The Shadow Realm Chronicles: Matthew (Book 2) Chapter 7 Matthew has a heart to heart talk with his parents

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Chapter 7 Matthew has a heart to heart talk with his parents

Celeste still didn’t know what was going on. “Alexander please you’re scaring me.”

He walked briskly as she protested.

Her heart was racing as she knew it had something to do with the man in the diner. Anxiety was over talking her.

As they made it to the house, the door was open as Matthew had come in before them. Celeste thought this was rather strange. She walked in to see the man from the diner standing in the living room looking over the photos on the mantle.

He wondered why there were no pictures of Shawn as a child or of himself. And if wife why couldn’t he see her. Where were her photos?

Celeste was watching him look at the photos as the same feelings from the diner came back to her. “Matty.” She said, but she wasn’t expecting it to be him.

Matthew turned as he heard his mother’s voice. He smiles. He had to show her he was happy to see her even if he wasn’t. Emotions were hard for him but this was even more difficult. “Mom.”

Celeste gasped, “Is it you?” She ran to him but stopped just in front of him. Her hands touched his face but she was afraid. She had wished this for so long. “Oh, Matty.” She was overcome with joy as she pulled him into an embrace. She sobbed as she hugged him. So many questions raced through her mind but she didn’t care. She sobbed in his arms as she held her.

Matthew held her but his gaze went back to the photos. Where was she, he wondered? Why didn’t they save her? How can they act like this? Hypocrites. He forced a smile but his parents could tell something was different.

Celeste wiped her eyes. She didn’t care that he was different. Her son was back, and that’s all the mattered. “Let me get us some coffee of something to eat.” She was always trying to feed people and always making a cake or brewing a pot of coffee . “Please, we have so much to catch up on.” She said from the kitchen.

Alex and Matthew sat at the table waiting for her. They sat staring at each other wondering what to say. This would seem strange to some but to them it was normal however Alex could still see differences in Matthew. His body language was off.

Matthew was not as emotional as Celeste but he still showed some. The emotions he once showed, his caring smile, his loving laugh and his warm embrace were all gone. Celeste could tell as soon as he hugged her. It has been years since the last time she saw him and it looked as if no time had passed

She walked back into the dining room with a fresh pot of coffee and poured it into their cups. She placed the pot back on the burner and then joined them in the dining room.

“Matthew, I have so many questions. I can’t believe you are here with us. I watched you die. How is this possible?”

Matthew practiced what he would say. Over and over again he paced in the Shadow Realm practicing what he wanted to say to them.

He laughed to himself thinking of the look on Jonathan’s face when he took over the realm. Now Matthew was in control of the Shadow Realm. Magista will be his soon enough and then everything will be his.

Matthew sighed as he spoke to his mom, “It’s a rather long story and I would much rather find Shawn and my wife.” He was hoping they remembered her or her name.

“Your wife? Shawn’s mother?” Alexander asked.

Celeste was confused. “Why can’t I remember her?” They all looked rather confused. “What was her name?” She felt awful for forgetting. “How could I have forgotten her?”

Matthew looked down, “Something must have happened to her. I can’t even see her face. I don’t think it was something we did, rather what someone did to us.”

Celeste gasped as she realized who he was talking about.

Alexander got up from his chair and paced. “Are you sure he’s still out there? Justin is in danger now!”

“You mean Shawn.” Matthew gave Alexander a grave look. “His name is Shawn.” He was determined to make them remember that.

“Yes, Shawn. Most in town know him as Justin.” Alex could see how upset his son was. “We can call him Shawn.” Celeste however looked quite upset. “Whatever you want to call him is fine. I’m more concerned that Marcus is back. Do you think he has her? Is that why we can’t see her?”

Matthew was confused by their concern but he brushed it off to keep his cover. “I was in the Shadow Realm.” He grew solemn as he spoke. “I know you have many questions but I think Shawn should be here for that.” He looked at them. “I’m sure Meave has shared these stories with you.”

Alexander nodded, “Yes, she has shared some with us.”

Matthew stood with his coffee in his hand. He walked over to the window as he sipped his coffee. “I don’t remember our life together. I can’t remember our home. I can’t even see her face.” He paused as he took another sip. “I was hoping you would remember her of know where she is. This is not good. I know she is alive. She was not in the Shadow Realm. She would have been there if she died.”

Celeste never went to the accident scene. She had spent the entire night with Shawn. Matthew was not aware of this.

Alexander’s memories of that night came rushing back to him. “Matthew you and I should go speak in private.” She didn’t want his wife to hear the gruesome details of that night.

Matthew was annoyed by this. “Why?” He said and a hint of his attitude and temper was coming through.

Alex was surprised by this son’s reaction at first. “Your mother never went to the accident scene. She stayed with Jus… Shawn. I wouldn’t let her go. I never told her what it looked like of what happened.”

Matthew looked at Celeste as if she was seeing her in a new light, “You were there all night?”

Celeste was still sitting as the men spoke. The memories of that night brought tears to her eyes. All she could do was nod as she wiped away the tears.

Matthew seemed warm and almost caring in that moment. He has always thought both of them refused to search for her. He sat back down next to her and took her hand. “I didn’t know.”

“Oh Matty, how could you have known. Justin.” She stopped herself. “I’m sorry Shawn. I couldn’t just leave him there.”

Matthew smiles, “Thank you for keeping him safe.”

Celeste smiles, “It was my pleasure. It was difficult to watch him grow up and keep our distance. If he was connected to us in any way, then Julian might have found him. We need to protect him.”

Matthew was a little hurt by this. “Does he even know who I am?” Matthew said. He could feel the anger building up in him.

“He knows now.” Alexander said.

Matthew looked at his father and saying with little emotion possible, “Then he needs to meet me.”

“He’s in school now, we can have him come over after school.” Celeste suggested

Matthew nodded, “Fine then bring him here.” Then he turned and went outside. He sighed. “I need to walk to clear my mind or I will kill everyone in this town.” Matthew walked toward the woods. Something was calling him there.

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The Shadow Realm Chronicles: Matthew (Book 2) Chapter 6 Matthew comes face to face with his parents

Chapter 6 Matthew comes face to face with his parents

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Just as he had done many times before, Alexander walked to the diner. Celeste was already there. She left early to get some baking done.

Matthew, who was still watching Shawn, now turned his eyes to Alexander. “Well what do we have here?” He said with an eerie tone.

Alexander entered the diner, he looked up and smiles when he saw her. He smiled warmly. Many people noticed a difference in him as of late. He was much friendlier and more compassionate than before.

Celeste was standing behind the counter taking an order for a customer when she saw him.

“Good morning George,” He said as he came up to the counter. “What is my lovely bride cooking up for you this fine morning.”

Celeste blushed as she finished taking his order and placed his order up. She grabbed two cups of coffee and poured both men a cup. “Good morning dear.” She smiles as she jhanded Alex his cup.

“Thank you Celeste.” He said as he took his cup. “Alexander you seem rather chipper lately.

“Oh George, I’m old now.” He looks at Cleste as he talks. “Have to be happy with the blessings that I have.”

“So true. It’s not to see you do happy.”

As he said this a man walked into the diner. He wore a baseball cap over his eyes and his shirt collar was pulled up to hide his face. The air had gotten a bit cold lately as the fall began to set it, so no one thought this attire was out of the ordinary.

Celeste looked up as she did when anyone came into the diner. There was a small bell hanging on the door that rang each time someone entered. “Good morning.”

The man didn’t lookup as he was greeted. He walked to the far back booth and took a seat leaving his hat on and his collar up.

Celeste thought it he acted rather odd. It wasn’t that fact that he didn’t acknowledge her greeting but that she didn’t recognize him. She thought she knew everyone in town.

Alexander turned to see the man as he was just as confused as Celeste. He stood up and walked over to greet him.

Celeste was already on her way over to the man with a menu in her apron. She held a pot of coffee in her hand as most drank coffee in the morning. As she reached the both the man was sitting in her heart started racing. She felt overcome with emotions. Her hand was shaking as she poured his coffee. “Can I get something for you sir?” She asked.

“Coffee is fine miss, thank you.” He said without looking up.

She nodded and left him with his coffee She was almost in a daze as she went back to the counter. Something so calm and familiar about this man but she couldn’t figure out what it was.

“Celeste, dear is something wrong? What did he say to you?” Alexander asked.

“Nothing really, he just..” She put the pot back on the burner and took a deep breath and turned to Alexander. She spoke quietly so he could only hear her. “He reminded me of Matty.” She blushed as she thought she looked rather foolish. She tried to control herself however she couldn’t the tears started to run down her face.

As she said this Alex jumped up with his eyes on the man in the booth as he too had the same strange feeling that Celeste had. “Did he now?” He said as he started to walk over to the booth.

Everyone else in the diner thought this was odd behavior coming from Alex. He rarely spoke to anyone especially someone knew. They were not yet used to this new Alex. It was as if he were a completely new person. But after a careful glance they all went back to their meals.

Celeste watched him but she was too overcome with emotions and had to flee to the backroom.

Alex sat down across from the stranger. He was usually good at keeping his emotions held in unlike Celeste he was always rather stoic. “I would like to welcome you to our little town but something tells me that it is more of a welcome home rather than a normal welcome.”

Matthew did not look up. He wasn’t sure how this reunion would play out. He went over this day many times in his head but now it was happening and he didn’t know what to do. The old Matthew would have cried and ran to his mother with open arms but this Matt he was broken.

He reminded himself that he had to act just like the old Matt did or his plan would fail. He needed his parents to be on his side for as long as possible. He needed them to believe him, to fight back when others see his darkness. Without their naive love for him his plan would fail. In the end he will mostly likely have to kill them all. It was their fault, after all that she was not here. She must be alive somewhere or she would have been in the shadow realm with me.

Slowly Matthew looked up. He forced himself to show emotion. Tears welled up in his eyes.

As Matt looked up, Alex’s face turned red. “Matty!” He said softly as if questioning what he was seeing. “Is it really you?” Alex was now shaking as he grabbed Matthew’s hand and held it tight. He sat quietly waiting for him to acknowledge him.

Matthew took a deep breath and squeezed his father’s hand. He looked up as he forced tears to form as one came down his face. “Daddy.” Was all he could say.

Alexander gasped as he was not used to showing emotions especially not in public.

The other customers looked up as they heard Alexander gasping.

Celeste was having a rather difficult time herself. She stood in the back room with her hand over her mouth trying to muffle her cries. She was more emotional than her husband however this did not mean that she was comfortable showing her emotions to her customers. She always tried to hid it. Most people in town never heard of Matthew until recently. She was still nervous about others knowing about him. She was terrified for Justin’s safety. She knew Julian was still out there. She knew he would come for Justin now that everyone knew the truth.

In the dining room, Matthew and Alexander sat staring at each other. Alex could sense the differences in his son right away. They sat in silence for a few moments neither knowing what to say to the other. Finally Celeste emerged from the backroom. Her eyes were read and puffy showing evidence that she had been upset.

Everyone in the diner could tell that she was upset. She looked for Alex and was surprised that he was still sitting with the stranger.

“Please let’s go somewhere where we can talk. You’re mother would want to talk to you.”

Matthew still hadn’t said much, but he nodded in agreement.

The men stood. “We could go to my house. It’s not far from here.”

“I remember the way. I will meet you there.” And that was the most Matthew had spoken.

His words warmed Alex’s heart as he heard his son speak. “I’ll go get your mom.” He hands Matthew a key to the house. “Then we will meet you there.”

Matthew left and started to walk to the house. He kept his collar up. He didn’t want anyone else to recognize him at least not yet.

Alexander came up to Celeste. He wasn’t sure if she would believe him. He was still crying by the time he got to her. Celeste looked frightened no as many of the other customers did. No one besides his family had ever seen him cry before. “We need to go home.”

One of the waitresses overheard them speaking and saw how upset they both appeared. “Celeste,” Amy said, “Go home. We can take care of everything here.” She put her hands on Celeste’s. “Everything will be fine here We can handle it.”

“Thank you.” Celeste said as she squeezed her hand. She then took off her apron and grabbed her coat as she followed Alexander out of the diner.

The Shadow Realm Chronicles: Matthew (Book 2) Chapter 5 Matthew watches Justin

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The day in River’s Peak started just like it always did. Shopkeepers opening their stories, kids running to school. Things seemed quite simple in this little town. Life in River’s Peak kept ongoing as if nothing happened.

Justin however was a different story. He walked to school, often in a daze. He wondered about all the things that had happened trying to make sense of it all. Everything he learned and everything he saw. How can others go back to their normal lives while Justin’s life was filled with questions? So many questions. Are there more people in the world like him? He couldn’t accept that his family were the only ones with magic. They couldn’t be the only ones. And when was his time? When would he learn it all? Justin couldn’t wait until his time after school when he would talk to his grandparents.

Justin could not pay attention in class anymore. He kept daydreaming and writing questions he wanted to ask them and ideas he had.

Matthew watched him from the shadows. He disguised himself since he was not ready to reveal himself to anyone He wondered though if anyone besides his parents would recognize him. Still, he stayed hidden watching Justin.

Matthew didn’t know how to talk to of approach Shawn. “Shawn” he said to himself. “I wonder if you even know your real name.”

Writing

 

As many of you know from reading this blog, I love to write. I usually write in a notebook and then type what I wrote into google docs or something like that. I have been putting chapters here and various others things that I have written.  On my Wattpad page, I have more of my stories written in one spot.

Trying to find an agent is difficult. I know many famous authors tell stories about all the rejections they received over the years.  It’s quite difficult to receive them because you question whether you are good at what you do.

 

I wrote this after I had a miscarriage and needed a place to express my feelings.  I hoped it would help others who were dealing with it.

All In God's Time 2

This is my first fantasy/Paranormal book. I have grand ideas for these. 🙂

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This is the second book in that paranormal series, though I am thinking of changing the name of the series around. Seems like there is already a Shadow Chronicles. So I have to think on that one.

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I am working on a third installment but this one would revolve around the kids.

betweencoffee &ramblings

This was a simple fan fiction I wrote for my role play group.

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The Shadow Realm Chronicles: Matthew (Book 2) Chapter 4 The Wedding of Hunter and Maeve

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As the doors opened, I looked down the aisle and saw him.

My father was holding my arm questioning me. “Maeve are you sure about this. Are you really ready to give it all up, your wings, magic for him?”

“Yes, yes, I am.” I replied with certainty.

“Then I hope he knows how lucky he is..” her father replied as he looked at Hunter.

Maeve laughs, “No dad, I’m the lucky one.”

We stood at the door for a while talking as everyone watched us. I could see and feel Hunter’s eyes on me. I knew he was nervous as he watched us wondering what was taking so long and if I was having second thoughts.

Maeve looked up as she could tell hunter was watching her. She wanted to ease his fears. She hoped a simple smile would do just that.

“Dad, please let’s continue. He’s waiting for me.” she said as she looked at Hunter smiling.

“ok dear if you are sure?”

“I am, father.” she turns to her father and squeezes her hand. “I have never been more sure of anything in my life. Thank you daddy. Thank you for all your worries and prayers. I love you.”

He kissed her on the forehead. “and I love you. Now let’s get going Hunter is waiting.”

Then we started down the aisle. Everyone stood as I passed but my eyes were not on them but Hunter.

As we made our way to the front, my father squeezed my hand and then he took Hunter’s hand. He whispered into his ear. I didn’t hear the words which were spoken but hunter nodded in agreement.

The pastor began, “We have come together to the invitation of Meave and Hunter to celebrate their uniting in Christian love, their hearts and lives. This is possible because of the love God has created in them, through Jesus Christ.

“Jesus said, ‘I came that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.’ This abundant life for some people is an impossible dream, yet God wants us all to have this abundant life and proved his love for us by giving his son that we might have this life.”

“Another way that God provided for this full life is creating those who will love us. Hunter has found such a one in Maeve. Hearts and spirits were drawn together before today by the Lord of all creation. Two lives are not united by creation, but only in the power, love, and grace of God.

Hunter and Maeve are here to publicly declare that because Jesus Christ’s love, they too can truly love one another. As God demonstrated His love, Jesus, our Lord, Hunter and Maeve will demonstrate this God given love by giving of themselves to one another and one for the other.

They have not reached this place, each has been given life by their parents, These who gave them life, love, provision, are and will be a vital part of their continue lives. Their love has borne fruit in Hunter and Maeve. Love and respect for these will continue as they grow in their own love made possible by their parents.

“Who has prepared this woman for marriage to this man?” the past asked.

Maurelle’s father replied, “I do.”

My father took my hand and led me to Hunter. He places my hand into Hunter’s. I blushed as my eyes didn’t leave Hunter’s.

“Are you ok?” He whispered.

I laughed. “I am.” But I lied. I was nervous. I was afraid.

The pastor began, “No other human ties are more tender, no other vows are more scared than these that you are about to assume. You are entering into that Holy estate which is the deepest mystery of experience and which is the very sacrament of divine love.

The pastor turned to Hunter, “Hunter, will you have Maeve to be your wedded wife, to love together after God’s ordinance in holy matrimony. Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keep yourself only for her as long as you both shall live?”

Hunter smiles, “Longer and I will.”

Maeve’s face was read now as tears ran down her face. Hunter was holding her hands and squeezed them but let go so he could wipe his own tears,

The pastor then turned to Meave. “Maeve will you have Hutner to be your wedded husband to live together after God’s ordinance in holy matrimony; will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keeping yourself only for him so long as you both shall live?”

Maeve smiles, “longer.” She squeezed Hunter’s hands just as he squeezed hers. “And I do.”

The pastor continues, “In Corinthians we read about love. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast, it is not proud, It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always, always trust, always hoped and always preserves.”

“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. Of now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain; faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

“Maeve and Hunter have written vows they would like to exchange. Hunter, if you would like to start.”

“Maeve,” He started as he held her hand, “I knew from the moment I saw you you were made for me. I loved you from that moment and I will love you until I die. And even after that I will still love you.” He was nervous as his voice was cracking as he spoke.

Maeve smiles as she listened oping she would be able to speak when it was her turn to do so as she had begun to cry listening to Hunter’s vows.

Her voice began to tremble as she spoke. “Hunter, I seeing you watching me, hoping you were watching me. I was so afraid for so long. I was afraid of what people thought, afraid of rejection and afraid of who I was. You took away all of my fears. You made me a better person. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.”

“Now Hunter, if you would take Maeve’s right hand.”

He takes her hand and squeezed it lovingly.

“Hunter what symbol do you bring as a pledge of that sincerity in your vows?,

Hunter while still looking at Maeve replies, “A ring.”

“Please remember, a ring is more than a symbol of your marriage. It is a seal of the vow you have made to one another. The circle of the ring is as for as human eye can see, a perfect circle. No beginning no end. So God too has perfect love for you and wants you to love one another in his grace. Never never ending. This ring is made of precious metal. You also are precious in God’s sight and now in life of Hunter. When you are absent one from another, the presence of the ring reminds you to be faithful and to fulfil your vows to Maeve. Rings have historically been the sign of authority. Used to seal documents and proclamations, you now accept this authority in your life.

He looked at Hunter, “You may now place your ring on your bride’s finger.”

Maeve holds out her hand to Hunter as he gently slides the ring on her finger. He gazes at her forgetting everything else as if they were the only two people in the room.

The pastor then turned his attention to Maeve. “Maeve what symbol do you bring as a pledge of that sincerity of your vows?”

“A ring.” She replies softly.

The pastor repeated the analogy of the ring as he exchanged Hunter’s name for Maeve’s and Maeve’s for Hunters.

He then turned to Maeve. “You may not place your ring you Hunter’s finger.”

Maeve smiled and slide the ring on Hunter’s finger. She was shaking as she did so as she became worried again.

“For as much as Hunter and Maeve have consented together in holy matrimony and have witnessed the same before God and those present, and have pledged their faithfulness, each to the other, and have declared their love by giving and receiving rings and by joining hands. I now by the authority committed unto me as a minister and a priest that Hunter and Maeve are husband and wife. According to the ordinance of God, in the name of the father, and the son, and the Holy Spirit. Those whom God has joined together, let no one put asunder.”

“May the peace and unconditional love of God surround you and remain with you now and forever. Amen. And now you may seal your vows with a kiss.”

Hunter pulled Maeve close as he smiles. He kisses her softly on the lips and as he was about to pull away, Maeve pulled him back to a more passionate kiss.

“Now, allow me to present Mr and Mrs. Marks to you.”

Maeve was careful not to tear up as she spoke about Hunter. She knew the others would feel awkward seeing her cry. Most were not comfortable seeing blood come from her eyes. She took a napkin and dabbed her eyes as to not offend them.

Alexander took his mother’s hand and squeezed it lovingly He was used to her cold touch so he didn’t flinch when he held her hand.

“I wish I had known this version of him. We had such a short time with him.”

Walking in Snow

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The cold crisp sound

It echoes as I step

Crunch crunch

The cold hits my nose

As my eyes sting as the wind blows

Crunch crunch

It reflects the light

And shines so bright

Crunch Crunch

The white is all I see

The wind is all I feel

Crunch Crunch

The smell of hot chocolate in the air

The warmth of the blanket I long for

I’m almost home

The Shadow Realm Chronicles: Matthew (Book 2) Chapter 3 Celebration of Hunter’s Life

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The reception for Hunter’s memorial of rather the celebration of his life was help at Celeste’s diner. He had prepared a great feast. She used the counter as a banquet setting plates and silver were at the other end. Cari was in the back helping Celeste. The two ladies worked most of the day preparing. They made more food than they needed; they made lasagna, all sorts of pastas and salads.

Maeve was sitting by herself in the back corner booth of the diner. She was still not comfortable being around others and most people were not comfortable around a vampire. Her thoughts were not as joyful as all the other mourners were. They would say things like, “Hunter is in a better place now. He isn’t in pain any longer. He’s in peace.” These words did not soothe or comfort Maeve for she knew Hunter had not moved on as everyone else though he did. She knew Jonathan had him but, she would find him.

Alexander took a plate of food and sat with his mother. “There is something you are not telling me. I can see it in your expression. What is it?”

Maeve wanted no one to be concerned. She didn’t want them to have this pain. The pain of knowing Hunter was not resting in peace but being tortured in the Shadow Realm by Jonathan. “There are things better left unsaid. Some things are too dangerous.”

“Mom,” he rarely called her this, but he was trying to bring out emotions in her hoping she will reveal something to him. “Mom, please you don’t have to protect me.”

“I know I don’t, but it’s not you I’m protecting.”

“Then who?” He demanded an answer.

“Alexander please let this go. Let this be a happy time. Let’s remember Hutner and the good times we had with him. I know there weren’t many for you but there were still some.”

She tried to change the subject but Hunter knew she was hiding something. He knew it was important but how was he going to get her to tell him.

Maeve knew what he was doing, however she paid no attention to it.

“Come let me tell you the story of when Hunter and I got married. Let me tell you the story of our wedding.”

The others in the diner smiles but were still cautious around Maeve.

Justin however was not afraid of her. He took his plate and sat down next to Maeve. “I would love to her it grandma.”

She smiles as she told the tale.

It was a beautiful spring day. I work early as there was so much to do. I was so excited. I got my hair and makeup done. I was so happy. At the time she wished her mother was there but now Maeve knew it was better she was not present.

We had such beautiful flowers. It was as if I was in a dream. She felt a little sad as she spoke. She knew as soon as she married Hunter her wings would be gone.

“You see when a fairy married someone who is not a fairy, they lose their wings. Hunter didn’t have any fairy blood in him, So I had a huge decision to make. Should I give up my wings and my magic to marry hunter?”

“I was scared. What would life be like without my wings? My father told me I might still have my magic but there was no way to tell. I know I wouldn’t have my wings but I loved Hutner enough to put aside of all these fears. I don’t know how well I did that.”

As she spoke more of the funeral parishioners came over with their plates of food. The more Maeve spoke of her love for Hunter the less of a monster she seemed to them. They viewed her as a grieving widow now.

Maeve noticed the increased crowd, but she focused the story on Justin. This was for his and Alexander’s benefit, so they would know a happier Hunter.

She continued, “Hunter he looked so nervous, but yet he was so happy.”