Belle stood in front of the cracked mirror that was on the wall for years and years since from the time the mansion had been built in the land of the living.
But she wasn't in the living world, she was in the mansion which was the reflection of the mansion which she had grown up with. Candles had been placed all over the room and in the mansion, brightening up the place even though it was not needed as the guests were people who were dead. It was Lucas who had decided to light the candles and make the mansion look like it was having celebrations.
Belle wore a black gown instead of white. The gown was made in the living and it was beautiful, one that she had never dreamt of wearing but nevertheless, it was still a wedding attire in the dead. Her shoulders had been left bare and buttons went from the top of her back to almost her until her waist. Her reddish-brown hair had been twisted and tied. Edith and her friend Anne had helped in getting her ready.
The veil had been pinned on the back of her hair and Belle couldn't help but stare at herself in the mirror. She was no more the girl she was once used to seeing herself in the mirror. Gone was the frivolous girl who was filled with mischief. Things were not the same anymore and if there was one constant thing in her life so far, it was Lucas who had stayed beside her.
"They have set up the place and the groom is ready," informed Edith, who came to peek through the doors, "Do you want me to inform them that you will be down in a few minutes?"
Belle nodded her head, "Yes. That would be very kind of you," and Edith offered her an encouraging smile. Belle wanted her parents to be present with her, to watch the wedding but if she summoned their souls, she wouldn't have enough time to spend with them. This was the last chance where she would be able to see them, to feel their presence and she wanted to do it right.
Hearing the door close, Belle took a deep breath. She had been practising the spell for a long time, and now that it was time, Belle felt her heartbeat increase.
"Okay. Let me try it," whispered Belle to herself and then uttered the spell from the book of the dead. She could feel the wind in the room and the flames of the candle flickering. When the spell was complete, Belle's red eyes looked around the room but her parents didn't appear in front of her.
Her lips pursed, her eyebrows furrowing in worry if she didn't do the spell right. Clutching her hand, she thought maybe it wasn't working and she would have to try it some other time. But when she heard the fire crackle in the fireplace, Belle's gaze shifted from the front to look at the two figures that looked like smoke standing in the room.
Belle's hand moved up to her mouth, in shock and surprise. She had imagined of the time they would meet for one last time but now that her parents stood in the room, Belle was left speechless.
"Belle," her mother called her, her hands opening wide and Belle who was a person of this world didn't have any problem in hugging her mother back. With both her arms around her mother, she squeezed her while feeling her heart turn heavy in pain.
With her mind that had been occupied since the time of her parent's death, Belle had not found enough time to mourn them. With the Grims who had come to stay in the Adams' mansion, Belle had not felt loneliness but seeing her parents now, she realised how much she had missed them.
"Mama," Belle whispered. The last time, Belle had not even got to tell her goodbyes and this was her opportunity.
Pulling back from her mother's embrace, she looked at her father, "Papa," and her father smiled.
"You have grown up, Belle," said her father, "You were little but look at you now."
"Are you going somewhere?" asked her mother because of the attire that she wore.
Belle smiled back at her parents, "This-This is supposed to be a wedding gown. It's a little old tradition."
"Let me guess, it's Lucas?" her father asked and Belle nodded her head, "I thought something was brewing up." Belle turned her eyes to her mother, wanting to hear what she would say. It was because she knew that somewhere her mother didn't approve of the possible relationship between her and Lucas.
"Well. So many things happened. We are happy if you are happy, Belle," her mother placed her hand on Belle's shoulder, "You look beautiful," and her mother stepped forward to kiss her forehead, "I hope you are doing well?"
Belle who was overwhelmed by emotions nodded her head while tears brimmed up her eyes. She had missed them so much, "Have you been doing well, mama and papa?" she questioned. She knew the answer to it. As they were lost souls that had disappeared from the living, there was no way they could remember anything.
Before the question could be answered, Belle heard the knock on the door,
"Belle?" It was Barron who was on the other side of the door, "Everyone is waiting for you."
She didn't want to leave yet, though. If she left now, her parents would disappear and she would never be able to see them after this.
"We'll be right behind you, Belle," her mother assured her, "Don't worry about us."
"Your mother is right," agreed her father, "Come here dear," he said, and Belle received a hug that felt cold but it still warmed her heart. She wondered if it was possible to bring them back to life, so that she could see her parents, breathing.
Her father continued to say, "Don't be scared, Belle. You have done well so far, and your mother and I are very proud of you. You have turned far more capable than any of our expectations. Don't feel alone, Belle dear. Times might be hard and dark, but you have the ability to push through and emerge out of the darkness." Her father then leaned to her ear, whispering something that had Belle's eye widened and she looked back to stare at her father who smiled, "Go on now. It is time to have your happiness."
Belle bit her bottom lip so that she wouldn't cry. Blinking her eyes quickly for the tears to disappear, she gave them another nod.
"Live a happy life, Belle," her mother wished, we'll see you right here at the window.
Belle reluctantly let go of her parents' side. Holding the front of her dress, she started to walk. Before reaching for the door, Belle turned to see her parents were still there who gave her a smile to say they were happy for her.
When Belle made her way down the stairs and then out of the mansion, she saw Barron who was waiting for her,
"Here are your flowers," Barron handed the bouquet of flowers to her, "Ready?" he asked, giving her his hand and Belle put her hand around it.
"It is strange to see you this tall," murmured Belle when they stepped out of the house. She was used to seeing Barron in the rabbit form where she had forgotten he had his Grim form. But right now, Barron had turned himself to a young man in his twenties.
"Sshh," Barron smiled at Belle, "Mr. Fluffs is here too. I have been taking good care of him."
Belle whispered, "I don't think I could find any better person to take care of Mr. Fluffs," Barron gave her a nod of agreement. There weren't many guests and only a few of them. The Grims, Hawverts, some creatures of the dead and the only mortal being her and Anne who was Wrath's woman.
When they started to walk down, Belle caught sight of Lucas talking to Crane who was going to perform the ceremony. As if hearing the footsteps, he turned to look at her. His eyes calm as ever and the faint smile on his lips. He wore a suit as a groom would in the living world, his hair combed back.
Belle remembered what her father whispered before she had pulled away from him.
'Maybe your mother doesn't know this, but I always believed somewhere you would end up with him. Because of how protective he has been of you, taking care of you. I believe both your mother and I can rest in ease, knowing we are giving our daughter to someone who will treasure and look after. If you are not able to find the light in the darkness, you have him as the light. He will guide you.'
Belle felt Barron let go of her hand, as Lucas had stretched his hand forward for Belle to take. A wide smile appeared on her lips, and she finally placed her hand in his. Knowing Lucas would never let her go. She stood in front of him, the bottom part of her dress was being made proper by Anne.
Lucas turned to look towards the window that led to Belle's room and she saw shadows of her parents who were looking at them. He bowed his head and saw Mr. Adams give him a nod. With another blink of an eye, they disappeared.
"The wedding will now commence," Crane announced to gain everyone's attention to wed the two Grims for the very first time in the history of the land of the dead.
Far in the future…
Blue wind chimes with little bells and feathers hung at the window of the room, making sounds every time the wind blew in and out. It was the time of spring. A quiet afternoon like any other day.
At one of the houses, a man sat on the bed flipping the newspaper in his hand which he had picked for his amusement. His attention from the paper was taken away when the baby he was assigned to look after crawled to the edge of the bed. Leaning forward, he picked the little one to place the baby back in the middle of the bed. Though by the appearance he looked like a mortal, a human. In truth, he was a reaper.
Opening his mouth wide, he yawned.
Where were the baby's parents? Things had changed in the land of the living as well as the dead. Apart from reaping people, the reapers were assigned part-time jobs to look after some of the mortals. He rolled his eyes. What kind of job was this? He was Barron the fourth Grim, he had other jobs to do! It had been a while since he had last washed Mr. Fluffs. The last vacation he had was decades ago. He wanted one right now.
After spending a few more hours Barron, the Grim reaper walked towards the bed to touch the baby's forehead, "Don't fall down from the bed now," he said, narrowing his eyes. He would get someone else to take care of this one and he vanished in thin air.
Unfortunately, after taking his vacation, Barron being Barron forgot to mention about reassignment to the child who could behave like a guardian angel for it.
Months passed by when a dark hooded figure that was passing by the baby's house stopped in his tracks to stare at the house from outside. The dark hooded figure was another Grim reaper, the reaper who rowed in the world of the dead.
The Grim reaper wore a black suit and an overcoat. By appearance, the man was tall and intimidating enough to scare a mortal. He had come to collect the couple's soul who had passed away in a car accident a few hours ago when he noticed that the child in the house had no guardian angel in sight when it was supposed to have one.
How rare, the reaper thought to himself. He could perhaps save her from the oncoming misery by taking her soul with him right now.
Human souls were extremely precious, thought the reapers to himself, to have a soul which hadn't been tainted in the human world was valuable. He looked at the baby's death date and shook his head. She was going to die within a span of five years, surely he could wait until then.
He would come to take her soul personally, thought Rower to himself before leaving the living world.
Author's note: I will be adding some extra stories in respective books of this LDG series. I have left an open ending here for the next possible 6th book in the series. For now, the book is titled as 'The Graveyard shift' in my profile. You can just add it, so that you get an update for it, once it starts getting written. You will find them on my profile.
The books in the series: Valerian Empire, Heidi and the Lord, Bambi and the Duke, Young Master Damien's pet, Belle Adams' Butler. Another book- The Crown's Obsession
Thank you for reading the book ^.^