Seer (The Seeker Series Book 3) (3 page)

“He is 28 and I’m 19. Do you think that is too old?” She looked adorably unsure as she pushed her golden-brown hair behind her ears.

It was a big age gap, but who was I to judge? “My grandfather was ten years older than my grandmother and they had a great marriage from what I’ve always heard. How does Arnaud feel? Do you have any idea if he reciprocates?”

“I don’t know! Sometimes I think he does, but he never acts on it. Never. I’ve tried flirting. I’ve tried making him jealous. What should I do?” Geneviève grasped my hand desperately.

I placed my other hand on top of hers and squeezed lightly. She was beautiful and one of the sweetest girls I had ever met, so I wanted her to get the guy she was in love with. “First of all, calm down, okay? Don’t freak out. My boyfriend is older than me and I had to pretty much stalk him until I wore him down. Although in my case, it was Jack’s legal troubles more than the two-year age difference. Maybe you just need to be persistent.”

“Maybe. Thanks.” She smiled. “Tell me more about Jack. What is this legal trouble? It sounds intriguing.”

I told her about Jack’s troubled youth, his time spent in jail and juvenile detention, and his years on probation. “I finally bullied my way into going to his final probation hearing and he kissed me afterward.”

“That’s so romantic!” She sighed. “He sounds dark and dangerous.”

“Not at all,” I said, laughing. “He’s the sweetest guy ever. I miss him so much.” I sighed and looked away.

“I hope to meet him someday. You must love him very much. You should see your face when you talk about him, Ally. It’s really sweet. It certainly doesn’t look like that when you talk about my cousin. I think my grandmother is destined to be disappointed, no?”

“Definitely! Thanks for understanding, Geneviève. Listen, I will help you with Arnaud if you help me with your grandmother. Deal?”

“Deal.” The guys returned at that moment with drinks for everyone.

“Why don’t you two go dance?” I suggested. “Rémy and I will guard the table.” He smirked at me, obviously seeing through my suggestion.

“Good luck with that.” He gestured toward his cousin and Arnaud, who were just taking to the dance floor. “He thinks he’s too old for her.”

“What do you think?”

He shrugged his signature shrug. “I don’t think an age difference should keep anyone apart. If two people love each other, nothing should keep them apart.”

“Wow, Rémy, you are such a romantic! Who would have thought? Why don’t we try to get them together?”

“Because I am not a matchmaker, chérie. Arnaud is a grown man and can manage his own love life. He still thinks of my cousin as a child and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Now, let us not waste this opportunity to dance.” He stood up and held his hand out to me expectantly. I stared at him for a moment and then sighed and accepted his offer. We danced several fast songs and then he pulled me close when a slow song came on.

“Shh,” he said when I balked. “Just go with it. It’s what everyone wants. Why don’t we give it a chance?”

I shook my head, but allowed him to slide his arm around me. I held myself rigidly away from him for a few moments, but then put my head against his chest, tired of it all suddenly. What if it was our destiny? What if the prophecy did mean we were supposed to be together? I was so tired of fighting
and Jack seemed so far away. And
Rémy smelled better than anyone had a right to. He must have sensed my acquiescence, because he raised his head from where it rested atop mine, lifted my chin with his finger and lowered his lips to mine. “Rémy, no. I don’t—” I whispered.

“Everyone expects it, Ally. Just try, please,” he whispered back and closed the distance between us. His kiss was soft and slow, allowing me to get used to him.

I was so torn. Part of me felt that he was right: everyone in the Seer world interpreted the prophecy to mean that Rémy and I should be together. But I loved Jack. We were meant to be together, weren’t we? I was so confused. I just finished telling Geneviève how much I loved Jack and that there was no attraction to Rémy. What was wrong with me? I couldn’t sort my thoughts out. So I allowed him to kiss me. Thoroughly. And then I kissed him back. It was nothing like kissing Jack, but I knew enough to recognize that Rémy was quite an accomplished kisser. His lips were soft, yet firm and I allowed him to open my mouth and slide his tongue against mine. I answered in kind, analyzing his taste and texture, hoping my technique was not as sloppy as I feared. Then I realized that I was actually analyzing his kiss rather than enjoying it or being swept away with desire. When Jack kissed me, I never had a chance to analyze anything; I could only hold on and go with the flow. Kissing Rémy was nothing like kissing Jack. At least I knew. I pulled away and frowned at him.

“Well,” he sighed, leaning his forehead against mine, “we did try. No offense, chérie, but kissing you is like kissing my sister.”

“Yeah, same here. I mean, you’re a good kisser, but it just doesn’t do anything for me. God, Rémy! I feel so guilty! What am I going to tell Jack? I cheated on him! What kind of person does that?”

“Why on earth would you tell him? You didn’t cheat on Jack, although I wouldn’t blame you if you did. Shh,” he said as he wiped away the tears that started to slide down my cheeks. “You are making too much of this. I kissed you. So what? We just needed to see if the Conseil was right about us. Now we know. We are not meant to be together as a couple. The prophecy means something else. There is no need for Jack to know anything. It was just a kiss.”

“Why do I feel so guilty?” I leaned my head against his chest and sniffled.

He pulled me close and chuckled. “Perhaps because you are only seventeen years old and you’ve been thrown into some situations that a much older person wouldn’t handle as well? You deserve to react like a teenager to some things in your life.”

I laughed slightly. “Thanks, old man. Way to compliment me and call me a child all in one statement.”

“Ally, listen to me. You are very beautiful. Who can blame me for wanting to kiss you? Jack certainly wouldn’t, although he would probably punch my face. Now that we know, we can stand firm against my grandmother and the rest of the Conseil as we try to figure out what the prophecy truly means. You are very special to me, but not in a romantic way. I swear I will protect you.”

“So, you are assuming that you are the ‘protector, the strength of many’ that the prophecy refers to?” I asked.

“Well, yes. I guess I do. You don’t?” he asked.

“God, Rémy. I don’t know what to think.” All I knew was how horrible and guilty I felt for having doubted my relationship with Jack and kissed Rémy. I must be a terrible person, that’s all. Why was I having second thoughts about my love for Jack? That wasn’t supposed to happen, was it?












bring the rabble,

O’er whom I give thee power, here to this place:

Incite them to quick motion; for I must

Bestow upon the eyes of this young couple

Some vanity of mine art: it is my promise,

And they expect it from me.”

The Tempest,


I cried myself to sleep later that night, obsessing over what Jack would do when he found out I kissed Rémy. He had been livid when Rémy had kissed me once before but had quickly calmed down when I reassured him that it was not a romantic kiss—simply Rémy’s way of telling me he was a Seer. But this was different. It was a romantic kiss, even though it had convinced us both that romance was not part of our future, and I had willingly and knowingly participated. I tossed and turned for hours, creating dozens of scenarios in my head about how the conversation with Jack would go, alternating between happy and awful endings. Rémy didn’t think it was worth telling Jack—it was nothing, after all. Oh, to have such a casual view of what, in my mind, amounted to dirty, rotten cheating! Of course I would confess to Jack. I couldn’t keep something like this from him. I desperately hoped he could find a way to forgive me.

The next morning Rémy and I confronted Kate with our discovery of the night before: we were not meant to be a couple. We were both dismayed when she dismissed this revelation as nothing.

“But Grand-mère,” Rémy sputtered. “We tried, as you wished. There was nothing, no feeling at all when we kissed. It was as if I were kissing Geneviève.”

“Kate, please,” I began. “I am not in love with your grandson, but I am in love with my boyfriend back home. You said you understood, that you of all people should not tell me who to fall in love with, remember?”

She stood up and began to pace in front of the couch where Rémy and I were seated. “I do remember, Ally. I’m not trying to pressure either of you, but I am also old enough to know love can grow. I don’t want you to so easily dismiss what the prophecy may mean. I have never seen two people have such a strong psychic connection and I have a hard time believing you are not destined to be together. I think we had better wait and see. Now, let’s continue your training.” She proceeded to push us especially hard during our session. She had found out about my physical powers, both the electric shock I had given Rémy during our first kiss and the violent blue energy pulse during the showdown with David Moore at the end of last school year, and attempted to provoke a similar reaction. Today I was angry enough that she might be successful! Thus far I hadn’t been able to recreate anything, but I hadn’t been angry like I was both previous times. Today, I was excessively pissed off and needed to vent. I wasn’t angry at Rémy, and I couldn’t begin to direct any anger at a little old lady, so after taking all I could handle of Kate’s nagging ‘just concentrate, Ally!’, I muffled a scream of frustration and directed all my pent up feelings at a small vase resting on a side table in the room where we trained. We were all shocked when it exploded, showering the three of us in sharp ceramic fragments. I felt horrible when I saw a small drop of blood on Kate’s cheek from a shard of the vase.

Ally, what did you do?” Rémy exclaimed as he rushed to his grandmother’s side, examining the small cut.

“Oh my God, I’m so sorry, Kate! I didn’t mean to hurt you!”

“It’s nothing, Ally. Rémy, don’t fuss! I’m fine. It’s just a scratch.” She took the tissue from his hand and pushed him away impatiently, going to look at the remains of the vase. “This is extraordinary! I have never seen such power! Has this ever happened before?”

I shook my head. “No, never like this. I’ve never destroyed anything before. The last time it was just a pulse of energy that knocked Jack and a crazy, sadistic murderer down. Sorry about the vase. I hope it wasn’t antique or anything.”

“Of course not. It was nothing. Something I picked up in a market. It was my fault for doing this in the middle of my living room, anyway. We’ll find a more suitable place for training from now on. That’s enough for today. I need to talk with the rest of the Conseil. Rémy, why don’t you drive Ally into town for some lunch and shopping? I’m sure you both would appreciate some time away.”

We didn’t speak at all as we got into his car and drove into Rouen. I leaned my head against the headrest and closed my eyes. Finally, I rolled my head toward Rémy and opened my eyes. “It was an antique, wasn’t it?”

century Meissen. Worth several thousand euros.” I saw a half-smile as he stared straight ahead at the road.

“Oh, my God. I’m a disaster. What is happening to me?” I wailed.

He reached over and clasped my hand. “Don’t worry, chérie. We will figure it out. It will just take time.”

“How much time?” I sighed. “Rémy, I want to go home.”

“Ally, it’s only been a few weeks. Please, give it another week at least.”

I pulled my hand away to wipe my tears of frustration. “What about your grandmother? She keeps trying to throw us together. She won’t take no for an answer and I’m tired of compromising my relationship with Jack. I’m done, Rémy.”

“I know. Listen, we don’t have to do anything we don’t want to do. She can try all she wants, but you and I know what is in our hearts, no? We will
concentrate only on our training, nothing else.
Please, stay another week.”

“One week. That’s all. Then I’m going home.” I sniffed, trying to sound firm.

“So, you will not go on to Ireland then?” he asked, turning to look at me briefly.

“I don’t think I’m invited anymore. Fionnuala was livid when I talked to her. I think I’ll just go home.”

“I’m sure she’s calmed down by now. You should definitely call her before you decide. But it is ultimately your decision. I will support you in whatever you decide. I do hope you’ll give us another week, however.”

It was my turn to give him a half-smile as I reached for his hand again. “Thanks, Rémy. Your support means a lot, you know? I feel kind of like it’s you and me against the world right now.”

He took me to lunch at Le Mouton Noir, a small crêperie where I had one of the most delicious meals I have ever had: a savory crepe with Pont-l’Évêque cheese and herbs, a sweet crepe with honey and nuts, and a glass of le cidre de Normandie, a slightly alcoholic apple cider that was apparently a regional specialty. The bill for lunch was accompanied by two small glasses of cider liqueur. I would need an AA program by the time I left France. After lunch, we walked along the Rue du Gros-Horloge, stopping in at whatever shop looked interesting, all the while working our way toward the giant clock that watched over the street. We exited a small boutique when a vision, my first in months, slammed into my mind.


Jack, running through the rain. Mud covered his combat boots and water streamed down his face, into his eyes, making it difficult to see where he ran. He followed another soldier closely, trying to make it through the obstacle course, but it rained so hard he couldn’t see what was ahead. He didn’t see the low-hanging branch in time to duck. He ran into it at full speed and went down, unconscious, blood streaming from a head wound.


I gasped and reached blindly for Rémy, my breath coming in gasps. He led me to a nearby bench and sat down with me, rubbing my hands between his.

“It’s all right, Ally. Show me what you saw.”

I shook my head, but he saw the vision that I couldn’t erase from my mind. I wrenched my hands from his and fumbled through my pockets, searching for my phone, trying to control my shaking hands enough to dial Trina’s number. It took an agonizing amount of time for the international call to connect. “Trina? Is Jack okay? I don’t know; I have a really bad feeling that he’s hurt. Yeah, please call the base and find out, okay? I know it sounds crazy, but please just do it for me. Thanks. Yeah, I’ll wait for your call.” I hung up and sat staring at my phone, willing it to ring and for Trina to tell me he was all right. Rémy didn’t say anything, but rubbed my back soothingly while we waited. I spent the longest fifteen minutes of my life waiting for my phone to ring. “Trina?” I practically yelled when it finally did. “He’s okay? Oh, thank God! What happened?” She proceeded to tell me that Jack had been hurt that morning during a routine training exercise, hitting his head and splitting it open on a tree branch. He had been taken to the infirmary where he had been stitched up and checked for a concussion.

“He’s okay, mija,” Trina assured me. “But how on earth did you know? You and Jack must have some sort of crazy mind connection. I don’t know what to think about this.” I could picture her crossing herself.

“I don’t know, either, Trina.” I hated lying to her, but had no intention of telling her how I really knew. “I just got this really bad feeling about him. But you’re sure he’s okay?”

“Yes. They actually let me talk to him for about two minutes. He said that he’s just embarrassed and the rest of the guys are teasing him ruthlessly. He said to tell you that he loves you and misses you. I didn’t have time to tell him you were in France, sweetheart. I’m sorry.”

“That’s okay, Trina. Thanks for calling and finding out. Sorry I freaked out. I’ll talk to you when I get back to Albuquerque, okay?” I hung up and looked at Rémy. “He’s fine. Just a few stitches. Sorry for the drama scene.”

He laughed a bit and pulled me up from the bench. “It is not a problem. I’m glad Jack was not seriously injured.” At my doubtful look, he continued, “You wound me, chérie. Just because I don’t particularly like him doesn’t mean I wish him harm. Now, let us find a place to get you some refreshment. I think sugar helps you after a vision, no?” He led me a little further down the street to a small sweet shop called Chocolaterie Auzou, where he introduced me to the wonder of French macarons. Oh. My. God. I fell in love with the brightly colored cream-filled cookies, unable to decide whether I liked pistachio or coconut better. Or maybe chocolate. Yum. We walked down the street, eating our treat, laughing at how we each ate the cookies: Rémy ate his in what he said was the ‘grown-up manner,’ biting through the cookie, while I pulled the cookies apart to get to the cream filling, like I ate Oreos. I stuck my tongue out at him and enjoyed the cookies my way. My phone buzzed with a text notification and I struggled to juggle my cookies and reach for my phone. Rémy took my packet of cookies so I could check my message.


Jack: I’m fine. I swear. Stop worrying.


I gasped and texted back quickly, wiping away a sudden tear.


I had a vision. Are you sure you’re okay?


Jack: Fine. Gotta go. Luv u.


I stared at my phone, willing him to text something else, although I knew he couldn’t. I gave a small sob and lowered my forehead to my phone. Rémy led me to a bench and sat me down, rubbing my back softly as I cried. “He’s fine. I don’t know why I’m crying.” I sat up and wiped my eyes, determined not to fall apart.

“It’s a natural reaction, chérie. You are relieved now that you have heard from him.” He remained silent for a few moments. “I’m sorry about last night, Ally. I’m sorry I kissed you.”

“Oh, Rémy,” I sighed.

“I mean it. I’m sorry. I see now the depth of feeling you have for Jack. He doesn’t begin to deserve you, but you love him very much. I am done trying to come between the two of you.”

I stood and pulled him up with me. “Come on. Let’s get a drink and then head back to your mansion.” He smiled and led me farther down the street to a bar called Delirium, where he had a beer and I had another glass of cidre.

We chatted amiably on the way back to the estate and were still talking as we entered the house, where Geneviève met us with a dour, “We have guests.”




and I, with some trepidation, followed Geneviève into the living room where Francoise argued with none other than Fionnuala.

“We didn’t kidnap her! The child came here of her own free will!” I certainly didn’t appreciate Francoise referring to me as a child.

“She knew nothing about you until you sent a spy to seduce her into coming here!” Fionnuala didn’t give an inch.

“Seduce?” I cried.

“Spy?” Rémy yelled at the same time.

“There you are, Ally dear.” Fionnuala rushed over to hug me and otherwise fuss. She had apparently moved past the fury with which she had greeted my earlier phone call. “Are you all right?”

I hugged her briefly, but then pushed away impatiently. “Of course I’m all right. I did come here of my own free will. Rémy is not a spy and there was absolutely no seduction involved! Jeez, Fionnuala! That’s just inappropriate!”

“Well said, Ally.” Kate floated into the room, followed by the rest of the Conseil. She came to a halt in front of the Irish Seer. “Are you going to stand in
house and accuse
grandson of spying on and seducing the new Oracle?” The two elderly women stared at each other for a moment. Fionnuala’s body language, from her pinched mouth to the arms crossed tightly in front of her, made me wonder when the yelling would start. Kate was not much better, with hands on hips and her chest heaving with indignation. Her next statement caught me completely by surprise. “It’s been a long time, sister.”

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