“You can’t come in here! It’s bad luck!” Alastair pressed himself against the door but Helen was stronger than she looked. She shouldered it open and barged in.
“It’s the other way around,” she scowled, eyes darting everywhere. “It’s supposed to be bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding. If you believe such superstitious twaddle. As you can see, I’m not wearing my wedding dress – and I might not ever wear it, the way things are going.”
Alastair gasped. A panicked look widened his eyes. “Helen, love! Don’t say such things. You’re anxious. It’s understandable. It’s the eve of your wedding – our wedding! It’s only natural you’re a bit nervous.”
Helen scoffed. She continued her search of the room. “You seem to be the nervous one, my sweet. Where is she?”
“I heard voices. Yours and a woman’s.” She dropped to the carpet and peered under the bed.
“You’re imagining it. There’s nobody here.”
Helen yanked the door of the wardrobe. Nothing! She snatched his phone from the bedside table. There was no record of any recent calls.
Helen was a little deflated. She had been so sure her fiancé had been talking to someone. “I’m sorry,” she sighed.
“That’s OK, Pookums,” he took hold of her forearms and rubbed them with his thumbs. “You know you can trust me, don’t you? It’d be a pretty poor start to a marriage if we don’t trust each other.”
She nuzzled her face against his neck. He felt her relax against him and allowed himself to breathe out with relief. Crisis averted!
“And now, I have to throw you out,” he smirked. “Our final night apart. But after tomorrow, together forever!”
“You’re right. I’d better go. Still so much to do. Hair, nails…”
He patted her backside as she headed through the door. “Love you,” he called after her.
“Love you too, Honey Bear!” she called back.
He locked the door. He even leant a chair against it for good measure.
He removed the duvet from the bed, revealing the Ouija board he’d hidden from his intended. He put his finger on the heart-shaped planchette and closed his eyes.
“It’s all right, Mother,” he whispered. “The vessel suspects nothing. The ritual will go ahead tomorrow as planned. And then, oh, then! You and I shall be reunited.”