Pt. 6

Tobias watched his wife pack their bags with a jaundiced eye. She had repacked the same bag at least three times, each time finding some new and expensive item she couldn't possibly travel without. Anna wasn't terribly bright but her other "assets" more than made up for her lack of intellect. He reached one of the dozen books his father had collected over the course of his lifetime, a book that spoke in great detail about the spell he was hoping to cast when he arrived on Fantasy Island. He hadn't seen this particular incarnation of the magical isles but it probably wasn't much different from the one he remembered from his cousin's tenth birthday, an island full of power channeled through its master, a man named Roarke. He pondered the oddness that both islands would have mage's using the same name but dismissed it after a moment, preferring to concentrate on the plan at hand. Flipping through the pages, he came across a photo his father had taken with a telephoto lens at his cousin's graduation, an event neither of them had been invited to attend. It showed Maggie and some handsome young man standing arm in arm, waving their caps in the air in celebration. In the background he could just make out Maggie's father Eduardo and their grandfather Raul. He examined the photo carefully, wondering idly who the man was and whether he was still in his cousin's life. Not that it mattered. If all went well he would soon be a power and his family would be paying for all the humiliations in his life.

"Toby?" Anna Lee stood in front of her moody husband, a pout on her pretty face. "You haven't heard a word I said have you?"

Tobias looked up at her with a smile that didn't reach his eyes. "Were you speaking?"

She sighed in exasperation. "Yes! I asked what you thought I should take a fancy dress so we could go out to dinner when we get to the resort!"

Tobias sighed and shook his head in exasperation. "We're not on vacation Anna. We're going to visit my grandfather's estate and see if he left us anything in his will."

"But wouldn't his lawyer have told us if he had left you anything when he died?" she asked with a frown. "He died a while ago didn't he?"

"I've explained this to you a dozen times" Tobias retorted, tossing his book aside as he rose from his chair. "The lawyer didn't contact me right away because my cousin never mentioned our side of the family. It's possible he left me some family heirloom that we can sell to pay off our debts before the bookies come looking for me. You wouldn't want them to find me, would you?"

"NO! Of course not! I just was wondering…" her voice trailed off and she backed up a step, dropping her eyes from his face in confusion. "I think I'm finished packing."

"About time" he grumbled, retrieving his book from the floor and packing it in his briefcase. He hefted both the case and the suitcase off the bed and stalked out the door, followed by his now silent wife. As soon as the door closed darkness settled in the room, the temperature dropping to an unbearable level. An odd laugh, masculine in tone, filled the room, accompanied by a cacophony of distant screams.