she smiled, as the light of the moon graced his flawless features. His shoulder length hair shone like spun gold in the magical light and rained past his collarbone.
He rushed up to her and encircled strong arms around her petite frame. Leaning down, he captured her lips with a searing kiss before nuzzling her neck. “It’s been too long, Flora,” he announced huskily, as he sniffed her hair.
She grasped him and squeezed her eyes shut. “I know, Stephanus. There must be a way to avoid all of this.” She opened her eyes and looked deep into his as he cupped her face between his large hands.
“Come,” he grinned and motioned for her to sit on the large fabric beside the river. Of in the distance, she heard a fish leap out of the water and made a subtle splash as she and Stephanus sat next to each other. “I’ve watched over my sisters all my life and now is the time for me to live mine,” he assured her. “We shall move away from Pompeii and marry.” He grasped her hand within his. “Flora, I want you to be mine forever and bear my children. Say you will.”
Flora’s face flushed and her heart pounded. “Yes,” she gasped, with tears misting her eyes. “I’m yours, forever.”
For a fleeting moment, she’d all but forgotten about her father and the sisters. She gasped and looked him in the eyes. “What shall we do? You know your sisters and my father will not settle for this. Remember, the confrontation I told you we had a month ago,” she gently reminded him.
Stephanus looked up into the star filled sky and shook his head. “I am a fool. I’ve pondered many times before how we could be happy together, yet they leave us no choice.”
Reading his mind, she gasped. “We could flee.”
“Yes, because I can no longer bear to sneak around behind anyone’s back. We are man and woman, fit for each other and nothing can ever separate us, not indefinitely,” he promised. “And my sisters are too powerful, even though your father is a wizard, he is young. My sister’s powers are tripled compared to his. And if they were to work together, they’d stop us for sure.”
His way sounded promising, but terror struck a chord within her. “But three witches and a wizard would find us, no matter where we ventured,” Flora whispered her disappointment.
“There will never be anyone else for me,” Stephanus admitted, “and if my sisters cannot see that, then they are fools.”
“I know they will use their powers to punish me,” she admitted. “But you, they’d never harm you.”
A rustling in the woods caught their attention and soon, insects that were singing in the night were now silenced. The wind stilled, and the air turned thick. Three silhouettes glided out of the trees, and for a moment, she could have sworn their eyes glowed in the dark.
“You’ve broken the pact of your own father,” she heard Francesca’s voice deepen with venom.
“And now you shall pay for your betrayal,” Cipriana added.
“And I shall be the one to punish you,” Alessandra sneered.
“Enough!” Stephanus rose and confronted his menacing sisters. “You will not punish her, she’s done nothing but love me, and I love her.” His voice softened. “My sisters, there is enough love for the four of you, why can’t you see that?”
“But you promised mother and father you’d always be there for us,” Alessandra said with a whimper. “And now you mean to leave us for her. Oh Stephanus, you break my heart; we heard every word you spoke.
“My dear, Alessandra. You were once sweet and innocent---but your cruelty turns you ugly. What has happened to you?” He glanced at his other sisters. “What has happened to all of you? What dark magic have you been practicing?”
Alessandra chuckled. “Brother, you fantasize. You made a promise and we intend to see you keep it.”
“Ah, you’re true face is showing,” Stephanus admitted. “You are no longer the sweet little girls I once knew.”
“Brother, please do not make us punish you too,” Cipriana said sorrowfully. “We only want the best for you—and she is not the one.”
“Then release your hold on me, my sisters. And you will see we all can thrive together and work as one family unit,” Stephanus bargained.
Flora’s chest tightened and her mouth became dry as she stood to face the witches alongside her soul mate. She knew by confronting the three sisters without her powers was a mistake, one that could cost her life. “Please, let us try,” she suggested. “I love Stephanus with all my heart.”
“Demoness!” Alessandra sneered.
Flora gasped and couldn’t move. “Alessandra, please, don’t do this,” she begged.
“What are you doing?” Stephanus’s face wrinkled in fury. “Release her now,” he bellowed.
Cipriana stepped forward, gently touching her brother’s forehead. “You shall remember none of this, my dear brother.” With that Stephanus fell to the ground. “Not now, nor in your next lives.”
“No!” Flora screamed, “What have you done to him?”
“Protecting him from you.” Francesca said in a sickly sweet voice, her young face turning into a twisted grin. “If you are truly worthy of his love, then perhaps one day you shall meet again.” She shook her head in anger. “And you shall always know pain and loss. On this night, you shall lose sight,” the young blonde witch began to chant.
“We release you here, from your life,” Cipriana added.
“Forever shedding your human skin, always leading a life of sin, forever a succubus, sating men’s carnal desires.” Alessandra chimed in as thick, mucky cloud of darkness settled over Flora. With a gasp, she fell to the ground, her limbs completely useless. Off in the far distance, she heard Olkus’s enraged voice, and felt the earth’s tremors.
* * *
With a crackle of lightning, the wizard appeared over his daughter’s body. Weeping, he fell to his knees, laying hands on her, yet she could not be healed. Looking up, the young wizard peered into the eyes of the witches, his bottom lip trembling and his chest tightening. “What have you done?”
“We have accomplished much where you’re failed promises have fallen,” Francesca spoke sternly. “We bear no ill will to you sir, but your daughter was not fit for our brother. She was a bad influence on him.”
“But she was to be punished by my hand, not yours!” Olkus stood to his feet, enraged.
“A simple bow to her backside would have served no justice,” Francesca scolded. “Though you bound her powers, she still defied you.”
“I swear I will—“
“There’s nothing you can do,” Alessandra assured. “Our spell has taken its course and cannot be broken. Your daughter spun a spell over our brother, making him want to leave us and for that, we take great pleasure in punishing her.”
“No,” Olkus spat. “I know my daughter. She may have used her powers against you, but what they had was a love that can never be broken, only I could not see it—until now. Oh, what have I done?”
“There is much you can do, if we so choose. There will come a time, in another place, where she could redeem herself.” Cipriana told him.
“You’d be sworn to silence if we decided this path.” Francesca teased. “She must learn for herself, the true meaning of love—but she will never.”
Anger shook him to the bone as he glared at the three young witches. Who were they to play with fate? “You have taken my daughter, he sneered. What is done cannot be undone.” Olkus smiled, finally deciding to strike the young witches where it would hurt the most. “However, you too, shall know loss. You shall lose your beauty and your dreams. Although young, you shall rapidly age into three twisted crones…I deem this now!”
The wind howled, and the moon slipped between a veil of clouds as the three young witches screamed in agony as their bodies began to take on twisted, bent forms.
“You unsightly hags. This is my revenge for taking my only daughter away from me. The time will come when you can no longer live with the way you look. When that time comes, seek me out and we shall give my daughter that chance you spoke of. Until then, shall you rot!” With that, Olkus picked up the hardened shell of his Flora’s body and disappeared into thin air.
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