The final part of the short story. If you haven’t read Parts 1 and 2 you might like to read those first.
I had a thousand questions but kept my council as we went back to his suite of rooms, and our talk turned to the forthcoming nuptials, which seemed a safer subject.
‘Tell me about Lili,’ I said. ‘We’ve been out of touch for so long I know nothing about her. Where did you meet her?’
‘It was quite odd, really,’ Nick replied. ‘You know I drifted for a while after I left the old company. Things were getting a bit desperate and I ended up signing on with an agency, taking any short-term work they offered me. Some jobs were really dire, and I did everything from bodyguard to stacking shelves. Anyway, six months ago, they told me someone had asked for me by name, to help out at a party which didn’t start until midnight. I turned up here, met Lili, and the rest as they say, is history.’
‘That must have been the last time I heard from you, around the time you met Lili. Where have you been living? I tried your old address but they just said you’d moved on and they had no idea where.’
‘I’ve been here ever since the night of the party. Lili arranged for someone to pay my old landlord the outstanding rent, and dispose of my clothes and stuff. I was given my own suite of rooms here, and I found brand new gear in the wardrobes and drawers. Everything I could need. After that, anything I wanted I only had to ask Lili and the next day it would be there.’
‘Surely you don’t mean you haven’t been outside the place since?’ I asked him, horrified at the thought he had been kept a prisoner.
‘Why should I want to leave?’ he asked, sounding genuinely puzzled. ‘Lili is really hot, I’ve everything I want, and after tonight we’ll be together forever. I can’t wait.’
I thought it politic to make no response, so I changed the subject and talked about the more mundane arrangements for the wedding. The things he had shown me that afternoon were also cause for concern, but it wouldn’t be long now before it was all over and normal life could resume. Shortly before midnight we made our way to the grand hall where the guests were already gathered, and took our places in front of the high altar.
The celebrant entered dressed in his traditional robes, and an army of helpers lit the red candles in their antique holders, creating a glowing ambiance. A hush descended as we awaited the arrival of the bride. On the stroke of midnight Lili appeared and smiled in our direction, before lifting her black veil and taking her place between us. She was beautiful, and my heart leapt at the sight of her.
‘We are gathered here tonight,’ the high priest began,’ to celebrate the joining of this man with this woman for all eternity, in accordance with ancient tradition. Do you, Nicholas, of your own free will, accept the sacrifice you are about to make.’
‘I do,’ Nick said, looking slightly puzzled at the change of wording from those he was expecting.
‘Do you, Lili, and you Donn, accept this sacrifice as a symbol of your perpetual union?’
‘We do,’ Lili and I answered together.
‘Wait a minute,’ Nick started. ‘There’s been some sort of mix-up. I’m the groom.’
‘I’ve been waiting a hundred years to find you again,’ Lili whispered to me.
‘I’m here now, my darling,’ I told her. ‘It’s taken me a while to gain Nick’s trust, but now he’s here, to be the catalyst for our union. From henceforth we will have eternity together.’
I felt a twinge of remorse at deceiving Nick into inviting me here, but he was a fool to think Lili was destined for anyone but me. He was not one of us, and as the celebrant plunged the knife deep into his heart, Lili and I thanked him for his service as we drank his life-giving blood.
© Voinks August 2019
I hope you enjoyed this story, and it was worth the wait.
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas, and hope to see you next week for something slightly different. Meanwhile, please feel free to browse any of my books available on Amazon.