And now, a word from the author:
Yes, my precious dollies, you heard correctly. I'm giving this baby ten-thousand volts of revamping life! This was, after all, my first 'successful' story that I ever wrote, and I personally think I did a terrible job with it. After all, this entire story stemmed from a scene in a dream, and that scene never even made it into my final drafts! This thought makes me unbearably sad, and thus, I am going to rewrite a lot of this story. And that scene? It'll be here somewhere, I think. I hope! It's very romantic, and I believe you'll all love it.
Also, I'm going to try and keep a consistency in changes of the character's point of view, because I thought it was sort of random that I allowed Demion to speak when it wasn't even his turn! Shame, shame, shame! Still, though, I think it's necessary to keep the reader informed.
So, without further ado, I present the recently redone and revolutionized story!
The Sinner's Bride
In which the bride Eris is given a gift.
"The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value."
It was the thirteenth of October when I met my husband.
I woke as I might on any other morning; my alarm clock was blaring like a siren, stopping only as my hand shot out and smacked it silly. The water of the shower was unpleasant and uncooperative, either being the slightest bit too hot or the slightest bit too cold and never just in that wonderful smack-dab-in-the-middle temperature. Every article of clothing I put on looked wrong, so I pulled a hoodie over my shirt and stuck with a safe pair of blue jeans. My brown hair also seemed intent on being uncooperative, and thus I tamed it back into a simple ponytail.
I looked into the mirror and grimaced; one eye was emerald green, the other chocolate brown, and thus to look at me directly in the eye was nearly impossible. One would just have to pick and choose, I suppose.
I burned my toast, and there was no butter left in our near-empty refrigerator, and the milk was three days expired, so I had my charred bread with a glass of lukewarm tap water. I grabbed my books and started to run towards the bus stop, only to see the yellow cattle-car pulling away. With a heavy sigh, I walked back towards my house, knowing that Tess would be less than enthusiastic about having to drive me.
"C'mon, Eris!" she groaned loudly, pursing her too-red lips and placing her cat-like red nails on her hips. I shrugged.
"If I keep driving you, people will know we're related. Thank God I'll be gone next year."
I rolled my eyes, asking God for the umpteenth time why he (she?) hadn't given me a birthday wherein I could drive myself by the time junior year rolled around. We hopped into Tess's old, smelly, orange truck and drove away from our house.
She couldn't wait to turn on the radio, and it was so loud it made me jump; from the speakers rang a cacophony of bubblegum pop music, and she being the cultured individual she was knew every line, and sang them aloud (which, I'm sure, was a very strenuous and arduous task for her poor, innocent vocal folds). I hugged my knees and groaned.
"My car, my music."
Twenty minutes and a dozen songs later, we pulled up to Wellington High, a very grim and intimidating cinderblock building located in such a bad place that the sun could only be visible between 11:30 and 12 in the afternoon. I stumbled out of the doors of the car and into those of the school.
As I walked through the long hallway, I heard snickers and cackles coming from a tiny gaggle of females, and I attempted at ignoring them; only to be stopped by one particular beast. Cassandra Evans had to be, without a doubt, the most horrible person alive, and I hadn't the slightest why she hated me so, but she always had.
She made a spectacle of herself by knocking our shoulders, and I said nothing, cringing. I wasn't one to put up with such blatant rudeness, but Cassie had claws and I didn't want to litter the floor with my hair.
Homeroom was algebra, a subject that I would blatantly confess to failing. Numbers didn't make sense to me; I always found that interesting, that people who were good at English could dissect and explain hidden meanings in poetry and literature and yet couldn't plug in a silly formula to find 'x.'
I choose my favorite seat; second seat from the back right-hand corner. My best friend and crush since I was twelve has already claimed his own spot.
My heart burned in my chest; he was absolutely perfect in every way. Shaggy blonde hair and dark chocolate colored eyes, and a grin so warm you felt like melting butter.
"Hey ugly," I call, and I watch his perfect lips curl up in a grin without even looking up.
"Hey dork. I meant to ask, what has the great Eris done to invoke the darkest wrath of Cassie and her army of groupies today?"
"Who said I did anything?"
"Chelsea said something about poor Cassie nearly being assaulted this morning, in an attempt to invoke the pity of one and all."
"Of course," I rolled my eyes, and the bell rang. Mr. Collins was sitting at his desk, reading a book of some kind with a bored expression on his face.
The day passed by as any normal day might; when the 2:20 bell rang and we were freed from our educational imprisonment, I joined Alex and Sara for an afternoon at the Tenhall residence.
Sara was Alex's twin and, concurrently, my best friend in the entire universe. She had bright blonde hair, which was cut so short it didn't even reach her shoulders and chocolate eyes like her brother. I always imagined she looked a lot like a puppy.
"I can't believe we're not allowed out tonight!" she groaned, running a hand through her hair. Her nails were painted blue, I noticed.
"I know..." Alex muttered, slinging an arm around Sara, and then myself. I blushed a little; he smelled like Irish Spring. "Mom should have let us out tonight of all nights."
Mrs. Tenhall was the closest thing I'd ever had to a mother; she smiled as we walked inside, and we all kissed her on the cheek on the way in. She patted my back, closing the door behind us.
"It's lovely to see you again, Eris. It's been a while."
The day passed with laughter and gossip (Sara was very much interested on knowing the he-said she-said of our school's social status, being as close to the top as she was), lazing about on the floor or bed, and everywhere in between. Mrs. Tenhall served us all a family-style dinner; homemade lasagna and fresh steamed vegetables, with water tinged with lemon and sugar.
When all was said and done, it was a nice evening that was to be cut short because of Tess and her lack of energy to come and pick me up.
My house was probably a good half hour walking distance from Alex and Sara's, and the thought made me very nervous. It's not that I was scared of the dark; I didn't mind darkness. The part that really bothered me was being alone.
The night was cold and I found myself shivering beneath my thin hoodie, and I started wishing that Alex was there, his arms around me to make me warmer. I felt my cheeks burn at the image I had in my head. If only.
I noticed suddenly that the temperature was rising steadily, as if to accommodate me--or maybe just that I began to heat up a bit. It made me shiver a little, but I was happy I no longer had to huddle into the thin clothing. I walked for a while, content.
That's when it happened.
I was passing a dim, dreary street, wherein the streetlights were all dead and the darkness seemed to permeate from the ground. It was, unfortunately for me, the fastest way home, and I took a moment to make sure that I wasn't going to faint. Then, I took a very courageous step.
I heard several conspicuous noises from various cars, and I kept my bi-colored eyes ahead of me. I knew what they were doing (obviously) but no way in hell did I want to see it. A group of potheads were smoking in an alley, and I hurried past that.
I whipped around, seeing nothing but the shaking cars. I turned back towards the street that led to my house. My heart was pounding, and I could feel my throat tighten as panic rose over me in steady waves. My instincts screamed to run, but rationale kept me from doing so.
Don't be stupid, I told myself. Paranoid! Even still, I couldn't shake the feeling off that someone was watching me. I wouldn't be surprised if some pervert in his apartment was glowering at me, but this felt so awkward I couldn't help but quicken my pace.
My head shot up, and I looked around. I wanted to cry out, but my throat seemed too tight to slip a soy bean down. The voice was smooth and low like honey, and it made me shake. There was NO WAY I had made that up.
"Rissy…Don't be scared. I'm not going to hurt you. I just want to give you something. Come here!"
I started to run, my instincts screaming 'danger' in my mind. Much to my horror, I heard footsteps behind me. Even if I had wanted to scream, my throat constricted in such a way that made it impossible.
The footsteps were catching up, and I ran so fast I couldn't feel my feet nor the ground. But the pursuer was much, much faster. And soon I felt myself pinned against the wall, his body molding against mine. I was breathing heavily, whimpering in fear.
He quickly held both hands above my head with one of his hands, and then used his free hand to cover my mouth. My breath was heavy, and I felt my heart beating so loud I thought it would burst. I was always quick to faint, and I saw little spots in the corners of my eyes, but I fought it; to faint at the hands of a kidnapper would be unhealthy and unwise. I forced myself to look at his face.
He was too handsome, I was ashamed to admit mentally. His hair was so black it could meld into the shadows, in comparison to his eyes, which were so grey they could have been white. His body was strong, as I felt the hard muscles against me. He looked amused, if nothing else.
"I'm going to move your hand from your mouth," he said quietly. "And you are not going to scream. Do you understand? Nod if you will not scream."
I dumbly nodded, my mind blurry. He removed my hand from my mouth and in fear for my life I did not scream. I struggled, trying to kick him away, but he held me tighter, the amused look growing into a full-fledged grin.
"You know, considering your present company, I suggest that you stop struggling. I'm not going to rape you or mug you or anything. I just want to give you something."
I gulped, fighting the urge to pass out again. He reached into his pocket, taking out a thin silver chain with a small, black gem on it. I frowned in confusion.
"You cannot take this off once you put it on, and I don't mean that figuratively. Okay?"
I nodded, breathing heavily. He smiled, leaning down and giving me a soft kiss on my forehead.
"That's my girl. After I put this on your neck I'm going to go away, and you're going to go away, and we aren't going to see each other until tomorrow. Does this meet with your requests?"
No, it didn't, but I certainly also didn't have the guts to protest. He let my hands drop and before I could sprint away, he grabbed my waist. I looked up pleadingly at him, finally finding my voice.
"I don't want anything from you, I just want to go home," I said, cursing when my voice cracked and trembled. He looked almost hurt for a moment, but smiled warmly.
"Don't worry, Rissy. Everything will make sense. But you have to take this necklace. I would never, ever hurt you Rissy. I swear that with my life."
"Wh-Who are you?"
His smile was demonic at best, and his teeth grazed over my ear. I cringed and pulled away. He then proceeded to, in the manner of a common maniac, dramatically yet quietly give a tiny speech.
"I am a Prince of Darkness in need of a bride. I'm that thing that goes 'bump' in the night, the whisper you hear behind you when you were so sure you were two-hundred-percent alone, the son of the fallen angel incarnate."
So, clearly, my conclusion was that this disaster case must have escaped from some nearby loony bin, and was clearly out to wreak havoc on the life of some innocent girl. But it still left one question unanswered:
"Th-then wh-what are you doing…why me?"
He chuckled, and lifted my head a little before putting the chain on my neck. It fit snugly at the base of my neck, and he let my neck go before kissing my hair softly. His whisper cut deep into my confidence.
"Because I love you, Rissy."
And when I looked up, he was gone.
For a long, long time, I couldn't move. I tried to keep a steady breath, and I felt myself come in and out of the grey area that envelopes right before fainting. Luckily, I was able to get a hold on my racing heart by calming my intense pulse, and once I did, I started running.
I can't remember running home. I can't remember throwing myself onto the bed, tears of fear in my eyes. I can't remember Tess coming in, asking what was wrong. I can remember, however, falling into a dull, dark sleep.