Authors: Dakota Lake
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storage and retrieval system without prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of
a reviewer in brief quotations.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the
products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual
persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Cam sat in his desk chair with his boots propped up on the desk sipping his favourite whiskey.
Nothing seemed to hit the spot like a
His bedroom door opened and closed and a blur moved towards him. It was moving so fast it was
unrecognisable. The blur stopped at the side of his desk.
“Well did you find her?” Cam asked downing the rest of his drink. “She stopped wearing her
bracelet so I never know where she is anymore.”
“No I didn't find her. But I think I know where she is.” Emmett said reaching inside his jacket
He pulled out his cigarette packet but Cam shot him a warning look. Emmett huffed and put it back
inside his pocket.
“I think she was upstairs on the third floor with the fallen.”
Cam's boots dropped to the floor and he ran his hands through his hair leaning back in the chair.
“What's she even doing up there?”
Emmett chewed on his lip not in a hurry to answer.
“Em what's she doing up there?”
“I think....I mean I'm not certain....but I think she..... I don't know for sure...”
“Emmett,” Cam said loudly smacking the desk.
“I think she's been hanging out with Senka.” Emmett shot back.
“Senka. What's he doing with her?”
“How should I know? I'm not allowed up there.”
Cam raised a questioning eyebrow at him.
“No one likes me up there. Last time I went up there Trip chased me away with a broken beer
Cam laughed. “Trip. You're frightened of Trip?” he continued laughing.
“It's not funny. He's massive I'm not going back up there. You can't make me.”
“Okay calm down drama queen. Back to Senka and Ruby. What do you know about that?”
“Not much. I've seen them outside together maybe once or twice but the other guys are always with
them and she talks to all of them. So I don't know if they're more than friends or not. They let her go
upstairs without any problems.”
“Jealous?” Cam asked smirking.
“No. They're all a bunch of idiots up there.”
“Well if something is going on it's not ideal. But I can't stop it. It messes up my plans though.”
“You never spend any time with her. How do you expect her to fall in love with you if you don't
spend any time with her?”
“My father's not returned yet I think we're good for another two years that's plenty of time to win
“No actually you have less than a year.”
“Huh?” Cam said crossing his eyebrows.
“He said he'd be back in twenty years. And from my calculations you have less than a year maybe
around eight or nine months max.”
“Damn.” Cam said bumping his forehead down on the desk.
“And in the meantime you're just going to let her run around and do what she wants with whoever
“Well what do you expect me to do? I can't lock her up she's not a dog.” he said sitting back up.
“So what's the plan?” Emmett asked.
“I can keep Senka busy with work so they won't be able to spend too much time together. This is
just like him I told him what I wanted to do with her and now he's messing it up on purpose.”
“You think he's doing this to annoy you?” Emmett asked.
“I don't know. It's a possibility. What do you think?”
“I don't think Senka would go to such extreme measures to annoy you. And the way he looks at
her....it's. Never mind.”
“He's not in love with her is he?” Cam asked.
Emmett held his hands up. “I don't know. I can't spy on them when they're upstairs.”
“How many nights has she missed?”
“Eleven in total.”
“That many.” Cam groaned.
“I can't help it. If she's not in her bed I can't do the spell. I need her asleep for it to work and I need
her in her bed. Some nights she's at Kenzie's until the light comes up. Maybe you should curfew her
“Yes cause that's going to make her like me even more. She's not a kid I can't curfew her she's
“Every night I don't get to perform the spell on her is another night a memory could slip through.
And she's getting stronger everyday. You won't be able to keep them from her for much longer. Her
body's healed since the fading incident....”
Cam shot him one of his death stares and Emmett quickly moved the conversation along.
“And it's only a matter of time until her mind catches up. She's going to get her memories back
whether you like it or not. Any word on Maite yet?” Emmett asked.
“No the old witch is nowhere to be found. I think she knows I'm looking for her.” Cam sighed.
“There's always plan C.” he said with a sly smile creeping across his lips.
“Plan C. I didn't know there were plans. What was A and B?” Em asked.
“Plan A was for Senka to do his thing. Plan B was Maite. Then there is plan C in the event that her
“So what is plan C?”
“Nothing to worry about yet. Just something I've been holding onto.”
Emmett crossed his arms and waited for Cam to explain in detail but he didn't. “Care to share?”
“No.” Cam said sharply, standing up and rubbing his hands together.
“That's it we're done.” Emmett asked.
“Yes I have work to attend to.”
“So what do you want me to do?”
“Keep an eye on her let me know what she gets up to.” Cam said.
“What about at night?”
“Carry on doing the spell.”
“I'm no good at it. I'm not a witch it's probably why it isn't working as well. She asked me for a
soda yesterday. What am I supposed to do?” Emmett threw his arms up in the air.
“For a start stop flapping around and keep her out of trouble.”
“How am I supposed to do that?”
“Em it's not difficult I would do it myself but I have a job to do. You don't, all you do is listen to rap
music and play video games which is not a job.”
“Babysitting a teenager is a full time job. She's never where she says she will be.”
“Then follow her.”
Emmett moaned loudly and stormed out leaving Cam alone. Cam walked over to his liquor bar and
poured himself another drink, downed it in one and then faded out of sight.
The sound of singing birds stirred me awake. I stretched out under my bed covers, rolled over and
pulled my legs up snuggling back down into my oversized pillow. I wasn't ready to get up just yet.
Outside more birds had joined in and all I could hear above anything else was a pair of doves
cooing loudly to one another. I groaned and sat up chucking my pillow at the balcony door that was
ajar letting all the noise into my room.
Narmi my handmaid usually opened the door most mornings to let the fresh air in. There was a tray
set out on the small table with freshly squeezed orange juice and a plate of chocolate chip cookies,
which meant she'd already been in. I think she opened the door on purpose to wake me up, she
knew I liked to lay in bed in the mornings.
I turned back and my eyes landed on a large burned down candle on my nightstand. It was the same
every morning. I'd wake up and there'd be a burned down candle sitting on my nightstand next to
me. I didn't know which one of the servants was doing it or why they were doing it? The bedside
light worked perfectly fine.
I fell back onto my bed and rubbed the tiredness from my eyes, catching a glimpse of the black sun
tattoo on the back on my left hand. Another reminder of a past I couldn't remember. The tattoo was
about 5x5cm in diameter but my hands weren't that big anyway so it practically covered the top side
of my hand. My sun tattoo was a plain black circle filled in with different length flames around the
outside to show the sun rays. I held my hand up moving it slightly, the tattoo glistened as the light
caught it as though there was black glitter in the ink. But I still had no memory of ever having it
I dropped my hand back down on the bed and focused on something else, something that didn't
bring tears to my eyes from not being able to remember it.
I looked at the intricate swirls on my white ceiling. My room was simple compared to the other
rooms here but I'd grown fond of it and enjoyed spending time in it. But every morning it still felt
like I was waking up in a strangers bed. This place still didn't feel like home.
My bedroom walls were different shades of purples with a deep pile cream shaggy carpet. I slept in
a large four poster bed with white drapes that were currently blowing around from the gentle breeze
coming through the balcony door. My bedspread was lavender this week, it was one of my
favourites. There was a small dressing table with a mirror, a dresser and a chest full of blankets at
the end of my bed.
My breakfast sat on the table in the corner next to a wicker chair and a small bookcase crammed
full of books from romance to adventure novels I had taken from the downstairs library.
I swung my legs over the edge of the bed expecting my feet to land on the lovely soft carpet
underneath, but instead I stepped on a load of tiny stones.
“Owww!” I said loudly pulling my foot back up and stepping over them.
I crouched down and gathered up the stones, the same time my bedroom door opened without
“Good you're up.” Emmett said making a bee line for my breakfast tray, helping himself to a cookie.
“Why does that stupid bird keep bringing me stones and pieces of rock?” I asked annoyed, this
wasn't the first time it had happened.
“Well someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.” he joked with a mouthful of
cookie. He picked up my pillow and tossed it back on the bed.
“Rocky, stupid name for a stupid bird. All he ever does is litter my room with stones.”
“Ruby they're just stones. Here,” he said holding his palms open. “He thinks they're gifts, like how a
cat brings home a dead mouse for its master and leaves it on the doormat.”
“I wouldn't know I've never had a cat. I don't think....well I can't remember. It's still a stupid bird
with a silly name.”
“Is everything all right?” he asked opening the balcony door wider.
“Yes. Everything is wonderful today, just like yesterday and the day before that.”
I went to take a step but tripped over the ridiculously long nightdress I was wearing.
I untangled my legs and grabbed a cookie and followed Emmett out onto the balcony. The smell of
roses hit me like a wave there were so many of them planted in the gardens and growing up the
walls on the trellises. I went to bed some nights still being able to smell the scent in my hair, it got
everywhere. Emmett brushed his hands off over the wall letting the tiny stones fall.
My balcony looked like something from a fairy tale. There was a brick wall running around the
edge some of it was covered in ivy and roses that had crept up from below. There was a black iron
table with two chairs where I usually ate my breakfast. At the far end there was a sun lounger I had
asked for, I loved lounging on it in the afternoons. Even if the sun was permanently hidden behind
the clouds it didn't stop me. My balcony overlooked the gardens and in the distance there was a
gravelled driveway that ran all the way round the property, along the cottages and up to the main
Emmett pulled a chair out and sat down, he reached inside his pocket and pulled out a packet of
Emmett was as tall as me with short wavy brown hair and brown eyes. He always wore scruffy
faded jeans with random T-shirts mostly of super heroes and a large military style green jacket on
top. Even on the warmer days he still wore his favourite jacket.
“You want one?” he asked smirking holding the packet out to me.
I casually smiled, I knew he was only joking. I pulled out the other chair opposite him.
“Aren't you worried about the side effects of smoking? Lung cancer being the main one?”
“Not so much. I think it will take a lot more than a few of these to get rid of me.” he said dragging
the ash tray across the table. “Come on then tell me, what's wrong now?”
“What do you think?”
Emmett dragged his hand down his face. He was as fed up as I was, listening to me moan non stop
about my memory loss.
“Ruby we've talked about this.”
“If you don't want to hear about it stop asking me what's wrong. I'm going to get washed. So I'll see
“Ruby, I'm sorry. Come on sit down.” he called after me.
I went into my walk in closet, which was through a door on the left. The closet was probably double
the size of the bedroom. Inside rows of dresses hung from the rails, ranging from everyday dresses
to extravagant ball gown type dresses that I could never imagine myself in.
I only ever wore three of the dresses in the closet and they were the most simplest three I could find.
Narmi had tried to get me to wear other dresses but I felt ridiculous in them. Wearing a dress in the
first place made me feel like I stuck out like a sore thumb. I didn't need a bigger frillier one to make
me feel worse.
I picked up the dress I wore the most, a long pastel blue flowing dress with a baby pink ribbon that
went around the waist and tied at the back. The top of the dress was finished off with white frill
detail. I had to have my dresses washed daily as they were so long and got dirty rather quickly
trailing along the ground outside.
I picked up the dress and turned around nearly bumping into Emmett.
“Ruby I'm sorry. I didn't mean to upset you.”
“It's okay you're not the only one that gets fed up of me whining day in and day out about my
memory loss. But you have no idea how I feel. I feel so completely lost, like all of this doesn't feel
normal. Something isn't right. I just wish I could remember so I could feel normal again. I hate not
being able to remember.” I said looking through my dresser for clean underwear.
“Ruby all this worrying probably isn't helping.”
“It's not just that. I wake up some mornings and forget I have my own bathroom through that door.”
I said pointing at the door. “Everyday I'm forgetting more and more. I have no idea where I'm going
sometimes or where certain rooms are. I feel like I'm forgetting everything. I don't even know who I
“Have you told Cam this?” he asked.
I looked over at him. I knew Cam had Emmett keeping a watchful eye on my every move. I was
sure whatever I said to Emmett found its way back to Cam anyway. But I was still unsure of Cam, I
hadn't spent much time with him and sometimes things he said didn't make sense. There was
something about him I didn't trust and because of it I was still careful about what I said to Emmett.
I shook my head and picked up my clean towels that had been left for me.
“You should speak with him later.”
“Maybe later, I'm going to run a bath now.”
“Okay, well I'll come find you later.” he said opening the door and leaving.
I walked into my bathroom and put the towels down on the toilet seat.
My bathroom had been modernised compared to the bedroom. The walls and ceiling were the
colour of a night sky, the tiles were the same colour but they seemed to glitter under the spotlights.
There were no windows and it reminded me of an under water lagoon. There was a toilet, a hand
basin and a large corner bath that backed onto a textured glass wall, which actually had a small door
at the side leading into a long shower at the back. I didn't know it was there until Emmett had told
me. I added the bubble bath to the hot water, the steam was already rising and filling the bathroom.
I slid down the side of the bath and sat on the floor pulling my legs up. I'd spent many nights sat on
my bathroom floor trying to figure everything out. I was in pieces sometimes.
There had been an accident around fourteen months ago. I was told I had fallen out of one of the
garden trees, I wasn't entirely convinced about this. I had been in a sleep like state called a coma for
just over ten months. After I woke up I couldn't remember anything about my past, I didn't even
know my name at the time. Sometimes I remember things, well I think I'm remembering but it
never matches the stories I've been told about my past.
I have been awake for nearly four months now, trying to sort myself out. I was told I was an orphan
found as a baby outside the gates. No one ever claimed me so I stayed here and the castle became
No one here uses the word castle. I imagined castles to be cold and drafty places but this place was
more like a dark palace even if the outside looked like a castle with a few turrets. Everyone here
calls it the manor house and I have apparently lived here my whole life.
But everyday I wake up and walk the halls and feel like I'm a guest, nothing looks or feels familiar.
The manor belongs to Cam's father but I'd never seen him as he was permanently away on work.
Cam runs things and there are a lot of people that work here and I mean a lot. Servants, guards and
gardeners. I've made friends with a few of them and of course Emmett who I see everyday whether
I want to or not. I'm pretty sure Cam employed him to follow me around and bug me all day. I don't
see Cam that much he's always busy with work, I still don't know what he does. I stopped asking
about his work a long time ago as I never got any answers. He always ignored or avoided the
question and said he worked in transportation.
I undressed and stepped into my hot bath. I closed my eyes and tried to relax. I laid there hoping a
new memory would resurface, perhaps something from my childhood would pop into my head. But
nothing came to me.
My stomach rumbled reminding me I was hungry. I didn't always want breakfast but I hadn't eaten
much last night and today my usual cookies and juice breakfast wasn't enough.
I washed and dressed and towel dried my hair. I stood in front of the long mirror in my closet
looking at myself. My long brunette hair had an ombre blonde effect at the ends and hung like wet
spaghetti noodles down my back.
I smoothed my dress down. The top half of my dress was so tight I sometimes felt like I couldn't
breathe and this was one of the looser dressers. I felt like I was living in an old fashioned novel all I
needed was my hair braided up on top of my head, which Narmi my handmaid would probably do if
I asked her to. I tied the pink ribbon into a knot at the back of my dress and spun around once
looking back in the mirror.
I hated wearing these clothes. Most of the others walked around in jeans and T-shirts and I was
stuck with dresses. The servants dresses looked more comfortably than this, I still couldn't believe
I'd grown up wearing these sort of clothes. It didn't feel right. It didn't feel normal.
I left my room and walked along the corridor. The walls were made of wood and every ten steps a
different painting hung on the wall. The floors were wooden with a red carpet runner that never
seemed to end.
There were so many doors in this place, most of which I had never seen behind.
There were servants posted at different positions along the corridors. I wondered how much Cam
was paying them to stand there and look straight forward?
Boring and pointless!
It seemed silly I
felt so lonely with all these people everywhere. But the servants never spoke to me unless I asked
them a question or for directions. When I walked passed them they usually kept their eyes to the
floor and nodded in my direction.
The manor house was a square shape and had six levels. The basement was at the bottom and was a
massive contrast to the manor. It was painted in light colours and not how you'd expect a basement
to look. It was like a mini hospital down there with lots of rooms and the Doctor who I knew as
Vivienne who also lived down there. She had been giving me regular check ups since I woke up to
make sure I was doing okay. The basement level had its own set of steps hidden behind a door that
matched the wooden wall interior. A servant always stood nearby watching the door. Above the
basement was the ground level which is where my favourite room was. A large room with an indoor
swimming pool. The swimming pool room had a couch seating area one side with a glass panel roof
and a bar at the end of the pool with more seats. I loved wasting time in there floating around on the
floatable loungers. The end wall was all glass windows and over looked part of the garden. It was
one of my favourite places.
The kitchens were located on one side of the manor along with some of the servants bedrooms. The
rest lived outside in the cottages.
Around the back of the manor after a very long walk down the many corridors you would
eventually come to a set of large double doors that led into the ballroom. It was by far the largest
room in the manor with its high ceilings and tall windows. It would quiet easily fit a few hundred
people inside. The walls were white and gold and chandeliers hung from the ceilings, at one end
there was a large stage with gold curtains at the back. Along one wall there was side seating in
boxes high up in the wall over looking the stage for when there was a performance or entertainment
on stage. There were seven arch shape glass doors that each led out onto their own balcony. This
side of the manor had a grassy hill verge so the balconies sat at the top over looking the gardens.
One of the archway doors had steps leading down into the gardens. Long gold curtains hung at the
sides of the doors. I always wondered how many people it took to clean them? A large white grand
piano sat near one of the balcony doors and a wide liquor bar was at one end stocked full of drinks.
The room was something out of a princess fairytale. You really had to see it to believe it. There
were many bars situated around the manor and I was allowed to help myself to whatever I wanted.
There were no rules for me here, except the one where I wasn't allowed off the property. I had never
seen beyond the gates. I didn't even know where in the world I was? That was just one of my many