The scent of roses surrounded her. The petals were falling from the sky in shades of pink and white, looking like snow as they drifted slowly to the ground. All around them were the trees, but this small grassy area was an island of sunlight, surrounded by the shadows of the forest.
Noreen turned around and saw Rian walking out from behind the trees, smiling at her. He had brought her a single red rose, which he’d hidden behind his back and now held out to her. When she took it, he bowed and kissed her hand.
“My darling, this rose pales in comparison to your beauty. Please accept it as a token of my love for you.” Rian bent down and kissed her softly on the lips.
Noreen smiled and looked up at him, shyly. “There is no reason to bring me gifts. You know I am yours. Now and forever.”
Debra thought she was going to be sick. She knew she should go back, but she couldn’t stop watching them, thinking about them…hating them. There was a time, when she would have given anything for Rian to say those things to her. Now, she just wanted to destroy them both.
When had her love for Rian turned to ash, replaced with this hatred that seemed to consume her more each day? He had been the only man she’d ever truly wanted.
Others made it quite clear they desired her, while Rian had always been polite, friendly and thoughtful. He was also one of the most attractive men she’d ever seen, and he was their king. He was perfect. She’d thought, she’d hoped, he would be perfect for her.
It was bad enough that he didn’t love her. That hurt might have healed with time, but he had fallen for another. One, who was younger, sweeter, some even said prettier than herself and worst of all, not even a real fairy. Debra hated Noreen with a passion, which only grew the more Noreen tried to be her friend.
She looked around, knowing she had to leave, but unable to move. It was the damn dream, she thought. It was always the same. She’d be watching them, hating them and soon the mists would come and transform the scene into the final battle. It would all play out again, and Rian would fall.
Debra had believed his death would free her. It’s why she’d thought up the crown…but all it had done was trap her in this endless cycle of wishing she had left the lands and never returned. Never made the crown. Never given in to her jealousy.
She had to get rid of them. Every last fairy and then maybe, finally, she would find some peace. She would have her power, and she would be free.
Photo courtesy of Fairytale & Magic