“That’s crazy…” I could hear snippets of what she was saying. “There’s no way you can-” “She’s my fiancée, is that enough for you?!” Her voice had gotten considerably louder, enough for me to hear the whole sentence. “I can’t keep… from her-” Finally I heard her throw her phone down on the bed. I slowly walked out, still wrapped in a towel.
She threaded her fingers together, and sighed. “Uh, I have to tell you something, Adelaide. And I’m pretty sure it’s going to change things, and it’ll probably hurt you that I didn’t tell you before…”
“I don’t know if I can do this,” she whispered.
“Hey, it’s okay,” I told her, “it’s ok. Do you want to sit on the bed?”
“Yeah,” she replied quietly.
“I just – I couldn’t let you marry me without knowing everything,” Dani said, looking back to me. I’d never seen her so scared before. It did hurt me to think she kept anything from me since we usually tell each other everything, but nobody’s perfect.
I took a deep breath, and asked, “What is it?”
I was scared of her answer. I didn’t want things to change right now, everything was so good. We were getting married in three weeks, after all.
“I’m not who I told you I was,” Dani finally said, tearing up. “I’m not Danielle Reed…my real name is Danica – Danica Lovelace.”
Danica. What did she mean? Was she like a spy or had she just changed her name at some point? But as much as I wished she’d told me this sooner, it didn’t change anything. It didn’t change who she was. She’s still the person I know, names don’t change that.
“Danica,” I said, and her eyes widened. It was the first time I’d said her true name. “your name doesn’t change who you are.”
She smiled faintly, before her eyes filled up with tears once more. “That…wasn’t everything.” She took a long breath before starting again. “I was born the youngest daughter of a legacy heiress. I had two sisters. The oldest one – the next heiress – was Dawn. She and I didn’t really get along much, and she always called me Danica. Ever since I was a child, I asked my family to call me Danny, with a y. The first thing I asked my mom to do when I aged up to child was cut my hair short! Dawn was super conservative, and I dressed like a boy for practically my whole childhood, and knew since I was a teen that I was pansexual. I never told her when I had a girlfriend, though, so she just thought I was single. So we weren’t exactly best buddies or anything, but we had some decent times together. She also had this thing against our other sister, Daphne just because Daphne was actually our half-sister. Daphne and I got along really well, though.” All the happiness she’d gotten out of talking about her family suddenly evaporated, and she clasped her hands together.
“Time passed, and both my sisters were married. Dawn had one child, a little girl named Evelyn. She became the heiress as far as I know. Daphne had two kids, a boy and a girl. Daphne decided to run for mayor, and there was a lot of backlash after a photo of her and her husband fighting got leaked. People started threatening our family. #BOYCOTTLOVELACE became a trending hashtag. And it got so bad that we had to do something to get the attention off of us. I was scared, not just for my sisters’ safety, but also for their kids safety. You shouldn’t be scared of something happening to your family!”
“We – Dawn, Daphne, and I, constructed a plan. It wasn’t the best plan, but it was all we could think of. I don’t think any of us were every fully okay with what we were about to do. Our plan was to…uhm…kill someone to take the focus off of us.”
I gasped, as full and utter shock filled my body. I felt like I was going to faint. “You did what?!”
“I know – it’s horrible. But people were talking about getting rid of us themselves, we had to do something. It was our lives and the ones of our children, or a singer who’d done everything she wanted. When I did it…I kept telling myself it was for the kids, my sisters’ innocent kids who hadn’t gotten to fully experience life.”
“How did it happen?” I asked quietly. I couldn’t believe I managed to speak at all after everything I just heard.
“An untraceable poison,” she replied, “and I wasn’t the same for months after. I still probably am different from what I’d be if I didn’t kill someone. I had to pretend it was ok, for everyone else. I never really planned to leave, though, but one day when I was at work I wasn’t thinking straight and something happened. It’s confidential – so I can’t say what happened, but I was told to go to Brindleton Bay for my safety. It was the new start I’d been wanting for a while. I had gotten so into my work that I had ignored my romantic life, and suddenly I had a chance to have that life. So I left my family, and I left them a note. And that’s the last I saw of them. Every once in a while I see what they’re up to. Evelyn’s a teenager now. Anyway, just a few days after I moved here, I met you. And here we are now…”
“Just to be clear…you killed someone?” I didn’t know what to feel right now. I’d just learned more about my fiancée’s life now than I had in five years.
“Yes. I couldn’t let you marry me without knowing. I’m really sorry, Adelaide.”
“I know you – you wouldn’t do something like that without having a really good reason,” I sighed. “I just need some time to process this.” She nodded and left the room.
Dani…Danica’s killed someone. I almost married a murderer…oh Watcher, that’s a horrible word. But it’s true, the little voice inside my head reminded me. It’s true. Do you even know her? Of course I know her. She’s my everything. She’s the kindest, most compassionate person I’ve ever met. But she’s killed someone. STOP. Stop thinking about that! You love her. And yet… STOP IT! Just – don’t. But you can’t live your life just pushing that away. You’ll have to live with it… NO. JUST NO. She did it for her nieces and nephew, for her family. Wouldn’t you do the same for your family, for Lexie, for Dani? Could you? Can you marry a killer – WATCHER NO, STOP. Just stop. It’s Dani. I curled up on our bed and cried. There were so many emotions coursing through me, I didn’t know what to think.
It’s been a week…and we haven’t talked about it. Our supposed wedding is meant to be in only two weeks and I haven’t had a true conversation with Dani in a week. I don’t want to think of her as a murderer, but she is, isn’t she? She’s killed someone. But still, every time she’s in the room – while awkward – she’s just so full of life. She’s Dani. She’s the same person that she’s always been, I just know more about that person. Right? She’s still herself, a smart, bubbly storyteller that loves nature. That’s who she is, not a killer. That doesn’t define her. She did it for her family. That’s who she is too, she cared so much about her family that she killed someone to protect them. I understand why she hadn’t told me before, you don’t go around telling just everyone you killed someone…and she might not have known we would last.
I wonder if it’s why she turned down my first two proposals. Yeah, I guess third try’s the charm… I know why she didn’t accept the first one, though. It was my last-ditch effort to keep us together when I was working at the RGWI, but the second one was 3 months after we started dating again – she said it was too fast, and I totally understood. But I now wonder if she partly wasn’t ready to tell me all this. I looked out the window to see it was the first snowfall this winter. The first snowfall in years. I sat out there, admiring the beauty of it all.
And I wished Dani was right next to me. Love isn’t easy. I know that now. I knew that. At least I thought I did. I wanted to marry her to spend my life with her, to experience moments like these – the first snowfall – with her. I still do, and we’ll work through this. I have so much to learn about her, don’t I? And she has things to learn about my childhood, I suppose. Marriage is committing to someone – all of them, the good and the bad. Nobody’s perfect, but she’s killed someone. It’s not something you can just get over. But I still want to marry her. I want to work through this, I’m 100% willing. I don’t want to keep thinking of her as a killer. I don’t know how long I sat there, but before I knew it, the landscape was coated in white and the moon was beginning to rise. I heard the door open, and Dani walked out.
“Hey,” I said.
“Hey,” she replied, “can we talk?”
I nodded, and she sat down.
“I know it was a lot -” she started, but I cut her off.
“Dani, I still want to marry you.”
Her eyes widened. “Wait, what? I thought there’s no way…”
“You’re still you,” I explained, “it’s just I know more about you now.”
“So it doesn’t bother you that I’ve – you know – killed someone?” She whispered that last part, eyeing me.
“To be completely honest… it does bother me. How could it not? But I really want to work through this. You’re a good person, I know that.”
“Watcher… Adelaide, thank you. I once never thought I’d have a chance to have this, thought I’d never meet my other half. You’re that person, Adelaide. I know it’s a lot to take in, and it might be crazy, but your willingness to still even let me in your house – never mind marry you – I know we were meant to be. Do you know how many people would drop me instantly if they’d known I killed someone, for whatever reason? So, so many, and yet you’re still here. I love you.”
“I love you too,” I whispered, and I held her as thousands of snowflakes floated around us. So things aren’t perfect. That’s life.
A/N: Sorry how late I posted, but I wasn’t able to work on this over the week, so I wrote it all today! 🙂 So yeah, for anyone that read the Lovelace Legacy, Dani finally told Adelaide what happened…we’ll just see how they deal with it from here!