Sophary stepped into the cottage and felt a wave of relief. The place was just as neat and tidy as before. Now that she was not terrified, the cottage felt familiar and a sharp longing entered her consciousness.
It is so good to be home. The thought, unbidden, passed through her mind.
“This is not your home,” Kieran whispered as he latched himself to her arm. “We have to turn back.”
“I want to know what this is,” she gave him a flirty smile. “I know you will protect me.”
“Till my death,” Kieran replied with a grimace.
“You have nothing to fear here,” the entity inserted himself between them and pointed to the moving shapes on the ceiling. “You are protected.”
“What are those,” She asked breathlessly. Her hold on Kieran loosed slightly, as she gazed at the swirling shapes, but her neighbor pulled her closer.
“They are a spell,” Kieran’s voice was barely above a whisper. “ It is powerful old magic that has festered for centuries waiting for you, its target, to return.”
“The boy does not lie,” the entity’s smile did little to contain his rage. “I cast them in a long ago life we shared together to protect you.”
“This is a prison,” Kieran shook his head and looked back toward the cottage door.
“It depends on your idea of civilization,” the entity shrugged. “This is the path we agree upon together. I would not expect a wild Celt to understand.”
Kieran stiffened, but remained silent.
“Stop,” Sophary felt the anger rolling off her protector. It was distracting and kept the narrow fringe of memories pushing into her brain at bay. “I need to concentrate.”