I stood in Father Hodgekiss's bathroom. Mrs Hodgekiss always allowed bride-to-be's to use their house as a sort of dressing room. Arranged marriage. I wasn't even sure it was legal anymore, yet here I was, in a flowing white dress, half an hour away from being eternally joined to someone my parents had picked out for me. Isaac Cheldon, head of an international toy company and a very, very rich man, and my new husband.
Bree Warren, my best friend, came up from fixing my trail. She gave me a hug, and her eyes sparkled with rare tears; Bree knew what this day meant for me. Eternally joined. Emotions flew around in my head; sadness, worry, anger, confusion, pain...but not happiness, happiness would never enter me again, because, as of this day, I was to be Morgan Cheldon. As of this day, I was to be renouncing my birthright, my heritage, WICCA, forever. My heart threatened to explode.
"Oh Morgan, I...I don't know what to say..." Whispered Bree. Bree, the most confident girl in Widows Vale High, the most outgoing, reckless, and probably least virgin – if that's possible – girl in the senior year, was lost for words. She patted my back softly. My hair had been yanked up into a tight bun and coated in hairspray, whilst these bloody pins were drilling into my skull. Bloody. The word made me pull back from Bree and gasp. He used to say that; bloody. "Morgan?" Asked Bree, worriedly. I put a gloved hand on my forehead, fighting back tears.
"Nothing...it's just..." My whisper trailed off as I burst into tears. Bree's cheek glistened with a tear as well, and we both fell apart, crying into each other's shoulders. I don't know how long we stood like that for...but it wasn't long enough. My mother, Mary Grace Rowlands, walked in and gaped at us as we pulled apart from our embrace.
"Bree, out," She said, snapping her fingers. She had turned so cold, ever since my adopted Dad died she had been acting like a ghost, and then one day she broke completely and married Stuart Afton's brother, who had been selling his house through her and had 'madly fallen in love with her', as he'd said at their wedding. Bree gave me a sympathetic nod, though tears still poured silently down her own face, and shuffled out of the room in her baby blue dress.
I faced my mother, not sure whether to feel sad or sick or angry or what. "Are you ready, Morgan?" She asked. She talked like a robot, our conversations had gotten shorter and shorter, until they had just turned into a single sentence with about as much emotion as a dead rat. It hurt me for her to talk like this, it hurt just to look at her so pale and confused.
"Yes Mom," I said, but my voice cracked half way through. My Mom simply nodded. Another problem with my mom; she didn't even notice anymore. I remembered back to when she could take one glance at me and know I was upset. Just like he could, Shut up! I screamed at the voice, momentarily shocked.
"Good, it's time."
Father Hodgekiss's house was right next to the church. I glared at its big wooden doors with a sudden hatred, though I knew I would feel more hatred when I passed through them. I stood on the steps. I could hear the organ from here. No, no, no, no NO! I screamed silently. "Hey sis! Big day huh?" I spun around, almost tripping over the hems of my dress, to see Killian, my half brother, trotting up the steps. He looked faintly hung over, and I wondered why he was in a tux.
"Killian? What are you doing here?" I asked, my voice shaking from gladness that I would have Killian there for me, even if he wasn't the best listener in the world. He was the best listener, he always listened to you, while he held you and – shut up!
"I came to walk my little sis down the aisle, of course," He said with a big grin. I wrapped my arms around him, tears springing to my eyes again. He patted my back a little awkwardly and pulled back.
"Now, will I have time to say hello to Hunter before—"I dropped my bouquet onto the concrete steps and just stared at it as I shook uncontrollably. Usually I was good at hiding my emotions...but now I couldn't not when they overpowered my mind.
I saw Bree whisper in Killian's ear about his weird disappearance a few months ago. Damn! Now I'd thought about it again. The rasps ripped through my chest as I failed to take deep breaths. And his name, oh god I'm not going to survive. "Ah," Said Killian quietly, and pulled me into another hug. As my rasping gradually died down, Bree patted me on the elbow and gave a meaningful nod at the clock that was about the doors, set into the brick.
Now it really was time. I took a few deep breaths, though even meditation wouldn't stop me from hyperventilating, and turned to face the big wooden doors.
What am I doing? This is stupid, selfish and dangerous. Niall you are a total wreck! I scolded myself. I was sitting on the white cliffs of Dover, I placed my lueg in front of me and took a deep breath. Was there any point in doing this? No, there wasn't, but I wanted to, needed to, after the dreams I had been having these past few days about her. Besides, I wouldn't get another chance until I was in Paris. It was five pm. I had an hour before my ferry to Calais left.
I had never scryed for something like this before, something that wasn't for loss or danger or for my job as a seeker; this was purely for the sight of a face. My love's face. I was hit by a sudden wave of excitement; I was going to see her beautiful brown eyes and her long, messy hair. My heart gave an audible thud and I turned back to the stone and whispered the words I'd been saying since I was a child:
"Show me now what I should see,
What was past or what will be.
The stream of time will start to slow;
Show me where I need to go."
I was hit by a wave of emotions that weren't my own; pain, sadness, sorrow, regret, loss. I was standing on the steps of somewhere, facing two big brown doors. I looked up; there was a large stone clock set into the brick, and then above it was a cross. I realised this was the church at Widows Vale. I wondered why I was here. The clock showed 11. sun glinted in my eyes, it was obviously morning. I looked down to see a girl in a long white dress with a veil. That woman must be the bride, I thought, she turned around. Her dark eyes gleamed with tears. Morgan! I almost lost the vision from shock. She was getting married? Why hadn't she noticed my presence yet? Killian, her brother, stood behind her, with a look of concern on his face that I'd never have expected from him. What was he doing here? My mind flew with emotions and guesses and quite a few swear words. I struggled to keep the vision through the thunders shaking my mind. Quickly, I refocused, only to see that she was at the alter – it was showing me the present. I stood behind them, so I couldn't see the man's face, but then I noticed the tattoo on his lower neck. Where had I seen it before?
Hunter? Why the hell are you here? I heard Killian's voice in my head. Morgan's got enough problems without you showing your arse of a presence here. I looked to where her half brother stood, watching the ceremony, but his eyes showed his anger.
Killian, who's Morgan marrying? I asked back in earnest, watching her and the man say their vows.
None of your business you slimy git. Now stop scrying before Morgan notices your presence, His voice was cold. I had never much liked Killian, he never took anything seriously, always slipping out of trouble and leaving it for the rest of us to deal with.
Killian, please, just tell me who. I hardly ever pleaded, it was one of the signs of weakness; a sign that a seeker should never have. However, right now I couldn't care less about the god damned council; who the hell was Morgan marrying? And why, in the name of the goddess, was she marrying someone she did not love? I was being selfish, I knew. But I also knew that Morgan would only ever be truly happy with me; her muirn beatha dan. I couldn't hear what the priest was saying, but I knew what was about to happen and my entire body wanted to leap in the way to stop them. They kissed, and my heart broke for the second time in the space of an hour. Morgan had her hands on his chest, and his hand was on her neck, his thumb rubbing up and down her neck too hard. I had to criticise him, I knew how to kiss her and he definitely didn't; it was one of those kisses that guys give hookers...not that I know anything about how to kiss a hooker...I could tell Morgan wasn't as into it as he was; her eyes were slightly open, and I could see a glint of despair. This made me feel slightly happy. Niall! Snap out of it you idiot! Morgan's unhappy, you dick! You shouldn't be happy about that, my mind yelled at me.
Finally, the kiss ended, and Morgan looked relieved. I glanced up at the man. I took in the black, slimy hair; the ugly grimace forced into a smile on his lips; his bright blue eyes...Shit! Cheldon! The image disappeared and I was once again sitting on the cliffs of Dover, the cold sea air fanning my face.
"Bloody hell!" I roared, snatching my lueg from the grass. A couple of tourists who'd been taking photos looked up at me with scared expressions. I didn't give a damn. I strode back to my black Lexus and got in, slamming the door. I did a U turn in the middle of the road, the two tourists staring at me totally bewildered; not that I was looking at them, I could just feel their emotions, my head was so full of other crap that I wished I couldn't. My knuckles turned white on the steering wheel and I was way over the speed limits, but I didn't slow down. I wanted to make it to Heathrow airport before sundown, though that was impossible. I was going to meet Athar in Paris, which was now totally out of my equation. "Fuck you Cheldon, you prick, you're fucking dead if you hurt my girl!"