Traps

By

PaisleyRose

Disclaimer.

Yada yada yada, I don't own it.

Brian does and does nothing with it.

So, I'm gonna use it! Again and again and again.

Prologue.

They say time heals all wounds… they lied. Sarah had wounds, deep wounds, and they never healed. Something kept them from healing…or rather some one.

Chapter 1. The happy couple.

Robert stood up; Karen looked at him with unmeasured pride. He raised his glass of wine, not able to keep the smile from his face. "Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the happy couple."

All eyes turned to Sarah and the man at her side, Eric Landers, the man Sarah was going to marring in a matter of hours. Everyone commented on how handsome they were together, and how happy they must be. But Sarah Williams felt anything but happy this evening. What she felt was trapped.

She kept that feeling to herself as she reviewed what had brought her to this travesty of a rehearsal dinner. How could it be that she was allowing this charade? She had looked in the mirror before the rehearsal and wondered who it was that was looking back. It surely could not be Sarah Williams who at eighteen had moved to New York to go to collage. Not the Sarah Williams who at twenty-one had taken the Broadway theater district by storm when she co-stared with her mother in a production of 'The Miracle Worker', the girl who could not be kept down….How much her life changed after that little touch of fame, she could not express. It had been a wonderful run, and she had gotten offers for staring roles on stage and on soaps. Instead of taking the opportunity and running with it, she'd chosen to go back and finish her degree. Then the dark days came, just days after her graduation from the collage, Linda and Jeremy had been killed in a senseless accident. A drunk driver had smashed head first into the vehicle Jeremy had been driving. All three were killed, thankfully it was instantaneously. Sarah had the sad duty of arranging the burial and renting out the apartment shared by the dynamic duo. Everything in the apartment was related to their upwardly spiraling career. Each item became difficult to deal with. Sarah was told by her mother's lawyer in New York that a furnished apartment the likes of this one would fetch a wonderful rent and he offered to take care of everything. There had been a will, after all Linda's first husband had been a lawyer, and he had imparted to her a good deal of knowledge. She had maintained a will from the day she'd become a name. Most everything was left to Sarah, as was expected, including a bank account that was nothing to be sneezed at. Jeremy surprisingly had also named Sarah as his beneficiary. When the will was read, and put into probate, she was assured she'd been well looked after. New York without Linda and Jeremy was too depressing to cope with. Sarah closed up the little apartment she kept after phoning Karen. She went home. That had been well over a year ago.

Sarah remembered the first time she'd seen Eric; he had been in her father's office on the day she was delivering her financial statement to the office. She knew no one on the planet could take better care of her than her Daddy. Eric had been in the office reviewing a case with Robert when Sarah was announced.

Eric Landers was handsome. He was tall, nearly six foot six. He had dark hair that was thick and full bodied with deep waves and never seemed to fall out of place. His eyes were like honeyed mahogany. He dressed with style, and spoke with wit. In every way he appeared to be perfect. Appeared…

Had Sarah been able to look at that moment into his soul she'd have seen how imperfect Eric really was. But he was a master at keeping up the mask of appearances. He offered her what sounded like heart felt condolences on her loss, his voice cordial and solicitous, as he wormed his way into her life. Her father seeing the young man's interest, but also not knowing his heart, invited him to dinner. That first dinner had gone well. He had been quiet and kind to Sarah, or so it seemed.

Within two months he had become a regular visitor at the Williams home. It was only then that he suggested that Sarah go out with him. His first suggested outing had seemed harmless enough; he suggested a concert that he's arranged to get tickets to. Sarah was surprised to find their picture in the paper the following morning. She would not have known about it at all if Karen had not spotted it in the Society section. They had called her a Broadway hopeful and Eric, an up and coming Lawyer.

The following week, Eric invited her out to dinner. She was not sure why she accepted. But she had, and she thought she'd had a good time. He was good company, witty and refreshing. Then once again she found their picture in the morning paper, or rather Karen had.

A month later Eric made a very public proposal to her; Sarah, overwhelmed by his ardor, or what she mistook for ardor, accepted. He publicly presented her with a ring that was more of a boat anchor in Sarah's opinion. She was use to wearing understated jewelry, like the garnet ring she'd had as a teenager. She had loved the little garnet ring, a ring she'd given away…long ago, far away… Because Eric had been so public in giving her the ring she had no chance to tell him how much she hated it, and request to exchange it for something a bit less gaudy.

Now she was regretting ever having agreed to even going to that first concert. It began when they were started to make the plans for the wedding. Eric seemed to be in a great rush to have this wedding, but Sarah wanted to wait until she was out of mourning for her mother. Eric gave in, unhappily, to waiting until a year had passed. He insisted that the marriage take place as soon as possible after the anniversary date of her mother's passing.

When Sarah asked Karen what she thought, she was told that perhaps because Eric had never known Linda he didn't understand. Sarah should have listened to the voice in her head telling her to run, move into the apartment in New York and get away from the man who was now so domineering.

He had insisted on a large wedding, while Sarah would have preferred a nice quiet ceremony with just her parents and some close friends. Something that could have been done in the family parlor, small but tasteful. No, insisted Eric vehemently. Their wedding was of great importance, and had to be done right. He had insisted on St.Paul's the largest church in town, even though neither of them was a member of the parish. He had insisted on a large bridal party, and had even suggested whom she should have served as bridesmaids. He also was not happy with her choice of Maid of Honor; he had wanted his sister Rachel to be maid of honor. However Sarah didn't know Rachel well and had asked her school friend Heather to stand with her. He had demanded that she take Rachel with her to pick out the wedding gown, and had been strong armed into choosing the gown Rachel thought appropriate. The only reason he was even asking Toby to be a member of the grooms party was to impress Sarah's father who was now one of the Senior partners of the firm.

Sarah more and more wondered who the real actor was here, her or this man. She was going over the lists for this outrageous production when she noticed that not once had he said anything about the honeymoon. Not where they were going, not how long they would be gone, not what she needed to pack, nothing.

It was less than a week until the wedding and she was getting jittery. She'd been plagued by dreams, dreams she could not even remember when she'd wakened. And she was putting it all down to stress. She showed up at the office of her Father's firm just before lunch one day. Eric's secretary looked upset at seeing her.

"Is Mr. Landers expecting you?" she asked holding Sarah back from entering. "He's with a client right now." She was nervous and her voice shook. She glanced fretfully from Sarah to the door.

Sarah stepped back. "Oh I'm sorry, Molly, I had no idea. No he's not expecting me, I thought if he were free we could discuss some last minute wedding details." Sarah normally liked the staff here at the firm. But today Molly seemed, well to be perfectly honest, she seemed strange.

Molly's hand shook as she reached for the intercom. "Mr. Landers, sir."

"I told you not to disturb me!" a voice barked.

Sarah stared at the intercom, shocked at how he was treating the girl who was his right arm.

"Miss Williams is here sir." She said quickly, ignoring the bark.

There was a long drawn out pause, then a quick. "Tell her I'll be out in a moment."

Molly tried to smile, failed miserably and pointed to the seating area. Sarah took a seat and started to read a magazine. Moments later Eric escorted a woman out of his office. She was tall, willowy and bleached blond. She looked expensive, Sarah thought to herself, very expensive to keep. Her clothes were designer, not off the rack either. She moved like a pampered cat, and had cat eyes. The woman looked down her nose at Sarah, but had a cordial face painted on as she was swept past the daughter of one of the Senior Partners.

"I'll see to everything, Miss Morgan." Eric was saying in a business voice, but he was flushed and didn't look interested in business. He did however look interested in the person of Miss Morgan.

Sarah looked at her for a moment and wondered why she seemed so familiar.

Eric turned to Sarah, and coldly addressed her. "Come in." He walked into his office and sat down. "I would appreciate it if you didn't drop in unannounced, Sarah. I'm a busy man."

Sarah looked over her shoulder as she entered, "So I see." She looked back at the man whom she was engaged to, "Too busy to finish planning our wedding?"

"I was under the impression all our plans were approved of and set to go." He regarded her with cold eyes, eyes that held no warmth for her at all just now.

"Well the church and reception are on schedule," Sarah said taking a seat, "But I've no idea of where we'll be spending our honeymoon. Care to clue me in, so I pack appropriately?"

Eric leaned back in his chair, "I thought I'd told you, oh well, can't think of everything. There won't be a honeymoon, not at this time…I'll be going into trial the Monday following our wedding…it's a very important case and can not be postponed."

Sarah sat blinking, "What?"

"Well have a nice weekend at the Indian Head Lodge Spa, and perhaps plan a trip later in the year." He went on not the least bit concerned with her response to the news.

"Eric, are you kidding?" She asked standing up, "A weekend at Indian Head Lodge? We're having the reception there."

"Yes, convenient." He agreed. "I gulf there regularly."

"And when did you plan on telling me this?" She found her temper rising.

"I though I'd informed you already," He went to a folder on his desk and went over his notes. "I can't see how it slipped my mind."

"Slipped your mind?" The sarcasm ran like a waterfall. "Slipped your mind! Do you not understand that every girl dreams of a nice honeymoon? Slipped your mind." She stood up and began to pace. "This entire wedding has been your production, but when it comes to the honeymoon you …what…fall flat?"

"Calm yourself." He said coldly.

"Well a weekend at Indian Head Lodge and Spa won't do." She said, "A weekend!"

"Sarah, with a little bit of effort on your part, I'll be a partner in time. My giving up the frivolity of a lavish honeymoon will be seen as highly important to the Senior Partners." He began to fiddle with his nails, nails that were always manicured to perfection. "It's not like we were actually planning anything special. Oh by the way, I'm giving up the lease on my apartment, and we'll be moving into the Crown Complex in a month. So we'll be staying more than a weekend at the lodge… don't bother with moving your things to my place before the ceremony… we'll have to see off some of your mother's furnishings and things and buy new once we settle into the Complex. I've leased one of the penthouses and I believe we should go ultra modern…"

"It's all an act, isn't it Eric?" she sighed deeply.

"No, Sarah, not all of it. I think you'll make a very good wife. You're pretty to look at, smart and able to converse…" He stood up. "It's a very smart business plan and arrangement." He opened the door and waited. "I think you should leave now."

Sarah stared at him. "Eric…"

"I've business to see to…. Oh and I won't be having dinner with you this evening…something… has come…up." He smiled coldly. "I'll see you at the rehearsal dinner." He didn't even bother with trying to kiss her goodbye. He hurried her out the door and shut it, humming to himself.

Sarah left the firm's office and wandered though the town, completely forgetting she'd left her car in the firm's lot. When she made her way back to the lot she saw Eric and the Morgan woman standing in a close clench, his hands where they should not be. The Morgan woman was responding to his assault willingly, and begging him for more. He shoved her into his car, moved to the driver's side and drove out, never having seen Sarah who ducked down as they drove past.

That night Sarah had a dream, no scratch that, it was a nightmare. She was on stage, but it was not a play, it was a smaller stage. It was a dark and dingy nightclub kind of place. She was dressed in a scanty little costume that left nothing to the imagination. It was green satin, with gold trims, and tassels, and she was in stiletto heels. The place smelled, it smelled awful, and it wasn't going to get better she was sure. There was stale smoke hanging in the air, body odors and the smell of a strange alcoholic beverage. The alcoholic beverage was the smell that got to her, it was so damned familiar, but she could not place it. In the darkness sat patrons of this hell-hole joint, some huddled over drinks, others playing some kind of game of chance. The bartender was a big burly man smoking a stale old cigar and barking orders.

The stage area was dark except for where it was lit by some kind of poor excuse for a spot light. In the center of the stage stood a pole, just below the stage and to one side was some kind of ill conceived orchestra seating. Directly in front of the stage sat a group of men, hooting, hollering and demanding the show.

Sarah stood backstage, behind a curtain, watching and waiting. The big burly bartender tossed some kind of bone at the orchestra and they began to play. It was the strangest music, something out of a hallucination. It was eerie and had lots of strange horn sounds. Then it sounded like a strange kind of piano…or harpsichord…or something that was akin to a keyboard of a synthesizer. The melody was haunting and sad, as it droned on. Sarah found her self undulating sensually to it. She moved toward the stationary pole and wound herself about it as she danced. It became almost waltz like, and she moved to the edge of the stage, receiving cat calls from the men in that ugly front row.

She could make out three of them; one was a squat little man, with huge hands. His blue eyes looked at her like he was ready to cry. The second man was wearing an eye patch, and whistled constantly at her. The third stared at her and drooled, he drooled a lot. She felt very nervous about these three. The first one kept slapping his knee, and hooting at her to come and sit. The second one just whistled and winked his good eye at her. Sarah felt relief when the song ended and she could escape backstage again. Even though she was clothed she felt naked, and exposed. She hid in a dark corner of the backstage area, hopeful that she would not be seen. Then hands fell on her shoulders, and a voice moaned gently in her ear.

"Sarah, don't keep me waiting."

The voice startled her into waking, a voice she'd not heard in years. A voice she'd long ago convinced herself belonged to someone who simply didn't exist. A voice of something dead inside her something long gone. She covered her mouth with her hand; it was cold as the grave. She shivered as she rocked herself to and fro. Tears fell freely, as she stole from her bed, wandered down the dark hall and peered into the bedroom her brother was sleeping in. She stood over his bed and whispered, "It was just a dream…" Softly, she placed a hand to his hair, stroked it as she had many times.

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The owl sat alone on the branch outside the boy's room. He sat here often, keeping watch. No one ever noticed. He sat watching with great round dark eyes that saw everything and kept the secrets to himself. How long he'd been coming there only the boy knew, and he knew enough to keep it to himself. There was much the boy and the owl had in common, much they didn't want shared with others or made common knowledge. It was easy enough to throw others in the house off. The Father was too busy with his practice, what time he spent with the boy was spent in the lower level of the house. The mother was busy trying to be the perfect wife, and looking out the window she didn't see anything but the old tree in the front yard. It was the sister who was now back at home he had to be careful of. For Sarah Williams was a powerful woman, even if she was not aware of it and the owl had already felt her influence.

This night was different, from the window he could see the young woman Sarah had become was suffering. His all knowing eyes could perceive that she was in dire straights. Night was his time, and he could see clearer in the night then mortals could see during the day. This night he saw what Sarah hid from the rest of the world, this night her soul was revealed to him and to him alone. And she was not even aware of it, or of him sitting on the branch outside the boy's room.

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The next day Sarah called the office, she was going to have a long talk with Eric she decided. Molly was nervous as she answered the phone, saying he was not in, no she didn't know when he was expected. Sarah asked if he left a number to be reached at and was given no answer. She hung up the phone.

That night she had the dream again, only this time she was being pulled from the stage by hands belonging to men who were all copies of Eric. The Eric copies were making demands of her that she could not or would not reply to. She kicked and clawed her way free, and ran out of the dingy bar into the night. She could hear her music being played and refused to go back in. "I'm not going to perform! I'm not a trained dog." She muttered trying to cover herself with her hands.

"Sarah." The voice whispered at her ear.

Sitting up she was drenched in sweat, and the room felt cold. Sarah knew it had to be the stress of the wedding, just the stress and her feelings of uncertainty toward Eric. She told herself it would all fade, like a bad dream. Only it wasn't fading. It was getting worse.

Tonight was the last straw, she told herself. Eric had the nerve to show up to the rehearsal late, and smelling of perfume. Sarah recognized the scent, it was the same scent worn by that Morgan woman. He sat at the dinner, smug and self-righteous, acting important. When her father gave the toast it was all she could do not to shove something sharp into his eyes. Sarah kept still as Eric rose and thanked everyone for their support. He walked her out of the restaurant to her car; while everyone else had begun to pull out he held her back.

"Sarah, don't do something stupid tomorrow…like not show up." He warned in a cold brittle tone.

"I don't know what you think is going on here, Eric…but I'm on to you…You two bit phony." She snapped.

"Look at whose calling whom a phony." He scowled. "Little miss butter wouldn't melt."

Sarah considered slapping him; he must have read her thoughts. "Save it Sarah. We can have our nice little story book wedding, and afterward, we'll have a nice civil marriage. No deception or dishonesty with each other about our feelings. We'll maintain a civil stance to each other in public and avoid each other in private." His voice was so cold it burned. "And thank God there'll be no children."

Sarah's mouth dropped, and her heart sunk. No children? "You want me to go though with this sham?"

"Of course," He laughed at her. "I told you…you're the perfect wife for me. Besides it will look very bad for your father if you don't show up! I'll see to that. I know how to make things look far worse than they are. You don't want to damage your dear Daddy's reputation, now do you?" He opened her car door and then shut it when she got in. "I'll see you at the church, Sarah." He didn't pretend to care, he just walked away.

Sarah drove home; her father and Karen had already gone up. She locked the door and dragged herself up the stairs. The hall light burned dimly and she shut it off as she entered her room. The room she'd grown up in, and still considered her refuge. She sat down on her bed and grabbed up the love worn bear that was the only remainder of her childhood still left in the room. She cried into the bear's fur, so hard she didn't hear the door open or see the boy as he entered.

Toby, now going on eleven, moved like a cat more than like a boy. He was graceful and stealthy. His hands came to his sister's face; rising it up he looked into her bitter eyes. "Sarah?" His eyes were like pale jewels, with a hint of moonlight.

"Toby, I'm sorry." She sobbed. "I didn't mean to wake you."

"What's the matter sis, you can tell me." He sat on her bed, placing his arm about her the way she had for years placed her arm over him, protectively.

"It's nothing," she moaned, "Nothing at all."

"Did that goon get fresh with you?" His voice was harsh, it was clear he didn't like or approve of Eric. "I'll smash his headlights!"

"Toby!" She snickered weakly; "Really."

"I mean it…" He said looking at her with real concern and worry. "You're not happy…. He never makes you happy…I don't think he ever did or ever will." The language was much older than his years. "Sarah, don't marry him, even I can see you don't love him."

"I have to." She whispered. "Don't ask me why but there's no way I can get out of this without causing Daddy irreparable harm."

Toby bit his lip, "I'm gonna get dad."

"No!" She begged, panicked. "Toby, just forget it… I'm fine… just wedding jitters… really…" She clawed at his shoulder and begged. "Just go to bed. Everything will be fine come morning… I promise."

Toby went to his room, shut the door and paced. Everything was not going to be fine, he said as he tapped his leg with the ruler he'd pulled off his desk. It seemed to help when he was thinking if he could tap something against his leg. He often wondered where and when the habit had been picked up. Right now he didn't care when or where, he only knew it helped him to focus. "I've got to do something," he declared aloud. "But what?"

'You know what to do.' A voice said; a voice that only Toby could hear.

"Don't start." He said crossing his arms and frowning.

'You know what to do,' it repeated.

"Right, that will make everything just ducky!" he snapped. "I'm not even supposed to remember what happened or did you forget?"

'You want to save her?' The voice taunted. 'Then you know what to do.'

"There has to be some other way," Toby said as he went to the window. "I can't do what you're asking me to do…." He looked straight into the eyes of the owl. "She'd have a fit if she ever found out what's been going on all this time…"

The owl didn't look impressed.

Toby shook his head, "there has to be another way." He moved to his bed and slipped between the blankets, closed his eyes and let sleep claim him. He prayed in sleep he'd find the answer.

The house was quiet, except for the soft muted cries of the girl. In the boy's room a silhouetted figure stood by the bed and watched for a time. Mismatched eyes twinkled with joy at the sight of the child sleeping so peacefully. The figure raised a hand and a single crystal orb appeared, not the large one's he usual held, but a smaller, miniature replica of his crystals. He placed it gently down on the bed then turned to move to the window. He paused, still hearing the painful cries from the room down the hall.

He drew a second orb and focused, he could see the girl lying in her bed, trying desperately to figure out a way out of this mess. "Poor Sarah," he mocked. "But don't fret, my pet. Your salvation is at hand. Of course the cure may be worse…" He snickered softly as he tossed the crystal into the air; it burst into millions of sparkles of light and was gone. He moved to the window even before he was stepping though it, he had turned into the handsome barn owl and took to flight.

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With the first rays of the sun, Toby awoke. He felt the item on his bed that didn't belong there; it had not been there the night before. Of that he was sure. Lifting it, he grimaced. "Fine, if I can't find anything else, if there is no other way…. Fine." He rose from the bed and prepared to go to the church.

Sarah lay in her bed, having cried herself to sleep, and now being exhausted, she didn't want to wake up. She hated the wedding dress, but Eric had insisted on the style she was to wear, and that dreadful woman Rachel made sure his wishes were the only ones that mattered. She hated everything about this wedding, and wondered how long she'd be trapped in this loveless marriage.

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Sarah was in the brides room, pacing. She had chased all of the bridesmaids including Rachel and Heather out of the room. She paced alone, trying to find an answer that would not cost her or her father too dearly. Each tick of the clock was bringing her closer to a fate she dreaded. Eric didn't love her; he had used her as a means to get in good with her father and the other Senior Partners. She leaned on the pillar holding up the ceiling. "I'd rather crawl though the junkyard…. Or swim the bog…" she muttered thinking of things that at one time had seemed far direr to her. "Hell, I'd dance naked for the King if it would get me out of this!" Closing her eyes and lifting her face upward. "Oh I wish someone," she wailed mournfully, "Someone would save me! Take me away from this awful place!" she begged. "Please."

Her eyes shut tight, Sarah didn't see the golden of glitter that showered down upon her.

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Toby, the miniature orb stuffed in his pocket had been stuck in the groom's room. He sat in a corner while the men gathered and spoke lewdly, not thinking the kid could understand. But he understood. He watched as the best man called the groom to the door. He saw though the door that the groom was kissing and fondling another woman, a woman that seemed to enjoy this behavior. Toby shook his head and pulled the orb out of his pocket. He went to a corner of the room that was unoccupied, lifting the orb he spoke. "Oaky, I'm desperate and there's no other way…I wish the Goblin King would come and take my sister….right now." He closed his eyes, awaiting something. A crash, a thunderbolt, or a whirlwind, but nothing happened. Toby opened his eyes and looked at the orb with a critical and sobering gaze. The orb was swirling with color and sparkling glitter. Nothing happened out side the orb but he knew that nothing was what it seemed in his world. He lowered the orb and whispered. "What are you up to?" Now he worried, he had set free something and could not take it back. "Just don't hurt her." He whispered as he shoved the orb back in to his pocket.

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Heather came into the Bride's room along with Karen, both were worried about Sarah. They felt she was acting strange. Sarah was arguing with the wedding coordinator that Eric had insisted on.

"Is it my wedding or yours?" Sarah growled at the mousey little man.

"I have my orders." He snapped back at her. "The groom insisted, and he told me you were being erratic today…. Just calm down, Miss Williams."

Karen didn't like the man, and she didn't like seeing him bully her step-daughter. "See here you little mouse," She grabbed the man by the collar, "Is Mr. Landers paying you or is my husband?"

"Mr. Williams is." He squeaked.

"Then I suggest you show more respect to the bride, now get out of here!" she shoved him to the door.

Sarah was staring at herself in the mirror. "This dress is a monstrosity!" She pulled at the puffy organza shaped like rosebuds.

"It wouldn't be half bad with half that shit removed." Heather agreed.

Sarah looked at the clock; there was only half an hour until she was going to have to walk up the isle. "Karen, do you have a scissors in your purse?" she knew her stepmother carried the most outrageous things in her bag. When the woman produced not only a nice little pair of sheers but a sewing kit, Sarah smiled. "Help me defrock this frock!"

Heather and Karen both set about pulling off the froo-froo as Sarah called it. Sarah directed their assaults, and in less than ten minutes the gown now resembled something a bit more classic. Karen was gathering up part of the organza skirting and creating a bustle leaving the front draping gracefully cascading down. Sarah had removed the long veil and they used the netting to create a classical train off the bustle. Only the smallest amount of netting was used to make a fingertip veil to cover Sarah's face.

Rachel entered with the bride's bouquet, took one look at Sarah and screeched. "What have you done to that dress?"

"Improved it," Sarah said now pulling on little white gloves that Karen had as a spare pair in her purse.

Rachel advanced on her with eyes full of alarm. "You've ruined it…. A Margo Channing original, and you've ruined it! Eric is going to be very unhappy with you!"

"Better he should be unhappy with me, than me with this dress." Sarah said she looked down at the bouquet. "That's not the bouquet I ordered."

"Eric ordered this, when I told him how awful the one you ordered was." Rachel looked down at the gaudy mess of flowers in her hands. "It's the same bouquet that was used at the Winston wedding last year." Obstinately she held it out to Sarah. "Eric insists you carry it."

"Eric can go to hell." Sarah said sweetly, "I'm not carrying that."

Rachel put it down and pursed her lips. "Don't you dare ruin this day for my brother you spoiled brat." Turning she headed for the door, "I'm going to tell him what you've done to the dress…."

"Rachel, you make one move toward that door and you're dead." Sarah said sharply. "Sit down."

The rest of the brides maids were coming into the room, all of them seemed to approve of the new look of the gown. All but Rachel who sat glowering at the bride.

Heather went to the hall, stopping the florist from taking the Bride's offing bouquet up to the front of the church to be placed before the Statue of the Blessed Mother. She explained the mix up with the bouquet and asked if they could not use the offering bouquet instead. The florist rushed out to his truck, and a few moments later came back with the bouquet now bedecked in white satin ribbons. Heather carried it into Sarah. "This will do nicely." She placed the Calla Lilies into her friends arm. "So you."

"Thanks." Sarah looked at the clock. "Ok ladies, show time." She glared at Rachel who was not happy.

The coordinator entered the Bride's room and began lining everyone up. He looked at Sarah, frowned at the changes in the gown, and the bouquet and shook his head. "Forward, ladies."

Robert watched as Karen moved past him and was escorted up the isle, he then took hold of his daughter's arm. "You've made me very proud." He said, not having noticed any change at all. "I'm so proud of you, and so happy you and Eric are going to be living so close."

Sarah's heart fell, how could he not see how unhappy she was?

The organ began to play and she felt her father urge her to take the first steps. Each step toward the front of the church felt like a death march to her. When they reached the pews where the most honored guests were to sit, Sarah's eyes felt like flames. In the row behind his mother and father, Eric had the Morgan woman sitting.

'That's it,' she thought to her self. 'That's the last straw.'

The minister, began to speak, but Sarah didn't hear him clearly. She was waiting for the right words. Then she heard them. "If there be anyone here who had reason why these two should not be joined together, let him speak now or forever hold his peace."

Sarah smiled and began to open her mouth, and heard another's voice from the back of the church said loudly, clearly and in a perfectly crisp accent say…

"I object."