A/N: Honestly, I have no idea where this story came from. Enjoy. :D
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Symbol of Love
Julia woke with a start. She quickly looked at the other side of the bed and relaxed slightly when she saw that Barnabas was still sleeping and was unharmed. With this reassurance, Julia looked around the master bedroom of the Old House, trying to see through the shadows of pre- dawn. She was about to return to sleep when she saw a peculiar light moving across the wall and disappear into the hall.
Julia stood, curious, and followed it down the corridor and the first flight of stairs. It stopped in front of the last door on the right. When she arrived, the door opened of its own accord and the light entered as Julia paused in the doorway.
The room was in the beginning state of disrepair. When Julia and Barnabas married, Julia had asked Barnabas if they could turn Josette's room into a guest bedroom. Not because she felt threatened by her husband's dead fiancée for nearly two hundred years, but because she felt it was time for them both to move on with the present and leave the past right where it is. Barnabas had understood and agreed with her. Redecorating started a month after their wedding.
As the plans were underway, however, Julia began to feel as though she was intruding on something between Barnabas and Josette. She knew she was probably picking up on the ghosts from the past, so she didn't tell Barnabas. The feeling only deepened as the week wore on.
The light stopped in the middle of the room, then transformed into a woman wearing a white wedding dress with her veil covering her face. The woman turned toward Julia and beckoned her forward. Julia couldn't help but obey.
Slowly, she moved one foot in front of the other until she stood in front of the ghost. The woman lifted her veil and Julia gasped. The ghost was none other than Josette Dupré Collins.
At the sound of Julia's gasp, Josette raised her hand in a gesture of peace and said, "I mean you no harm. In fact, I mean you the opposite. I know what you have been feeling the for the past week. I want you to rest easy in the knowledge that Barnabas loves you. I give my consent to what you have planned for this room. This will be our final meeting. Farewell, Julia." With that, Josette faded, and then disappeared.
"Josette!" Julia gasped, bolting upright in bed.
Beside her, Barnabas stirred and awoke. "Julia? What's wrong?"
Julia brought her left hand up to her face and dragged it down her cheek. "I'm not sure. A dream, I think." She froze as she saw a new ring on her finger in place of her gold wedding band.
Barnabas saw his wife stiffen and sat up, alarmed. "What is it?"
Julia looked up from her hand, her green eyes filled with confusion and wonder. Silently, she held out her hand and showed Barnabas the ring.
Barnabas felt his eyes widen with astonishment as he recognized it. "Where did you get this?" he asked, his voice sounding strangled.
Julia started to shake her head, then stopped and said, "I think I know." When she saw Barnabas's expression, she explained what had happened.
As she told him everything she remembered, Julia noticed that Barnabas kept his gaze on the ring as he gently ran his thumb over the black stone and the ring of diamonds that surrounded it.
When she stopped speaking, Barnabas remained silent for a few seconds, then said, slowly, "I had forgotten about this ring." He glanced up at his wife's face and explained. "This was the ring I had planned to give to Josette when we married. Due to what Angelique had done, I, instead, gave it to her after I had become a vampire to remind her that I was near. She returned it to me when we had contacted her to see if she really was held captive by the Leviathans when she had called me to her graveside. It was there that she released me and told me to give this ring to the woman I would love. At the time, I believed I would never love another. She told me I was wrong," Barnabas paused. He looked up to meet Julia's gaze and placed his hand on her cheek. "She was right. I love you so much, Julia."
Julia placed her hand on his that rested on her cheek and turned her head slightly so she could kiss his palm. "I love you, too, Barnabas."
Barnabas leaned in and kissed her passionately to which she responded eagerly. They didn't speak again for the remainder of the night.
Since that night, Julia wore the onyx and diamond ring on her finger as a symbol of hers and Barnabas's great love for each other until her death nearly twenty years later. Because they had no children of their own, Barnabas had given the ring to David and told him to give the ring, in turn, to the woman he would truly love.
Future generations of the Collins have passed the ring down as well as a kind of legend. If they gave the ring to a person they loved, they would remain together for always. For many, it became true.
A/N: I altered a bit about the ring, because I know Barnabas had given Josette his ring, which she had lost and it magically appeared back on his finger, and the ring she gave him during the Leviathans was a more feminine version of his ring which if he had given that to her in the first place, I would have remembered it. Gotta love the plot holes. :p Anyway, I hope you enjoyed. :)