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   Chapter 12 A Coincidental Meeting

Resurrect Thy Heart By JMFelic Characters: 14432

Updated: 2018-09-05 22:02


Father Marcus retreated to his chamber as quickly as he could. The whole course of it wasn't simple though for his mind was in a whirlwind. The scenes inside Ysabelle's room just kept popping out of his thoughts like a countdown.

5—

The kiss on her forehead...

He slapped a palm on his face as he sat on a stool near his bed.

4—

Her seeming dislike on his touch...

He cringed upon remembering it.

3—

His lightning-like slip of his cool and calm disposition...

He clenched his teeth in disapproval.

2—

His impatience, the sudden surge of anger, and the burning feeling of his arm and eyes...

He forced a long, deep sigh and tightened his balled up fists.

And

And

1—

And his jaw-dropping confession of their shared kiss...

He huffed and almost butted his head on the wall mirror at his back.

All of it happened in just mere minutes. So fast. So swift. So brutally damaging. For a priest, he sure knows how to make an impression.

Standing up, he took his polo shirt off and dropped it in the stool. Then, he arranged himself in the mattress, lying with his arm pressed on his forehead and his feet still on the floor.

Temper. Temper. Temper.

And desire.

Marcus had been out of his wits having to control these two while inside Ysabelle's room. They were the only culprits of the regrettable scenes tonight. It took him a lot of willpower to reign the emotions in. Good thing he was able to, but he had suspicion that it wouldn't be that easy if he snaps again. There was something that magnified his tamed human reactions the moment he knocked on Ysabelle's chamber door and he was quick to pinpoint them on the demon festering inside him.

Just as he had read in the Demonology book, this particular demon has the ability to enhance the emotions of love and hatred. Although he didn't hate the family or the circumstances that had befallen on him, he was angry about it, and anger was a close relative, so technically it had the same reaction.

The subject of love however was a different case. Totally different. Think of him, a priest, in love of a woman?

'That's just absurd, ' Marcus scoffed at himself after deliberating the word, but that was that. He didn't entertain any thoughts regarding it when he closed his eyes until fell asleep on his bed.

The question about how André was possessed was answered. Finally. Now that explains the podium and the old book on top it. Marcus was no dumb not to realize that the brotherhood had used it to summon the demon. It was also possible that they were using it for the whole month in order to control the entity inside André. That in turn explains why the family had to wait for a month before they called the help of the Vatican. It seems they weren't able to control the demon into their bidding... into what Ysabelle calls 'the greater good'.

But really now. Immortality?

What a cliché reason it was, but a twisted, sordid one.

Marcus didn't blame André for volunteering himself for the cause. He didn't even blame the Master of the House for letting his eldest son do it or the family for keeping themselves out of the issue. He was aware that they were extremist believers of the Priory of Sion, but hell, was it really that necessary to summon a demon for their help?

That's a new question added in his long list. He was supposed to get the answers to all of it after his Question and Answer portion with Ysabelle tonight. He expected it as much, but guess he was wrong.

All thanks to his unexpected big-time crack of composure.

To extract himself out of the woman's room was wise. No, actually, to extract himself out of the Rogratiatto Mansion would be better. So by early morning, although without a restful sleep, his relief was noticeable when he and Father Julien were out of the estate riding a cab going to the Town of Dob?í? and the airport respectively.

Mistress Regina was the only one who wished them a safe trip and bid them farewell. At least through this, the Rogratiatto Family's hospitality would still remain intact. She also handed the white envelope that contained Father Marcus' picture, but in return, he didn't accept it for reasons he didn't explain. Regina just nodded though and stated she'll return the photo back to Ysabelle, who was apparently 'still sleeping.'

*

*

*

Chateau Dobrí? or popularly known as Dobrí? Castle is only just a three-hour drive from the central city. The design style of the edifice was Rococo with classic windowpanes and elaborate ornamental decorations in the interior. Painted with peach and gray in the walls and roofs respectively, it looked almost like a building coming out from fairy tale books. It has five floors including the ground floor with over a hundred and ninety-three guest rooms, six main kitchens and four restaurants — something that can be boasted about by the town mayor. The beauty of the surrounding land summed up with a large garden maze that most of the guests enjoy taking time exploring. It was a privately-owned estate in the past, but at present, it is used as a historical hotel with guests of small groups needing to book in advance.

When Father Marcus arrived in the castle, he was immediately greeted by the elderly assistant caretaker, Mr. Sylvester Grann and his wife, Charity. They took him first in his assigned guest room in the third floor to settle his baggage, then offered him a lunch buffet in the fourth restaurant of the same floor.

Together with Mr. Grann, Marcus had a hearty meal and a light conversation with him. It was an enough distraction to have for himself so that his thoughts wouldn't stray away and think of a certain woman and how he surprisingly missed her company in the dining table. Mr. Grann, amidst the imposing goatee he has, was a bit of a charming joker. He has an awfully cheerful demeanor too, something that he was able to successfully use in order to take Marcus' mind off of the seriousness of his priestly duties. They had a good laugh during their meal, but when time came when they had to talk about the demon possession, all their smiles faded.

Indeed, Marcus was right when he said that the demon was just a low-class type. Judging from the usual symptoms of the possession reported by Mr. Grann, he could easily take down the entity without breaking a sweat. But, that didn't keep the victim's co-workers and family frightened though.

The victim was the main caretaker of the castle, Sir Dolan MacMillan. He had been of service to the House of Mansfield since he was in his early teens following the footsteps of his family. Now a widow of seven years, he had since devoted himself and his time to taking care of the castle and its guests. He was no atheist and was usually seen in the castle's chapel every afternoon to pray. Nobody ever expected that a man of good faith such as him would be possessed by a creature of Hell.

*

*

After checking on the status of the caretaker in his bedroom located in the ground floor, Marcus and Mr. Grann agreed to do the exorcism rite in the evening when most of the guests and the staff would be sleeping. The assistan

t caretaker was worried that it would cause quite a commotion, so he decided it was better to do it during that time. Marcus was amenable to it thinking that it would be advantageous for him. It wasn't like he needed time to prepare anything. It was just his mind was too preoccupied with the events inside the Rogratiatto Mansion that it in effect distracted him with the present duty.

To calm himself and clear his mind, Marcus decided to visit the castle's front gardens. He passed the many hallways of the floor in order to reach the artsy and spacious main foyer. He was looking forward to spending his free time in the maze gardens, but it soon changed when he saw a number of guests coming out of a school bus.

It had a tarpaulin tied in the front which read, 'The Academy of Marina High School History Tour.' About twenty boisterous girls disembarked from it, all of them wearing uniformed pink cloche hats and the school pin placed in their left chest. Father Marcus stood near the Customer Service counter just a few feet away from the main door and watched the momentary buzz in and outside the foyer.

Next to descend from the vehicle were four middle-aged women whom Marcus guessed were the teachers of the noisy students. They all wore a bright smile when they got out of the bus. However, their bright smile paled in comparison to the last woman's sunny presence who hastily jumped out of the door just as soon as it closed.

Marcus' breath hitched and his eyes widened.

"God, she's—here, " he broke out in a murmur, throat drying instantly.

She's— She's here!

Though unconscious, his fingers trembled and his respiration quickened. He almost had to pinch himself just in order to make sure he wasn't dreaming.

'Ysabelle Rogratiatto is here.'

'In Chateau Dobrí?.'

'Now.'

'But why? Why is she here?!'

"Father Marcus!" a high-pitched voice of a girl called out to him just as he was processing the truth. He turned to see who it was and found Mehak approaching him with excited jogs.

'Oh, so the young Mistress is here also, ' he commented on his mind. Noticing the same pink hat she was wearing, it didn't surprise him at all that he wasn't able to recognize her immediately among the group.

Collecting himself from his tentative shock, he smiled and greeted with enough warmth on the girl when she reached his front, "Good afternoon Mehak."

"Father, " Mehak said while bowing low. "You're here!"

*

*

*

Ysabelle, in haste, grabbed the black sling bag that contained her DSLR camera and sprinted out of the bus just in time the door had shut.

In her many travels, she had been accustomed to sleeping in. Whether it was a bus, a train or a private car, she had no preference. It had always been an advantage for her especially when she was lacking of sleep. This day apparently was one of those sleep-deprived days many thanks to a certain priest hunting her dreams. She had specifically instructed her niece to wake her up when they arrive, but unfortunately, Mehak was too busy to do so and forgot about it. It was a good thing she had her sneakers on and comfortable jeans to race against time and make a clean jump out of the bus.

By the time she stepped foot in the castle grounds, she released a sigh, relieved that she didn't fall. However, it was soon followed by a state of stupefaction the moment her eyes landed on Mehak approaching a man she had least expected to see in this castle.

'Oh God, why is he here?!'

She blinked twice, clutched the straps of her backpack and sling bag, and for a moment hesitated whether to approach them or not. But she knew there was no avoiding the inevitable, so in the end, she slowly proceeded to where her niece was, all the while holding her breath.

"Ms. Ysabelle, " the exorcist priest spoke just as she neared them, "good afternoon." Their eyes met, quickly sending fireworks flying in the pit of her stomach.

"Fa—ther Marcus!" Ysabelle blurted out, sounding jumpy without intention, "good—good afternoon too."

She felt her niece grab her free arm and positioned herself on the left side. That simple action somehow broke the shock inside her.

"What a surprise Father. Are you staying in the castle too?" she heard Mehak say seemingly unaware of the little tension brewing in between her and the priest.

Ysabelle noticed another weighty glance from Marcus and this caused her to tense up again.

"Yes, I am. I just arrived before lunch, " he answered after briefly smiling. "I am supposed to do an exorcism rite here."

"Oh, the one Father Julien said during our dinner last night?" Mehak elaborated.

"Yes, child. It is."

'Hmmm... what a coincidence, ' Ysabelle commented in her mind. She remained silent all throughout the conversation, letting her niece do the talking.

"How about you two? Why are you here?" Marcus asked, looking at Ysabelle and the girl back and forth.

"School tour Father. I did mention it last night as well right?" Mehak stated with a wide grin.

Marcus paused for a moment and then bobbed his head, remembering that topic during dinner. "Yes, yes. You did, " he said whilst fleetingly glancing at Ysabelle again.

Their exchange broke off when a female teacher called Mehak from the front desk.

"Excuse me Father, Auntie. My homeroom teacher needs me, " she said with a slight bow and a smile, and then jogged away.

*

*

*

The air around them grew thicker when Mehak left. Ysabelle's heartbeat rose, panicking gradually as she thought of a good opening statement for him.

Now why does she have to stay with the priest when she can always tail her niece and go to the front desk too?

That thought occurred in her, and so without weighing it down, she decided to just inform the priest that acceptable alibi. But, Marcus opened up a dialogue first with a simple question, "I reckon you are here to babysit your niece?"

Ysabelle glanced at him who was now looking at the busy students dragging their bags up in the first floor stairs.

"Uh, that and my photography gig Father, " she answered, managing to sound unperturbed this time. She watched the same scene in their front and then redirected her sight on Mehak who was talking with two teachers. Admiring the leadership her niece showed and the huge trust her teachers had placed on her, it made Ysabelle feel happy and blessed. The girl's parents doesn't even have an idea that their daughter is a born leader.

"Mehak is a lucky girl to have a supportive Aunt like you, " Marcus praised, now staring at her. His words were loud and clear, but for Ysabelle, it seemed like a thin whisper, being that she was too preoccupied and entranced with watching her niece in her tasks.

"I'm not really her Aunt, " she said abruptly, no filtered words whatsoever.

"Come again?" Marcus broke out, his brows creased.

"Huh? What?" Ysabelle, now realizing the grave mistake, waved her hands and shook her head quickly. "Uh, noth—nothing Father. Just a silly blabber. Don't mind it."

She gave him a cheeky smile and a light pat on his arm, but this didn't do well for Marcus though for his brows flexed even more.

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