Back with the Campions on their island-hopping honeymoon - and a peek into their past, where we might get to say hi again to a familiar face at last ;) ...


Scene 4: Defying Destiny

A.D. 2015

It was all so romantic, even in the absence of romance. Just as she'd hoped. As soon as their ferry had pulled out of Piraeus Port this afternoon, leaving Athens and the mainland far behind, Lacey had felt her spirits lifting to the rhythm of the sparkling seas that swept them toward the isles. It'd even been enough for her to momentarily recover from the scandal that she'd recently discovered. She hadn't even minded suffering through a mild case of seasickness; such nausea was much better than the sickening shock of those texts from her mother.

By the time they'd arrived on the island of Mykonos, she was feeling all better. The sight of the pristine white buildings accented with such pretty pops of color - doors and window shutters mostly painted in the perfect shade of blue, just a few in other pastel hues - was virtually too picturesque to be real. Since Lacey had never really liked reality, in all its honest brutality, this postcard-worthy scenery was paradise. It was as if the whole island was constantly airbrushed, every natural flaw smothered with layers of makeup. It was perfect.

She and Ryder had checked into their charming hotel, strolled through cobblestoned streets, then along the breezy beach, the fine white sands like sunlit silk beneath her feet. Tried to ignore the sights and sounds of hundreds of hungover partygoers: sunburnt bodies sprawled out naked in attempts to get skin cancer that much faster, hollers and hoots in probably fifty different languages, which all sounded the same when everyone was chronically drunk. Lacey had known that Mykonos was more for revelers than honeymooners, but it was still a worthwhile place to stay along the way. The travel magazines all seemed to say that no Greek island hop would be complete without this stop. Lacey had a bad habit of always believing what she read in magazines, since they had been her bibles as a child.

After dining at the restaurant with the most glowing magazine reviews, she and her husband were now set to enjoy a nice evening. For Ryder, this usually meant postponing getting into bed as long as possible, of course. So they ambled through the island's central town until they found the tamest bar around, in hopes of avoiding the crazy clubbing crowd, and settled down for cocktails and dull conversation.

Lacey ordered a drink that sounded light and classy but turned out to be much stronger than she realized, till it was too late. Oh dear. She was only faintly tipsy at this point, but she really never liked to be drunk at all, because the ugly truths that she had banished from her consciousness were quick to surface with a little help from alcohol.

Luckily, the first truth to which her mind wandered was not all that ugly. Overwhelming and somewhat spooky, for sure, but actually pleasant in the sense that it had given her a newfound surge of power. During one of Ryder's characteristically long, brooding pauses, Lacey took a moment to survey the room, spotting potential couples here and there. A lonely-looking fellow at the bar, plus a bartender with a sweet smile... An equally attractive girl and boy who were both evidently single... Two guys who had been ogling each other all night...

Over the next several minutes, she watched with tipsy glee as each of her foretold love-matches started playing out before her eyes. This was by far the most fun she'd had in all her life. And soon enough, the thought occurred to her that maybe, just maybe, if it was magically within her power to bring people together... then maybe she could also keep people apart... Her mother and Parker, for starters - or, even more importantly, her husband and that bright-eyed little brunette...

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