Epilogue – Alex Woode

With one last glance, I tore my eyes off the casket and turned my back to the sea of black. My eyes swept the grounds. A little ways a way Mrs. Shepherd stood, crying. Jason was at her side, with his arms wrapped around his mother. The gray backdrop suited this depressing picture.

My eyes continued to roam the clearing, not sure what I was searching for. It was when I spotted Robbie, standing solemnly with his hands clasped together in front of him, staring blankly ahead that I stopped.

Suddenly my opponent looked up meeting my gaze.

His concentration shifted in the strangest way to me. And I couldn't look away. A mutual understanding seemed to cross both of us; he gave me one, short nod and I returned the gesture.

I turned away.

I had something to do.

My hand automatically reached into my coat pocket.

The note.

I knew it was there, because it was literally burning a hole in my pocket during the service. But I was relieved now.

My mother called to me. "Alex."

Without looking at her, I answered. "I'm sorry. I have to go."

"But Alex, Mrs. Shepherd - "

"Give her my regards." I didn't have time to glance up and see how my behavior had shocked my mother. I had to get out of here.

Without looking back, I left.

My car door shut behind me, but I didn't bother to lock it as I entered my house. I treaded up the stairs and into my room, closing the door.

On my dressing table were the needed materials I had gotten from Ariel. I went up to the blinds and drew them shut. The room was dark enough now.

The lighter was already in my pocket, so I lit the candles that were sitting on my dressing table. I avoided looking at the mirror, knowing that it would disrupt my focus. The rose was resting in the vase. I took it out and brought it to my nose. Remembering…

Finally, I took out the note from the pocket. I skimmed over the words. I had already memorized them like a prayer. My love's handwriting was written in a haste, but each word was deliberate.

I closed my eyes, and took a breath.

I felt stupid. But Ariel had told me the key was to imagine that I was a part of the Klik. It was the only way to channel the energy.

Oh God, this was ridiculous. No. I couldn't think that. Aggravated, I tensed my grip on the flower's stem and before I could change my mind I spoke.

"Belle." The energy in the room heightened and I could feel the sudden change. There was a presence.

I brought my eyes to mirror. There was a flicker of an image.

"Alex," she whispered my name. I closed my eyes at the caress. She laughed, and then I opened my eyes again.

There she was. Belle.