"Hi," she said.
"Hi," he said.
She cried though she wasn't that kind of girl. Bodies awkwardly discovering each other. His first fall. She won. He lost. They ran for it with tears in their eyes. She was so sorry. The stars were beautiful in her eyes. He won't stop screaming. She tried it and loved it. He didn't say it again. The regret sunk in. She laughed until she couldn't breathe. She wanted him to say it again. They said goodbye, but didn't mean it. The dream was achieved. He tripped again. She made a very heavy vow. They danced, slowly. A leap of faith. He promised never again. They watched on the edge of their seats. A one punch knockout, lost a tooth. He woke up beside her. A paper cut from a love letter. He couldn't reach the itch. Life then death. Love and hate. Hot and cold. Soul crushing sadness and indescribable happiness. Ash and hearts that no longer beat.
He ran back after her. She finally said it.
"I love you," she told him.
"I love you." he told her.
And then the future passed through James and he could hear their screams of joy and laughter. "Sweet nightingale!" He'd sing through their new house and she'd savior the pain in her cheeks from smiling too much. Their covens would be joined and they would all be happy. The covens would function. It would still run. There'd be small changes, good changes but they'd never be the best. Their parents would grimace and scowl, wondering how they could be better. They wanted more than a taste of power, they wanted the whole cookie jar.
Collin and Gale wouldn't care.
They would keep their small coven happy.
They would make it so no one would ever be in need.
Sure, they'd want, but they wouldn't need.
They'd have kids too soon, everyone said, but they couldn't help it! A little nightingale or someone just like Collin sounded like the best thing in the world. So, they had several and loved each one dearly, but the kids would always think their parents loved each other more.
Gale would never pick up a romance book again because the one she was living was better.
Collin and Gale would never spend a night apart. Never again. Not after everything they'd been through. Not after all the stress, the anxiety and the pain of failure. Gale would thank her mother for forcing her to go to that silly matchmaking meeting. Her mother asked why it was silly and she would say because of course she was going to end up with Collin.
James dropped their hands quickly. He came back to reality like he had been beaten with clubs. He bent his head, hiding the sob inside his hands, but the pressure pushing his skull was too great and a few tears slipped out. He buried his face behind his hand until it was unbearably sticky and hot.
When he calmed down, he sat back up with a deep breath and tears burning his eyes. He was hit by the hope in Gale's eyes. He was going to burst. He couldn't do it. He knew Frances and Gale would be what's best for the coven but...
What would Delphine do?
No. This was his job. This is the moment that decided who he was going to be as a matchmaker or who he was going to be as a person, as a person with a conscious and feelings. He looked at them all, trying his best to smile.
He made it clear to them, "No matter who gets chosen, you'll have to work very hard." James glanced at Collin. "Harder than you've ever worked before, whether it be your marriage or for the coven itself. It will not be easy. You all have to promise me." James said, pleading to Gale.
"Yes," she said.
"I promise," Collin said with her.
"Of course," Frances scoffed. He rolled his eyes and slumped deeper into his chair. James fought the urge to kick him.
"Well, who is it then?" Gordon asked, standing at attention.
James stood too, but too fast. Wooziness clouded his mind and he stumbled a little. His cheeks were burning, but somehow his neck stayed cool and slick. He needed to lie down. Collin really messed with his visions. His visions had never been hijacked before. He was hyper aware of everything: his breathing, his racing heartbeat, and Eric's damn eyes boring holes in his head. The room tilted.
James closed his eyes, swallowing the nausea.
He opened his eyes with a smile and took Gale's and Collin's hands, "Congratulations."
They froze, eyes widening while the rest of the room broke out in chatter and cheering. The parents shook hands and hugged. They'd be happy if James said the bodyguard outside should be marry Gale, anything to get this argument over with.
Frances threw his hands in the air thanking Christ. "Waste of my time!" He exclaimed and plopped into the seat beside Eric, who never took his eyes off James. He had no reaction at all, still as a statue.
"Don't say that," Arista scolded her son before extending her hand to James. "Thank you so much. We do appreciate it." James thanked the heavens her hand was gloved, so he could take her hand.
"Think nothing of it," he smiled.
"Oh my god!" Gale finally piped up, reality catching back up to the couple. She whipped her head around, smiling wide at Collin. By the second her face was growing in brilliance. She released her tears with a shaky laugh, "Collin! Collin!" She shook him, until he snapped out of it too.
"Oh my god," he said. Grinning, he scooped her up in his arms and spun her around. She squealed, and they laughed a familiar laugh. James sighed and leaned against the chair. It might not have been the right thing to do, but James didn't regret it. They were in their own world, wiping way happy tears and without knowing how to form the words to describe what they were feeling.
"Don't look so sullen," Gordon exclaimed, walking up to Eric, who stood in respect. He didn't even flinch when Gordon slapped him on the back. "It'll be you next. The next Alpha of the Silva clan will need a mate, you know."
"I do," Eric agreed. "But," he said mindfully of James in the room. It was the politest rude thing James had ever heard. "I trust my wolf to help me find my mate. I wouldn't need the... handicap."
I'm a handicap, huh? James thought.
"Nonsense!" Arista insisted. "Gordon and I used the help of a matchmaker. Delphine, James' master was a dear friend of ours a long, long time ago." She laughed over the memory. "She was just doing it for fun then. It did a world of wonders."
"I thought you of all people would like it," Frances smirked, a knowing look at what seemed to be his friend. He nudged the wolf. "You wouldn't have to fuss around with courtship. It's quick, easy and you wouldn't have to bother."
James snorted that time. It did sound just like Eric.