There is darkness when you meet death. Death's hands are cold and white and pale. He reaches out to me. It's strange and slightly frightening but for some reason, I feel welcome. It feels like this inevitable journey that everyone needs to take, even though they aren't sure where the path ends. I touch his hand and we walk together. He shows me a carriage. The horses are a pale color and almost translucent. I know what this is. I don't know where the carriage goes, however. I know this is a trip that I would never return. A part of me just wishes I was able to tell Urge goodbye one last time, but that's impossible. It's funny that at the end of my life Urge is the person that I am thinking about. I take a step towards the carriage.
I feel happy in a way. I feel happy that I've known love. I feel happy that I've known friendship as well. I feel like my life wasn't perfect but I've lived an exciting life. People like me didn't last a long time. People like me were flames in the wind. We sparked loud and stronger than candles but we flickered out very quickly. My flame was gone.
I was walking towards the eternal night.
I start towards the carriage but I hear something. There is a hissing in the breeze. Another flame was being started. Behind me, I can feel the heat of the fire.
I turn and I see someone standing there. Shadows of a dark fire. A ghost fire. Something darker.
Something was coming. Something worse than death.
I wake up screaming!
"It's OK! Relax, you're OK!"
My eyes open to see Steele sitting at my bedside. He is the last person I expect to see. I touch my body. I'm confused. I'm in a hospital room in the Steele building. It's a clear white room. I haven't seen this room before. There is a mirrored wall. It has to be a two-way mirror. Steele isn't alone in this room with me. Denny is next to him as well. Denny has a clipboard out. He doesn't react when I look up. He just stares at his clipboard.
"What the hell happened?" I ask Steele.
"Nothing. You gave us a little scare Desire. That's all," Steele tells me,
"We found you outside of the cabin," Steele tells me, "You were unconscious. Somehow you survived the explosion."
I look at Steele with the weirdest expression. I had seen the flames of the cabin engulf me. I felt my body destroyed.
"That's impossible," I tell Steele.
Steele gives me a smile, "Nothings impossible. You were a little battered up
but we brought in the best doctors to help you. You are completely back to
That doesn't sound right. I touch my skin yet again. No bruises. No soreness. There was nothing. It was almost as though the explosion didn't happen.
"You don't get it," I tell Steele, "I was dead. I saw death..."
"It was probably just a dream."
"I SAW DEATH!"
I scream at the top of my lungs. I'm confused and he's trying to say that I don't know what I'm talking about. I was there. I saw the carriage. I saw the pale horses. I was dead and I was leaving this world. It wasn't a dream. It wasn't a nightmare. It was as real as me sitting in this bed right now. Steele walks over to Denny. He whispers something to Denny. Denny whispers back. Denny hands him a mirror. Steele gives the mirror to me. Looking back at me I can see my reflection.
Desire. Jonathan. I was looking back at my own reflection. There isn't even a burn mark. I look as though I've only been sleeping. What kind of doctors were that good that they were able to fix me up so well?
"See for yourself," he says as I stare in the mirror, "You're OK, Desire. Why so upset? You should be happy right?"
"How long have I been out?" I ask him.
"Three days and nights," he responds.
I look over at Denny. I'm confused. Denny isn't returning my eye contact but he whispers something, "Just like Jesus."
He's looking down at the clipboard. I look over at Denny and I can tell that something is wrong here. I'm not exactly sure what it is but Denny is just avoiding me. Denny would have been happy I assumed. If he thought I was dead but I really wasn't shouldn't he be a little happy? Maybe the last encounter we had was still awkward for him. I had threatened to kill him. Maybe that was what the case was.
"Urge..." I state.
It's more of a question than a statement. I'm worried about him.
"He's fine. He's out planning your wedding," Steele says.
The idea of that actually makes me smile, even with Steele. Right now we are smiling together. The idea of Urge actually planning a wedding is a little bit laughable. He definitely wasn't the wedding planner kind of guy but I loved the idea that he still wanted to go through with this.
"What about the Assembly?" I ask Steele.
"They are gone. Forever," he responds, "I know you are also going to ask about Ego. We know what he was up to. He's imprisoned and blind so he won't be a problem for you moving forward. Honestly Desire...you are completely safe now."
I'd never been completely safe before. Never. I should be smiling. I should be happy. It just seemed too good to be true.
"I feel different."
"In a bad away?" Steele asks me.
I feel my body. I feel my hands. Strange. Something is strange about me.
I shake my head, "No. I feel better than ever."
Steele smiles, "Well that's a good thing. In order to celebrate your wedding, I don't have any missions for you and Urge for quite some time. I also booked a month long honeymoon to Tahiti. I know that place has some bad memories for you so I figured you can go back there and create some new ones with your husband."
Steele was being nice. He was being real nice. I smile at him.
Steele nods, "Let me know if you need anything Desire. I think we should start all over. I think things are going to be good for you moving forward."
Steele gives me a pat on the back and then walks out of the room. He leaves me with Denny. Denny gets up. It's so weird that he isn't saying anything to me.
"Denny...what's wrong?" I ask him.
Denny shakes his head, "Nothing. I'm just happy you're back. Speechless."
"Are you mad about..."
I can't even finish my sentence. Denny seems ready to cut me off. He shakes his clipboard.
"No. Nothing. Everything's OK."
Denny still hasn't looked at me. He still hasn't given me eye contact. It's almost like he can't. I'm so confused. Maybe the idea that I'm marrying Urge finally is getting to him. Maybe he is embarrassed because now he knows that I know the truth. Something is wrong with Denny and I can't put my finger on it. Something is making him feel awkward right now.
"You sure?" I ask.
"Why wouldn't I be sure?"
"I just feel weird Denny. What's this room?"
"It's a new room," he responds, looking at the door as though wanting an excuse to leave out of here for some reason, "Something...new..."
I look around the room one more time. I look at the mirrored wall.
"Is that a two-way mirror?" I ask Denny.
Denny doesn't respond.
"Denny whose behind that mirror?" I ask him.
Denny still doesn't respond to my question.
He just starts walking to the door, "Your wedding has been completely paid
for by SOS. I hope you enjoy it. It's a big day for you. It's everything you ever
With that Denny leaves me. I feel awkward but I notice something that I shouldn't see on that clipboard as he walks out. I notice the headline of a sheet of paper. The headline on the papers that Denny is looking at reads something very interesting: Project Ghost...
"Are you nervous?" Love asks me, "I would be nervous. I mean what if something goes wrong? What if you trip? What if you fall? What if Urge gets cold feet and doesn't show up. What if someone gets into an argument? What if..."
"Love calm down. I think you are more nervous than I am," I respond.
It's the day of my wedding. I don't feel nervous but I do feel anxious. To be honest I'm just happy. Today was the day that I was going to marry the love of my life. I had somehow survived something impossible and I was here with my closest friends. It was a small intimate wedding with just a few friends that I've met from SOS and in Pleasantville. The wedding hall was beautiful and it was even more special because Urge had actually planned the entire wedding.
Love, Allure and Craving are in my dressing room with me. Love is pacing back and forth. Craving is helping me get dressed. Allure has already started drinking.
"So I brought a date," Allure says.
We all look at Allure. It's honestly shocking. This girl didn't date. She didn't have time for anything like that. I'm shocked but actually happy for her.
"SOS agent?" I ask.
She shakes her head, "A banker in Pleasantville. He thinks I'm an accountant."
"You didn't tell him you worked for the Government?" I ask.
"What am I supposed to tell the guy? I'm a reformed assassin who now works for the government to take out other killers?" Allure asks.
I get it. I'm not judging Allure. I can tell she is just as nervous for this day as I am. This is the first time she's ever really dated before. I can see the nerves all over her. She just seems really uncomfortable.
"The Assembly is gone," Craving tells Allure, "Steele says we are only doing small, easy jobs from now on. There are a few strays left of the Assembly here and there, but they should be easy to round up. The heart of the Assembly is gone. Ignorance and her people are gone. Desire destroyed all of them."
"He did the impossible," Love agrees.
I don't want to think about that night. It still confuses me what happened. If the Assembly really was gone then I should be happy about it. The nightmare that had haunted me most of my life was finally gone and destroyed. I can finally start all over for real this time. I can finally realize that things are starting new. My world has changed.
"The impossible thing is me walking down the aisle right now," I explain to my friends.
"Urge doesn't think that," Love explains, "You should have seen him planning this wedding. There was nothing he was ready for more in his life."
"What if our relationship isn't what I want it to be?" I ask Love.
"You have the best relationship I've ever seen in my life," Love explains.
Craving shoots his ex-boyfriend a stare, "I'm sitting right here."
Love rolls his eyes, "Like I said. You have the best relationship that I've ever seen. The feelings are real. They are mutual as well. Don't hesitate again Desire. This is what you want. This is want you desire. This is your happiness. Go for it."
Love walks over and gives me a hug. It's a hard hug. Allure walks over as well.
"Hopefully, I'm next," Allure says, "C`mon Love. I
need you to help me with my wedding date. I'm not really sure what to do.
I need to make sure I don't scare him away."
Allure walks out of the room with Love following her. As they leave I can see Craving staring at Love. He's staring hard. He stares even when he walks out of the room.
It kind of makes me smile.
"You should try to work things out with him," I tell Craving.
Craving looks at the door. He knows I'm talking about Love. The look that he was giving Love just now is real. Maybe it's the fact that he is my best man at my wedding. Maybe that is causing Craving to rethink the way that he treated Love when he was in a relationship. I know their relationship had a lot of turmoil but my relationship with Urge had a lot of turmoil too. I was able to get through it. Maybe he would be able to fix things with Love.
"He's not for it."
"Yes, he is. That kid loves you. He's putting out all the signs," I explain, "All you have to do is take it. All you have to do is reach out and let him know that you want to grow with him."
"I'm not you. I'm not Urge. I'm not this hopeless romantic like the two of you," Craving explains shaking his head.
"But you are in love. So why not ask him to dance at the reception?"
"Desire...I don't know..."
"You going to pull that one?"
"It's my wedding day. I can pull what I want."
Craving sighs, "I'll think about it. Let's stop talking about my issues. Are
you OK? Are you really ready for this?"
I pause for a second.
"Craving...I feel...different," I admit to him.
I wouldn't dare admit it to the others but I feel like Craving is my best friend. If I can't tell him that things are a little weird then who could I tell? He seems a little confused when I raise the subject, though. He gives me an odd stare and messes up his blonde hair. I don't blame him. I've been acting weird for the last week. I've been really keeping to myself ever since I came out of the SOS labs. I just feel like something isn't really right with me.
"Is it nerves?"
I shake my head, "No. Something internal."
"You think it might have been from the explosion."
I look over at Craving and nod.
"Maybe you should go back to Steele and tell him. Maybe he can have some of those new doctors he has take a look at you."
I shake my head.
"That's the last thing I want to do. But Craving something isn't right. Something is a little off. Sometimes when I walk I don't hear my footsteps."
"That's a sign of a good assassin if you ask me."
"No. It's almost like I'm floating. Almost like I'm a ..."
I don't get to finish my thought.
Someone opens the door. It's Love.
"It's time," Love tells me.
There is no time to finish my thought right now. This was the most important moment of my life. This was the moment that everything happened for me. This was the moment that I was going to get married.
Sometimes the snow comes down in June
Sometimes the sun goes 'round the moon
I see the passion in your eyes
Sometimes it's all a big surprise
'Cause there was a time when all I did was wish
You'd tell me this was love
It's not the way I hoped or how I planned
But somehow it's enough
And now we're standing face to face
Isn't this world a crazy place
Just when I thought our chance had passed
You go and save the best for last
Love is singing at my wedding. I had no idea he could sing. He was doing a beautiful and masculine rendition of Vanessa William's Save the best for last. I stand in front of the chapel. I look down. Love is singing for Urge to come out. I see him standing at the back of the room. I wasn't nervous before I saw him. Everyone looks at me looking at Urge. My heart is beating something crazy. This was the love of my life and he was about to walk up and give himself to me. My blue eyed prince stares back at me. He has on a white tuxedo which differs from the black one that I am wearing. It is pure white. It makes him look so pure and innocent. With all his sins it doesn't matter to me if he isn't. He's an angel.
He gives me a smile.
Tears start falling down when Urge takes that first step. I can't hold them back. This is happening now.
And now we're standing face to face
Isn't this world a crazy place
Just when I thought our chance had passed
You go and save the best for last
I lose my breath. Memories flood through my mind. I remember the first time I saw him at the Assembly. I remember how he stood up against the wall. I remember when we took turns saving each other's asses. I remember when I was separated for him when he helped me escape the assembly for a short time. I remember how nervous I was when the Assembly found me hiding in society. I remember the confusion of falling in love with him all over again. I remember moving to the woods.
Sometimes the very thing you're looking for
Is the one thing you can't see
Sometimes the snow comes down in June
Sometimes the sun goes 'round the moon
Just when I thought our chance had passed
You go and save the best for last
I remember love. Above all else I remember that Urge loves me.
You went and saved the best for last.
My heart races when we are face to face. The altar is small. Craving is standing behind me with a suit that he should have gotten fitted better. It's a little too tight. Love has taken to crying after his own emotional rendition. Allure has taken to looking embarrassed that Love is crying. The officiate speaks. I feel more tears watering up. I am attempting to get through this but I've never felt so weak before. It is Urge who reaches over wipes my tears and tells me that it's going to be OK. He smiles at me. He is enjoying this. He loves seeing me squirm in this moment. He loves seeing my dreams come true.
"It's going to be OK," he whispers again, "I love you."
The officiate continues to speak even through my tears. It's time to give our vows. I feel like I'm going to choke them out if I can speak. Luckily Craving helped me write them. I feel my best friend put a hand on my back in a way to give me some sort of support. I have to find strength. I was an assassin for godsakes.
I speak slow.
"I vow to love you unconditionally and without hesitation. I vow to love you
without reluctance, without ignorance, without uncertainty, without ego,
without hatred, without wrath and without doubt. I vow to love you with all my
cravings, all my love, all my passion, all my heart and all my desire. Today I
choose you to be my husband and I offer myself in return."
Urge pauses when I'm done. There is a silence when it's his turn to say his vows. I can feel he is nerves. There is a beauty in knowing this man wasn't scared of anything else but me. I can see the fear right now. Right now he is showing me that I am the only vulnerability he has and now that I can see past those walls I see something so beautiful and so pure.
"The people we are makes it possible for us to live by the love we share and also to die for the love we share. This is our world: our laws that we live and die by. Our love is what we live and die by. In our battle, I will load my guns. In our battle, I will unsheathe my sword. I will train harder for the fight and nothing will get in my way. I will fight for you and with you. I will kill for you and kill those who are against you. I promise this day and everyday forward that I will live for you. I raise my weapon. And I give my weapon to you forever. I promise on our very last day that when it becomes necessary I will die for you."
He loves me without condition and hesitation. Some people listening on may not understand it but they aren't in our world. This is the most beautiful vow that Urge can offer me.
The officiate announces, "Therefore, it is my pleasure to pronounce you married. You may now kiss your husband."
My husband. This had happened! This was real!
I was officially Urge's husband.
It didn't matter what names we took. It didn't matter what names were on the marriage certificate. They'd probably change again and again. Urge knew deep inside that I was his husband and that he was mine. We were together.
He reaches over. He holds me close. It's slow. He kisses me, intentionally. He touches my chest, intentionally. With all his regard he takes me into him and claims me as his own and it the most beautiful thing in the world. Urge has saved the best for last.
The guests are in the reception hall after the wedding. They are waiting for me and my husband. Like an idiot, I'm in the bathroom crying my eyes out. It had happened. I was married to Urge. I find myself leaning up against the bathroom wall. I'm just smiling. I had done it. I had married the man of my dreams.
I know I'm late. I know they are about to announce Urge and I in the wedding hall any minute now but I just need a minute.
I look at my ring. I look at the ring on my finger. Emotion pours through me.
Then I realize something odd.
My hand...is...translucent. It's almost as though I can see THROUGH my fucking hand! It's so fucking weird. I look hard at my hand wondering if I was actually seeing what I was seeing right now!
"Desire!" a knock on the door says, "Desire we have to get out there. They are about to announce us baby."
"I'm in here."
Urge opens the door. He looks around for me, "Desire! You here?"
"Stop fucking around baby. I'm right here," I state turning to him.
Urge looks directly at me. He looks DIRECTLY at me but he doesn't seem to see me even though I'm standing right there in front of him. I don't get it. Urge shivers at that moment as though he is cold or as though the temperature in the bathroom has dropped.
"Desire? Damn...where the hell is he?" Urge asks.
He walks back out of the bathroom at that moment. I'm so confused. I sit there looking at my hand and realizing I can see right through my body. It takes a few minutes for my body to get back to normal. I'm beyond panicking at that moment, though.
I run outside of the bathroom and into the reception. I grab the nearest person. It's John, my neighbor.
"Can you see me?" I ask John.
"Yes," he responds a little confused, "I"m not that drunk yet. Relax."
Urge walks over to me at that moment, "Baby come on. It's the first dance."
The reception goes smoothly. Urge can see me again, but something is wrong. I try to smile through the reception and not ruin it for Urge but honestly I feel sick to my fucking stomach. I feel like an idiot. I don't get what is going on right now. I don't understand why things are like this. I realize that I have to find answers to what is going on here somehow.
I see Denny at the bar in the reception hall. He is just standing there drinking waiting for the reception to start. He seems a little surprised when I run up to him. I'm panicking.
"Shouldn't you be eating cake with your husband?" he asks.
I grab onto Denny, "What's wrong with me?"
"You know what I'm talking about," I respond.
Denny had to know what I was talking about. He looks around. It's clear Denny is nervous as hell when he grabs me close to him and whispers.
"I didn't have a choice. None of us had a choice," he explains.
"A choice with what? Denny..."
Denny whispers, "Desire. You died back at that cabin."
I sit down. I would like to say I was surprised by this but a part of me seemed to know what happened back at that cabin. I sit there and want to ignore it but I don't. Across the hall, I see some strange people that I hadn't even invited to my wedding. I can tell by the way they look what their profession is. They have crashed my wedding in hopes to observe me. They are looking over at me almost as though they are curious about something. It was my wedding, but the way they were looking at me seemed like it was something else. They were looking at me almost like doctors would look at a patient or something.
Or an experiment.
"Where is Steele? I need to talk to him..."
"I don't know. He was supposed to be at the wedding. He didn't show up.
"I need to talk to him now Denny before I get pissed off," I explain.
"I'll set up a meeting. I promise. The last thing I want is for you to be upset on your wedding. Enjoy your day. You are alive. You got to experience this. I'm happy for you. You should be happy too... right?"
Maybe. Maybe I should be grateful. Why did I feel like something was very wrong here though? I had turned invisible in that bathroom. That wasn't normal. That wasn't right. Something was wrong here.
"How did they bring me back?" I ask Denny.
Denny hesitates to answer but he leans in and whispers, "These doctors...worked for Tom. They were his patrons. They helped create the Assembly. They helped design the program that made the assassins of the Assembly into deadly killing machines but they always wanted to go...further. They wanted to create the ultimate weapons.The next level. They called it the the Ghost Project. See death was something that became a barricade for the Assembly. Members of the Assembly died too quickly. Death became bad for investment. So they developed a way to...fix it."
"In a way. Tom wouldn't allow it. As horrible as he was Tom understood that what made Assassins who they were was the fear of death. He discontinued his work with these doctors. After you died...they offered Steele their research."
Who were these people?
Who were these doctors?
They stare at me. They are glaring at me. They are studying me. I'm sitting there worrying about who they are but I am also wondering what the fuck am I now? I had fucking turned invisible in the bathroom. My husband couldn't see me! What the fuck was wrong with me?
"I feel different inside Denny. Somethings wrong with me."
"They brought you back from the dead, Desire," Denny explains, "They may have added certain things to you. Certain enhancements. I don't know. I didn't care to be honest with you. As long as you were back that's all that mattered. I agreed to it. I couldn't let you die."
I don't know how to feel, "Why just me?"
"It wasn't just me, was it? I wasn't the only one they brought back am I?"
NO! NO! If they brought the assembly members back.
Denny tells on him, "I warned Steele against it. He said that they were weapons that we can use. He said that we can control them and do some good for the world. I tried to warn him what the Assembly was."
"Denny...he thinks they can control them?" I ask.
Steele was an idiot. He was an egotistical idiot if he thought that he could bring back members of the Assembly back from the dead, enhance them and think that he can control them.
"You're alive. That's all that should matter."
"AT WHAT COST!" I scream at the top of my lungs.
That's when I realize Urge comes over to me. I am getting way too loud. I am way too upset. I am making a scene. What the fuck had these people done? What the fuck was wrong with me?
Urge puts his hands on the smalls of my back, "Baby are you OK?"
I think about telling him. I don't want to ruin this moment for him, though. I look back over at Denny. He avoids eye contact. Steele was up to something. Steele was up to something foul.
"Come on. Sit back down," Urge states walking me back to the table, "Dinner is about to come out."
I am back at the table. I'm trying to calm down. I'm nervous, though. Allure and her date are already there. I'm surprised when I see Allure actually smiling. She looks feminine and soft. She looks like she couldn't hurt a fly. The guy is actually cutting her appetizer up for her in small little pieces. You would think Allure was scared to cut herself or something. If only he knew what she really was he'd not be treating her like some sort of damsel in distress.
"I can't believe you are my husband," Urge says, "What's wrong baby? Don't tell me you are about to start crying again?"
I try to smile...for Urge. He puts his hand on mine.
"Everything is better than fine," Urge explains, "You are alive. The assembly is gone. We are husband and husband. This is the perfect ending to a perfect beginning. I was thinking about maybe we should retire out of even the agent business soon. I can just open up a gunshop. Like we talked about. Remember? You can start cooking."
"I've been looking into some adoption agencies or maybe even a surrogate..."
Adoption? Urge sounded like me right now.
Something was wrong with me. Something was wrong.
Just as I am about to tell him. I look up and realize that Craving is returning to the table with Love. They had just been dancing. I'm a little surprised by that too. I'm even more surprised when I see Love put his hand on Craving's hand as they sit at the table.
"Dinner's coming out," Love says to me smiling, "This chicken is amazing. Urge and I taste tested everything while you were in surgery Desire. I know it's nothing like your meals but we tried our best to get close."
Just at that moment, the dinners come out. It isn't chicken, though. It's steak.
"That's weird," Urge says, "Love did you fuck up the order? I thought we got the chicken breast."
Love shrugs, "Maybe..."
I don't care about the food right now. I'm thinking about Steele and those weird scientists. Project Ghost. That is what they called it. What the fuck had they done? They were fucking around with the idea of dying now just to create better killing machines.
I couldn't wait to have this meeting with Steele. If he thought he could control my mother and the Assembly and use them for his own benefit he had another thing coming.
If he had brought back Ignorance from the dead she would not be controlled.
"I don't care if this isn't chicken. It's the best tasting fucking steak I've ever had," Craving says.
Love nods, "Damn. You're right. Oh my god. This does taste like Desire's cooking."
Allure's date is cutting her steak for her. He's feeding it to her. She eats it daintily and giggles, batting her eyelashes as though she needed him to help her do this for her. My heart is racing.
Something's wrong here. My heart is racing.
"They are right. Here baby," Urge says, "Taste this."
Urge must see Allure's date feeding her and feel like he needs to do it. I think he's attempting to learn how to be a good husband. Urge cuts a piece of the meat, puts it on his fork and starts bringing it closer to my mouth to feed me. I slap the fork out of his hand.
"NO! STOP EATING THAT!"
It's too late. Urge and the others had already eaten the meat. The more I look at the meat the more I realize how strange it looks. This isn't steak.
"Desire, what's wrong?"
"Who sent this?" I ask Love, "Who fucking sent this?"
"Probably just the caterers we ordered," Love states, "What's the problem? I think the chef left a note or something. Let me get it."
Love goes back to the kitchens gets the note and comes back out. He hands it to me. I'm scared as I open the note.
A gift to my son on his wedding day. I'm so proud of the man that you've become. The entire Ghost Assembly sends it's regards for my little man on his big day. In honor of your very special day, I've prepared for you the most perfect cut of prime meat. Thank the deceased Baron Steele for contributing himself to this meal. I wish you the best and I'll be seeing you soon.
AUTHORS NOTE: Please remember to donate to nifty and also check out the next story by this Author on Nifty entitled "Dripping Wet".