(The long awaited) Seeking Favor Epilogue
Disclaimer: For the last time- ::points to herself:: I am Not L.J. Smith. I am a poor college student. This is just for fun writing,… waiting for Strange Fate to be available (it should soon) so that I can get the real scoop on the whole Ash/Mare situation..
Thank you all for the reviews! I hope this turns out in a satisfactory way for you guys. Epilogues can be very intimidating.
Ash looked confused but opened the door, his eyes scanning the room. Might as well get this over with-and then his eyes caught hold of a girl. He gaped, literal jaw dropping, emotional mask gone, cool vanished. His eyes changed color as quickly as his emotions were. Shock, confusion, fear, longing, frustration and a little bit of anger.
Mary-Lynnette wasn't doing too well either. Her hands were tightly clasped behind her back. She had to remind herself to breathe. That's right. Breathing is good.
He could think of a million good questions to ask. Like 'Why are you here?' 'Did you come here to tell me that you hate me in person?' 'Why weren't you there waiting for me?' However he couldn't get his mouth to work. He couldn't be business like about this. He couldn't put these emotions somewhere else. He wanted to, he wanted to act like she didn't affect him at all. But it was as beyond his reach as the stars themselves.
Why wasn't he saying anything? Mare was trying not to panic. Anything! From his stare, she could tell he wasn't trying to ignore her. No he was focused. But he had the same bristling look of a cat who's had cold water dumped on him. It was up to her to start.
"Hi." She said quietly.
"Hi." Ash echoed. A part of his mind was realizing that he'd been set up by Laurel for just this purpose. She was probably laughing right now, Oh what great fun! Let's throw Ash in the same room as his soulmate he hasn't seen in forever and see what happens. He tried to be angry about it. No doubt he would thank her later- It was easier to think about anything that wasn't centered around Mare. Because if he let his brain wander THAT direction he'd start to worry, then to panic, and then he'd become a puddle of goo. His legs moved him closer to her until they were about three arms lengths away and he could see the blue of her eyes. He hoped he looked casual doing it.
She didn't back away, but rocked on her heels. She looked around the room as if trying to gain inspiration.
"I'm going to join Circle Daybreak." Mare announced. Ash was quiet, he didn't want to argue with her. "If that's ok with you I mean, if it'd be easier for you I could-" Mare rambled. Her voice became more high pitched.
"No, it's good that you want to join." Ash said pathetically.
"Yeah, so Kestrel is here too." She said cowardly, nodding her head. It was nice to talk to him and not be yelling or anything.
"Yeah, Rowan said she was with you." Ash put his hands in his pockets.
"Oh, you visited Briar Creek?" She said wincing.
"Yeah, I just got back." Ash said hoping he wasn't was fueling an argument. He was standing alone in a room with Mary-lynnette and they were talking like small talk- something they'd never tried before. It had always been 'You can't be my soulmate! Who killed Aunt Opal?' with no opportunity to just introduce yourself and do what normal people did when they met. Being Soulmates meant you just skipped right over that whole 'who are you?' part of it. He looked around the room and let his eyes fall to her feet. Nice sneakers.
He was just hoping she wouldn't tell him something along the lines of 'you shouldn't have thought I'd be waiting for you. Chauvinist pig!' So her next words shocked him into looking her in the eyes.
"I'm sorry." She said sincerely with no sarcasm.
"Huh?" Ash said with a look of utter confusion. She was NOT apologizing. Other people did that stuff, not her.
"I- I was scared of you. I still am." She said speaking of when they first met.
"Oh." Ash's disappointment must have been glaringly out in the open.
"I mean, your sisters were scared of you, and I was scared to death that I had fallen for you when it made no sense why I should. And then you'd have power over me, to hurt me, and you've hurt so many people and- well I'm sorry I shouldn't have pushed you away-" Mare blurted out in a rush
"And kicked me in the shins?" he asked hopefully.
"Well no, you deserved that." Mare said with the barest glimmer of smile.
"Ah." Ash said trying to digest all that she'd said barely smiling. There was his Mare. All that apologizing had started to worry him.
"I've been thinking, if you wouldn't mind- I'd like to get to know you better. I mean there is still so much I don't know about you. So you don't have to avoid me while I'm here." She let her hands go and pushed some hair out of her face.
"Yeah, I would like that too." Ash agreed solemnly.
"No need to rush things, after all we're two intelligent logical people."
"Right." Ash agreed.
She finally let her eyes wander from his gorgeous eyes back to his equally fascinating lips.
Well she'd said what she'd meant to, speech time was over. Logical brain can shut off now and take a break. Now she just needed an excuse…
"Thanks for listening to me, and giving me the time away I needed to adjust to all of this." She waved her hands about indicating the mansion and the night world.
Ash was going to say something and shrug, but we'll never know what that was, as he soon found his lips preoccupied with something very distracting.
Mary-lynnette the smart girl that she was had taken that opportunity to launch herself at a very surprised( in the good way) Ash. She wrapped her arms about his neck and had made her intentions clear, he had instinctively put himself in the right position,
And they kissed.
Her kiss held an innocence and passion that sent his mind to a place where the stars were bright.
His logical brain tried to have it's way- well was he Ash Redfern just going to let her do that? Let her run into his arms and kiss him senseless? Without even making her pay for not waiting for him? For making the first move? Cement his reputation as a love fool of some human girl?
'Yeah, why not, sounds like a plan and the benefits, well he liked the 'french' benefits.' He told his brain- to shut it up.
Mare nuzzled into his neck, feeling safe. They stayed that way for a time indeterminable. The pink haze was comforting old wounds. She could sense his presence, his mind, and although there were still dark places in the thorn forest of brilliant colors, they only served to make the light that much more precious and amazing. They made the colors stand out in all the maze of lights.
They had both grown up and changed in the last year. They had finally gotten past the kicking of the shins and denying each other part of their relationship. But they both had the maturity to know that all relationships are hard no matter what the circumstances, they would have a lot of trials along the way to make this work.
Now our story doesn't end there.
The couple did eventually come out, as all must do. Air is after all a good thing. They weren't young and foolish enough to think that there wasn't anything else in the world besides the two of them, or that that was all they ever needed. Life was for living, not just for dreaming in.
However over the next couple of days they became pretty inseparable. They would have breakfast together and talk, really trying to get to know one another.
Ash did of course thank Laurel afterwards. When they had left the room the girls had been waiting outside acting 'casual'. Vultures, If she had rejected him he would have been angry, as if was he barely noticed them. Quinn had taken a special interest in getting to know Mary-lynnette, probably curious what kind of girl could be soulmated to him. And he did have to endure knowing looks from the other CD couples, which only subsided a month afterwards. And on many occasions Hannah, Thea and the others would take his Mare away to do girly stuff like volunteer at the SPCA, do science research and the occasional talk about the boys.
It was after one of this times when Ash and Mare were cuddled up on the couch watching Contact, that he noticed Laurel walking down the hall and remembered the past.
And felt guilty. He looked at Mare and frowned. She'd wanted him to make up for his past, but there was still something he had to do. He had to tell Laurel the truth. He didn't want to, to be perfectly honest with himself he had been a coward and didn't want to get slapped or yelled at, or much worse- see betrayal in her eyes. They had been friends, and this- would most likely end it. After all she'd done to help with Mare-
To tell her that he was at fault for it- for her changing into this person… He had thought that he was protecting her and doing his duty to The Council. But he had no excuse anymore. Before he could truly enjoy this- he would have to stop thinking about himself- and Seek Forgiveness.
"Ash?" Mary-lynnette said tilting her head and noticing the way he was looking, and remembered one of the darker places in his mind.
He turned back to her, asking her to understand, Mare nodded.
"Go, set your conscience free."
Ash got up and walked towards the hallway with Mary-Lynnette looking on smiling proud of him for doing what was right without being coerced to. She could love Ash, without fear. It was then that she knew that they were going to be all right, and smiled.
I'm DONE!!! WOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :: parties::
What did Ash do? Ash is on his way to redemption again! I might write a sequel where you can find out about Ash when he's with Mare and Ash finally gets to tease Laurel about…
Instead of the other way around. ;D
Thank you for all your love and support!
Do tell me if you want a sequel, I could be persuaded.