"Come, we should leave at once," she said and glanced nervously over her shoulder. "Something terrible happened after you left for town. I think the Abbess found out about us. Our meeting in Uncle Ryan's cabin is no longer a secret. We have been overheard. For all I know someone spies on us even as we speak. I think the Abbess, or one of her 'friends,' is hovering somewhere nearby and listening to every word."
Andrew pulled Genevieve to his chest. "Do you regret you've come with me?"
Passion smothered Genevieve's doubt and guilt. "Never," she answered, aware of her body's response to his touch, and she succumbed to his embrace.
Calming the gnawing unease in her mind and the thought of Sister Dominica guessing she was the dough of a sinner, Genevieve repeated, "Never."
With her eyes closed and their bodies touching she became, for the very first time, simply a woman. She melted in his embrace in spite of the invisible vicious threat breathing around them. Aware they might never be alone again, she fought hard to silence the voice of conscience berating her.
"Oh, God. Please forgive me," Andrew muttered under his breath when he bowed his head to kiss her. Their lips met in a passionate first kiss.
Genevieve's spirits fell and her heart skipped a beat when, a couple of seconds later, she opened her eyes and her gaze fell on a knot strangers.
… . . .
Tears welled in Anne's eyes, blurring her vision. She couldn’t explain them, or the sudden sadness seeping into her heart. This should’ve been a moment of happiness or, at least, contentment. She was with Neil again, and the outcome of their trip together should, very likely, bring their reconciliation. Why then did she seem detached from where she stood?
Anne shivered. Why the deep feeling of having seen this place, this forest before? And why the eerie sensation of being present here only in the body, while her mind was far away?
Away from the forest.
Away from Neil, the man who'd betrayed her trust and her love.
An onrush of sensations unfamiliar to her followed. Dizziness and a malevolent feeling of unreality suffocated her.
Anne edged cautiously closer to the rim of the bare cliff. Her foot tapped the edge. It seemed solid. She stared into the darkness of the abyss at her feet. It echoed the shadows in her heart. An unusual curiosity took hold of her. Should she step ahead? What was down there? Other human bones? Another mystery? The presence of evil, creeping up and enveloping her, became almost palpable. The vines of fog folded around her, dragging her to the depth. Her throat turned dry, and she gasped for air.
Megan's face contorted, the voice no longer pleasant. A hoarse gurgle, spluttering distorted words, "Yes, come... I'm waiting... I've been waiting for you for such a long time..."
* * *
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