Hannah tried not to show how tense she was as she helped Kayleigh into her wedding dress for the final fitting. Being in the heart of the Laverne’s holiday home – though Marian ran it more like a military camp â€“ in the Isles of Scilly was making her nervous. “You look lovely, sis. But why red?”
“Because it’s pretty and white is for wusses,” she said. “And I look awful in pale colours.”
“Ah, you started without me!” Tara Laverne said from the doorway. The wild toddler she had located and adopted not long after Sean died was asleep in her arms. “He just wouldn’t settle or I’d have been here before. But Hannah is right; you look wonderful. I got married in a pale primrose myself.” Are you ready to run at any instant? she said mentally only to Hannah. Something is going on with Marian and she’s locked me out but my gut, my gut is jumping and she’s summoned the rest of the family.
Hannah managed to avoid reacting visibly beyond a slight twitch only with effort. How do you know about that? You knew about Sean as well? That’s why you work for the Morgans?
I knew about Sean from when he was the same age as Martin here. She dropped a kiss onto her sleeping son’s hair, laid him on one of the beds and moved to help with the dress, making idle chitchat out loud as she did. And yes, that’s how I started working for Matt. I eventually realised after some digging that it seemed almost every resonant we found was a warrior. It didn’t take much to realise that the inverse was likely true.
That’s why Sean didn’t want the rest of the family to know? Hannah asked. That explains a lot. She hesitated. Ema told me that Kyle is alive.
Yes, I know. Matt told me when he found out, but I’d already guessed. The vision I had of Sean- She broke off. Well, it suggested he might have survived. It wasn’t his fault but I’m worried Marian might have figured you out.
I hope you’re wrong, Hannah said. But yeah I’m ready to run. I’m pretty good at Spatial stuff. I know that there are wards up but I don’t think they’ll stop me from gating to the other world.
Actually, they probably will, Tara said. Marian’s wards are very good but there are a couple of places in the cellars that they can’t cover because they conflict with some much older wards our ancestors set. I think that you will be able to Gate there. I’ll show you later. Stick with me until then.
“Where’s Adrian?” Kayleigh asked suddenly. “I haven’t seen him all day.”
“Of course you haven’t,” Tara said as she adjusted the over-skirt on Kayleigh’s dress. “You know very well that the groom isn’t supposed to see the bride the day before the wedding, especially not in her dress. Anyway, he’s in a meeting with Marian and the others.”
“And you’re not?” Kayleigh narrowed her eyes. “Why not?”
“Marian didn’t invite me,” Tara replied. “She doesn’t always, and she knew that we had to get this done for tomorrow.” She fiddled with the skirt some more. “Though actually it doesn’t look like we’ll need to do anything much to it.” She straightened up. “I think this may be the best dress I’ve ever made. You’ll look wonderful tomorrow. Do you want to try your veil on as well?”
“Of course!” Kayleigh said. “I want to see what I look like.”
Tara had just turned to fetch it when her twelve year old daughter Collette came running in looking scared. “Mum! Aunt Marian’s gone crazy!”
“That’s an understatement,” Carl Laverne â€“ Marian and Tara’s younger brother â€“ said as he followed Collette into the room. He turned to look at Hannah. “I don’t know if what she’s saying is true but either way she believes it. You’d better get out of here.”
“W-what’s she saying?” Kayleigh asked.
“That she’s been in contact with the Core of the other world and it had told her that all the Warriors are resonant and that Tara knew. I don’t know if that’s true or not but if it is, it means what we’ve been doing all this time was counter-productive.” He chewed on his lip, obviously wishing that he didn’t have to continue. “Y-your mother argued with Marian to her face I’m afraid.” He paused at Hannah’s strangled sob. “I’m sorry. I’m going to jump out. Warn your father before he gets here. You should get going.”
“What about Adrian?” Kayleigh asked. Hannah glared at her through her tears. Did she not understand what he’d said? No one argued with Marian Laverne about resonants.
“What do you think?â€ Collette said contemptuously. “He’s always been Aunt Marian’s lapdog.”
Kayleigh stared at her for a moment then hitched up her skirt and raced for the door. “Hey! They’re planning to esca-” She broke off as Carl struck her over the head knocking her out.
“Dammit! Move now!” He vanished, teleported off to warn her father.
Tara lifted her toddler and headed for the door. “Come on, we need to get to the cellar before Marian.”