I shouldn’t have even mentioned the castle suite, because of course he was going to be all over that. I was just so far down my road o’ pity that I didn’t censor myself.
I have moments where I hear myself from the outside and I’m appalled at my rudeness, my arrogance, my… me. I’m appalled at me.
I have a memory of me after my divorce, after my move, after I’d fought my way to this new life and I was blissful. I’d never been happier in all my life and I was grateful.
How did I get from that person to this?
“Oh, come on. No one gets into that castle suite. You have to!” Jack begged.
I placed both my hands on his arms and steadied us both. “Look, not now, okay?”
I just wasn’t up to the argument. But when he smiled sadly, pulled me back against him again and said, “Sure. Another time …” the exact way a brokenhearted child might, I felt lower than dirt.
“Look, Sabrina, I need to tell you something. Something I should have said when I saw you the first time, but it didn’t seem to fit in. Then every other time I’ve seen you, it’s been… well, I’m just thinking the longer it goes, the more awkward it gets so…”
I pulled back and looked up at him.
“What?” I was pretty freaked out but tried not to show it.
He climbed off the bed and moved to the foot where he stared up the length of the bed at me.
“You’re making me crazy. What is it?” I twisted my hands, trying to disperse nervous energy. “A lot happened and changed in the past four years, obviously. I mean, I’m even more wealthy and handsome than before, if you
~ 1 ~
believe it.” He shot me his sexy grin that I’d seen woo every woman he’d crossed paths with.
“Yes, that.” I folded my arms again and remained nonplussed.
“Okay, but for real, I met someone.” He half smiled.
I sat up straight, intrigued.
“Like, someone serious?”
I’d known him a long time, and he’d never been serious about any woman. He’s who I learned about polyamory from!
“I married her serious.” He looked nauseous.
I wasn’t sure if the look was about the marriage or about how I’d take it.
The words sort of just swirled in my head like a foreign entity.
“Married, married?” I couldn’t make sense of it. “How… when… no, how?”
He exhaled deeply, stepped away and scrubbed his hands over his face while looking up at the heavens as if the answer would appear there.
“She’s… the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in my life. And she’s into the spiritual stuff, and she likes…”
“Your money?” I cut him off, suddenly feeling very protective.
He shot me a look that said I may not be wrong, but that wasn’t a topic up for debate.
“Okay, so… tell me about her.” I tried to retract the claws.
He folded his arms across his chest. I’d never seen him look smaller, and that freaked me out.
“Her name is Amira, we met… recently.” He stopped and looked at me, clearly waiting for me to jump all over that recently remark, but I didn’t. I showed restraint.
“Go on.” I spoke blandly enough, gritting my teeth and holding my tongue.
~ 2 ~
He sighed and came over next to me again, this time taking the chair beside the bed and hanging his head, his hands clasped between his knees.
“We met at Hydration.” He began.
Just to clarify, Hydration is his club. When I met Jack, he was a DJ, but he’d also developed an astrology app, the first one really, and it hit big, changing his life. Now he owned the club and would DJ for fun.
“She was flirty and, I said gorgeous, right?”
“You did.” I was not amused.
Something about when your male friends go on about how pretty another woman is, it can get under your skin.
“We talked and hung out and traveled. I was trying to impress her. She was too pretty, out of my league, and young, too.” He seemed to drift off into the memory.
“How young?” Now I was concerned.
“Twenty-one.” He admitted.
Which was definitely young, but with Jack being thirty-eight… ugh.
“Okay, so you’re wining, dining, and traveling her. Where’d you go?”
I remember what it’s like to be the object of Jack’s obsession. It’s a heady thing, especially if you’ve not experienced someone like him before. I could only imagine how much more potent his charms would be, backed by a limitless bank account.
“We went to Belize, Tulum, Switzerland…”
“Switzerland?” Sounded lovely, but one of these is not like the other.
“Her family is from there.” He shrugged.
“Oh.” I accepted. “So, go on.” I was over my initial shock and genuinely interested because I loved Jack and felt protective of him. I wanted this to be a good thing for him so I could celebrate it with him, but I worried it
~ 3 ~
wasn’t, and then what? I become the bitch ex-girlfriend who sours the marriage? I’ve had more than enough relationship drama to last me the rest of my life. I didn’t need that.
Of course, it would probably serve to remember, this wasn’t about me, it was about Jack.
But it felt at least a little about me!
“We knew each other about three months when I proposed.”
Inside my head I was screaming three months!
Outside I remained still.
“We married about three months after that.”
He’s killed me.
I’m dead again.
He reached for his phone and pushed a few buttons before handing it to me.
“Here, wedding pictures.”
I drew a breath before taking the phone.
This was dangerous territory because once I saw her face, I’d know things about her that made no sense for me to know. I’d always been able to do that, and I’d always been right. It soured a lot of friendships, if I’m honest. I tried to rein it in, lock it down, but nothing I’ve tried makes it go away.
Add to that, I’m about to see the wedding photos of one of my dearest friends, a wedding I missed because I was unconscious…
And life went on anyway.
I closed my eyes and prepared myself, then took the phone.
What I saw was the perfect wedding.
On the beach, sunset. The bride…
“Damn, she is gorgeous!”
~ 4 ~
Ice blonde hair, wrapped and braided around flowers and crystals. Her makeup was flawless on flawless young skin. The gown, a stunning, body-hugging sparkle dress over nude fabric, leaving the unmistakable impression that all she was wearing were crystals. In some miracle, though, it was beautiful and not at all tacky.
I smiled feeling the happiness of the moment through the photo.
He was in his tux, and the way he was looking at her… it was how I used to look at Rafe.
Tears started to rise up and there was nothing I could do about them.
“Oh, honey.” Jack reached for some tissue and handed it to me.
I took it and dabbed the tears, then waved away his concern like I was waving a white flag of surrender.
“It’s fine. These are beautiful.”
I saw Charlotte and Nora in the crowd. Gwil was a groomsman. Jack’s brother, the best man. Everyone looked so happy…
“Y’all really went on as if I was gone.”
I wasn’t being narcissistic. I wasn’t even trying to pull the conversation back to myself. It was more that I just made the realization. It was as stark and as real as that moment I saw in Rafe’s eyes.
I know they love me.
I know they mourned me.
But to see everyone happy, moved on, living life, while I was…
I held up a hand to shush him.
“It’s okay. Of course you did. And I’d want you to… but seeing it… I…”
I looked back at the photos and my tears flowed like wine at their wedding.
~ 5 ~
Maybe it was the realization, maybe it was sadness, maybe I was mourning myself for the first time. Because despite what I wanted, what I knew, what I thought I believed about life and death, I was here now, on the other side in a way, and I had no idea about anything anymore.
Jack leaned over on the bed and placed his head in my lap, wrapping his arms around my waist. I ran my hand through his hair.
“It was a beautiful wedding.” I leaned down to cuddle him the best I could.
What I needed to understand was that life, my life, my friends’ lives, it was all forever changed.
And I think this was the first moment I accepted that.
~ 6 ~
Additional chapters can be found below.
The Memory of Magic ~ Samantha Lucas
What do we think? Jack’s marriage, good or bad?
Relationships are complicated, but we love them, we live for them. We learn and grown in them. And I am obsessed with writing about them. So you’ll just have to wait and see what happens there, but it was a beautiful wedding!
We’re halfway through the first book in the journey now, and I hope you’re falling in love with Jack and Gwil, Sabrina and Charlotte. Things just keep getting better from here as Jack and Gwil thaw Sabrina out at Animal Kingdom, so stay tuned.
This story is my gift to the world, to remind us all of hope and love and that even crazy dreams come true… if we have the courage to pursue them.
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Can’t wait for you to read the rest. Love and blessings. ~ Samantha