It’s that point in time that Cassie knew was coming this time on the Tale. You can find the prior chapters here, here, here and here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.. Last week’s part is here. We are told that the future will look after itself, but we might not see that fully, and so it can take an …
Act of Faith
They’d left for the park just after breakfast, Cassie driving her yellow convertible with Keith giving directions. The Temptress wished the drive would have taken longer, hoped that something might delay them, but it didn’t. The familiar sight of the park and the garage nearby soon came into view. She found a parking place on the lot of Keith’s garage.
Turning off the engine, they sat there for a while, not saying a word. It wasn’t that she didn’t have something to say; Goddess knew that there were millions of things she could tell him, but couldn’t. Cassie could tell he wanted to say something, but the words weren’t there. Finally, Keith opened the door and picked up his camera bag: “There’s something I want to do before everything happens.”
The walk to the park was as short as she remembered it, but this time she tried to remember every step, the feeling of Keith’s hand in her own, the laughter they shared as they ran across the street.
Confused, the silver-tail watched her love set a camera on his bag and position it towards the park bench. He took some time; Cassie eventually settled on the bench to wait for him to finish. Once he seemed satisfied with things, a button was pressed and he rushed over.
As her love took a place beside her, the curiosity overcame her: “What’s that for?”
“I don’t have one picture of us together.”
Her voice was surprised: “You never asked.”
His admission was heartfelt: “I thought there was more time.”
Cassie held his hand, rested her head against his shoulder. She delighted in the feeling of being with him. knowing so much more about him. A warm smile came as she sighed. The camera clicked and she knew that another part of the future was written. Someday that image would be placed in a silver frame, positioned just so on Keith’s office desk, where the silver-tail would be guided to discover it so many years later: the image of her Adored One and herself on a park bench … in love. So many pieces and parts of the past were calling out to the future, to her, and she’d never been aware enough to see them all.
They’d left the park afterwards, returning to Keith’s garage; he put the camera bag into his office before locking the place up again. Cassie looked at her yellow convertible in the parking lot. It took a moment to fish the keys out of her pocket and hand them to him: “I won’t be needing that. Will you look after it for me?”
He looked at the keys in his hand: “I’ll figure something out.”
Then it happened, Cassie felt Tera arrive, she always knew when her dearest friend was nearby: “Come on.”
It was a short walk to the alleyway that looked across to the park. Cassie didn’t explain why she was taking them there, there was no reason to. She’d told Keith this was the time he’d meet Tera. This was the place where the future would begin. Standing just inside the entrance from the street, they waited. There wasn’t anything to say, the Temptress thought, but her Adored One surprised her: “Cassie, thank you.”
The silver-tail didn’t know what to say, then Cassie caught a flash of red in the distance: “She’s here.”
From the far side of the park, a woman with wild ebon hair and wearing a long red latex jacket entered. She seemed wrapped up in her thoughts, troubled by something. The park bench soon came into her view and she found a place there to rest.
It was Tera, there was no question. It was odd to not see her red tail or horns, but of course she couldn’t. Cassie’s adored one, Tera’s Eternal-to-be, mused: “She looks … right.”
Cassie smiled: “Seems to be what we say about each other.”
Keith squeezed her hand: “Cassie …”
The Temptress shook her head: “You need to be with her. Go.”
Keith’s so-blue eyes met her own green: “This isn’t goodbye.”
Cassie managed to hold back the tears: “We don’t say goodbye.”
“See you soon?”
The smile was the best she could do: “Count on it.”
The Temptress didn’t want to let go, didn’t want to allow his hands to fall away from her own, didn’t want to see him take a step back and then turn away … but she did. She watched him walk out of the alleyway, Tera framed in the park off in the distance. Cassie wanted him to just go … but didn’t, to be with Tera and have things begin … but wished it could wait.
She didn’t expect him to pause and turn to look back, to touch two fingers to his lips. The Temptress touched her heart, whispered one word: “Always” and then couldn’t look away as Keith crossed the street and entered the park.
Tera looked miserable, Cassie cursed her past self and at the same time was thankful for what she’d done now. She’d pushed Tera in the Realm and guided Keith to be here. She’d given both of them a reason to be in the same place at the same time. The silver-tail didn’t truly understand what she’d done until now. Until the moment when Keith crossed the park and stopped by the tall oak tree next to the bench where Tera rested.
From afar, she could see Keith speaking, Tera turning to look at him. She knew the words they said to each other, she could recite them by heart. Cassie wasn’t a red-tail, but—seeing Keith settle in with Tera, their eyes for each other, the first tentative touch of fingers that told more than the words could even if she could hear them—she wished she was.
The blonde thought it would hurt to feel Keith slipping away, that piece inside of herself becoming loose and falling out. It would be alright, losing peace for the sake of the Eternals. She stood there a long time waiting for the pain, the hurt, the loss … But it didn’t come.
She ached for them, more than she ever had before, but there wasn’t hurt in that ache. It was the ache of wanting to go home. The ache of needing to see them both once more as she knew them, as she wanted, needed them to be …
… to be part of their lives once more.
It was all worth it, she realized, carrying the truth in a silver frame held safely in the canvas bag slung over her shoulder. The future would come; it did matter. All of this was worth the secret the picture held.
Turning away she decided now was the time to go. A wave of her hand and the graffiti covered wall shimmered under the magic being cast. As the portal formed, Cassie’s clothing changed, the silver dress her Adored One loved—the look that proclaimed her to be his Temptress—forming. Her silver heels clicked on the pavement as she moved, a brush of fingers through her blond mane making it just so, the silver bracelet upon her wrist glinting in the magic energies.
Gripping the handle of the canvas bag tightly, the Temptress found she wasn’t afraid of what awaited her. What was meant to be … was. What would be … will. This portal was the future awaiting her. The past that made the future fulfilled, the future offering what it would. Tempted by the Eternals behind her, she had a passing thought to stay and watch what happened next. But she knew she had to go, to pass into their future and her present.
One silver heel passed through, followed by the Temptress, the last of her being her silver tail, the tip looking back at the Eternals holding hands for the first time before it, too, left the past behind.
The future arrived with Cassie’s silver heel touching polished wood floor, her eyes beholding Keith’s office as it formed around her.
The one voice she didn’t expect called out her name as the portal closed …