Lauren Owens gasped as her body arched from her bed. The moon shone through her bedroom window casting a ray of light over her.
She saw his face this time. His name echoed in the depths of her mind. Murphy. Murphy MacManus. She sat staring at the wall across her room as the message of the dreams that had plagued her for months became clear.
Looking to the ceiling, she sighed, "You've got to be kidding me."
Lauren stepped onto the dock and fought the urge to fall and kiss the wood beneath her feet. As if detecting her distress, the man who harassed her for most of the ferry ride chuckled.
"One would tink ya never been on a boat b'fore lassy." He smiled revealing a crooked row of teeth, most of which were missing.
Lauren frowned as she turned to continue on her way. She froze when a hand reached out and grabbed her arm. A vision flashed.
A young woman lay passed out in a back room of a party. In the other room, a group of people took turns snorting lines of cocaine and boiling meth. The knob to the bedroom door turned slowly as a man entered, locking it behind him. He stood watching the woman as she lay motionless. Grinning, he revealed his crooked row of teeth before unbuckling his pants as he walked to the bed.
Lauren jerked back as if burned. The man before her raised his hands in surrender. "Woah there lass, I ain't gonna hurt yoo."
She fought to regain her breath as the awful images of that woman's rape at the hands of this man flash in and out of her mind. Anger soon followed suit and Lauren pointed at him.
"I know what you did." Her voice dripping with disgust. The man seemed confused for a moment before his eyes widened. "Damn right, I know how black your heart is." Lauren turned to walk away but stopped. "If I were you," She threw over her shoulder. "I'd find Jesus and quick."
She smirked as the man stood in shock watching her as she went. When she found Murphy, which she knew she would, she'd make sure he and his brother paid the man a nice little visit.
The inn door chimed as Lauren entered. A plump woman behind the counter stood and smiled broadly.
"Aye lovie, how can I help ya?" Her Irish accent was thick.
Lauren returned a smile, "I'm looking for board for the night." The woman nodded and turned to gather her book. When she flipped it open, she slid a chubby finger down the list until falling upon a vacant room.
"Yer in luck! We have one room left." Lauren mouthed a thank you to the man upstairs. The woman chatted continuously as she checked Lauren into her room. When their hands brushed during the exchange of money, Lauren smiled at the purity of the woman's soul. She wasn't a saint by all mean, but this woman was good.
After the quick and almost inaudible direction to her room, Lauren thanked the woman before pausing. "May I ask you a question?" The inn keeper cheerfully nodded. "I am looking for the MacManus brothers. It is my understanding they journeyed back here earlier this year."
The woman's eyes suddenly went suspicious. "Whatcha want with the MacManus boys?"
Lauren laughed. "I mean them no harm in any way. You can say that divine intervention led me here." She winked.
Still unsure, the woman crossed her arms. "I can give em the message and dat be all deary. We folks around here are mighty protective over dat bunch."
Lauren nodded enthusiastically. "Yes, a message would be great." Lauren accepted a piece of paper and scribbled a quick note with her name and purpose to Murphy. She was quite certain that he'd know who she was the moment he received it but either way she needed to get out word.
She thanked the woman and drug he luggage up to her room which was quite difficult due to the stairs. Once she reached her floor, Lauren wiped away the slight perspiration from her forehead and unlocked her door.
The room was small but homey. She didn't even bother to change clothes as she fell on top of the comforter and fell quickly to sleep.
A beating at Lauren's door jerked her from her slumber. Wiping the sleep from her eyes, she stood and walked to the door.
"Eh. Open the door already. She may be hurt or sumthin'." A male voice said from behind the wood.
Another man laughed, "Murph, she ain't hurt. I dunno why ya got me up so early to come about some broad."
"Oh fuck you Connor, I want te door opened." Lauren tried to calm her heart as it slammed against her chest. Murphy was here. Standing outside her door. Unable to put it off any longer, she unchained the door and swung it open.
There stood, with at least a five month beard, Murphy MacManus. His brother Connor was leaned against the frame picking at the palm of his hand.
Connor let out a long whistle as he scanned Lauren's body. Self conscious, she crossed her arms over her chest and frowned.
"And you are supposed to be a man of God?" She asked. Connor smirked as his gaze met her own.
"I'ma man of God hun; doesn't mean I'm blind." He crossed himself and dodged a swing from Murphy, who until that moment stood silent.
Lauren tucked a long strand of her hair behind her ear as she looked into Murphy's blue eyes.
"Ya her ain't ya?" He asked. Lauren nodded.
"I'm her." Connor swung his head back and forth between Lauren and Murphy.
"What am I missin'?" He pushed off the frame. "And for peets sake, are ya gonna let us in?"
Lauren nodded a little too quickly as she stepped back and made a path for the two men to enter. The heavy footfalls of their boots thudded against the hardwood floor as they passed. Bothe dressed in dark colors, the men looked rough.
Most of which would be expected, given they watched their father die. Lauren only has her visions, but she knew the boys admired their father like no other.
Connor plopped down on Lauren's still made bed and folded his arms behind his head. Murphy took a small chair by the window.
"Sooo," Connor started. "Why exactly are we here?"
Lauren looked to Murphy, who was staring out the window. Rain slid down the glass and thunder crashed in the distance.
Unsure of how to proceed, Lauren started with the basics. "Well, my name is Lauren Owens." Murphy turned to watch her as she spoke. "I… I guess I'll start with the most important piece of information." She walked to the tiny wooden desk and flicked on the table light. Leaning against the edge, she continued. "God has spoken to me through dreams and visions since I was thirteen."
Connor slowly rose into a sitting position, his face intrigued. Murphy leaned onto his elbows. Lauren fumbled with her hands as she felt their heavy gazes.
"It first started with little things. Like helping classmates who had a difficult home life or calling in a robbery before it happened saving a family from being murdered." She walked to the bed and sat on the edge, her back to Connor. "Then I started reading people when I touched them. I could tell whether their being was essentially good or evil. If they were evil I'd get flashes of the sins they had committed." The room was silent as the two men listened intently. "It wasn't until months ago that I started dreaming of a man. For weeks, I'd see the things he had done in his life, from birth to the small farm he currently resided on." Connor mumbled a curse and the bed creaked under his weight. "Last week, I was shown his face and given his name." Lauren stood and faced the brothers. "His message was clear. I was to find the man in my dreams and present myself to him. I have been created especially for him. I am his."
Lauren avoided Murphy's gaze as she fell silent. She jumped when Connor burst into hearty laughter.
Shooting him a glare, Lauren watched Connor smack his knee and clutch his stomach. "Whoo wee. You sure had me goin'. Made for him. HA!" He stood from the bed. "And who might ya think you've been made for doll?" He asked as he made his way to the door.
Lauren remained quiet. This was Murphy's question to answer. Would he deny the gift given to him by God? She watched as Murphy rubbed the back of his neck. He looked to his brother who was now dead silent.
"Nooo." Connor said to his brother. "Murph, it's true?" He asked.
Murphy stood and sighed. "Yeah, I saw it a couple of weeks ago. I knew she'd come."
Connor didn't fight to hide the hurt expression that fell over his face. "And ya didn't think ta tell me? We tell each other everything."
"It wasn't his secret to tell. Not just yet anyway." Lauren added hoping to mend Connor's hurt feelings.
Connor smacked his palm against the wall. His eyes burned into his brother who stood staring at the floor. With a disgusted noise, Connor strode from the room leaving Lauren alone with the man she was destined to love.
"He'll come around." Murphy mumbled as he scanned Lauren's face.
"I know." She stated matter of factly. "He has someone in mind for him too you know. He won't be alone for too long." Murphy's relief was instant and Lauren wondered if she overstepped. Nervously, she sat again on the edge of the bed. "Are you satisfied with me Murphy? I mean… are you okay with this?"
She was unsure she wanted the answer, but Murphy surprised her as he knelt before her. Reaching out and taking hold of her hands, Murphy stared into her chocolate eyes.
"I am. Ya are more than I cou'd have ever hoped fer. I was made for ya as you were me. Our souls, the're the same."
Lauren smiled and silently thanked God for such a man.