Forbidden Love Chapter 1

A Slew of Emotions

By Gabrielle Chicoine

"So, what do you think I should do, friend? I mean, I'm kind of confused, you know. I'm quite happy it happened, but how did it happen? Strange, really. So, what do you think?"

Evening was settling in, and the sun was low in the sky, giving it a bright orange color, while further to the north, the color of the sky changed to a dark maroon. The passing clouds were a pretty pink, slightly burned, it seemed, by the sun.

But Locke didn't notice this. He was sitting on the grass, his back against a mighty oak tree. One of his legs was slightly bent, while the other was sprawled out. His foot was slowly moving from side to side.

Locke was wearing a dark blue shirt, with a black leather jacket over it. The sleeves were rolled up to the upper part of his forearms, revealing the inside of his jacket, which was beige. His jacket was open, it's bronze buttons shining in the sun. Locke's pants were black as well, and they seemed a little tight for him, but suited him very well. He was also wearing dark brown leather boots, with buckles made of brass. His footwear, it was easy to see, had been used quite a lot, but seemed good for another long while. Aside from all this, Locke had many trinkets tied to his black leather belt and his jacket. Things like small chains, rings, colorful pieces of cloth that did nothing to take away from his masculinity, and he even had a little demon head carved out of wood hanging from the top button of his jacket.

With his right hand, he was twirling a bloodied dagger in the air, and skillfully catching it again by it's handle. His other arm was resting on his folded knee, and his hand, wich was covered by a black glove cut off at the fingers, was hanging down.

Locke was looking up at the sky. His dark brown hair, tainted by slight traces of dirty blond, dropped down to his jawline, and was slowly being pushed around by the wind. His forehead was covered by his dark, marine-blue bandana, which he seemed to never go anywhere without. The rest of the bandana lay on his left shoulder, slightly trembling in the wind.

The thief extraordinaire had a faint smile on his face, and his pale brown eyes were directed upwards. But he wasn't looking at the sunset, rather he was concentrating on his twirling blade. With a happy and satisfied tone in his voice, Locke began to speack again.

"Well I guess you can't answer me, you're dead!" A little mocking laugh followed his words.

Taking his eyes off the dagger, but still twirling it, Locke slowly turned his head to the left. His smile disappeared, leaving a rather blank expression on his face.

About only a few metres away from him, the bloodied body of a big, dark gray wolf was laying on it's side, it's lifeless eyes starrng in Locke's general direction. It's mouth was wide open, revealing many menacing fangs. The dead wolf's tongue was hanging out disgustingly, and a stream of crimson blood was slowly leacking out of it's mouth. Even though it was clearly dead, the frozen expression on the ravaged beast seemed angry and accusing.

Still twirling the golden, rather expensive blade, Locke kept looking at the wolf which had so viciously attacked him, and spoke to it's carcass once more.

"Well, that's what you get, you poor fool!"

A louder laugh escaped Locke's mouth now, but was cut short by a sharp pain on the palm of his right hand. He quickly shot his head back, and saw his dagger tumble on his sprawled leg, and then lay imobile on the ground. He then looked at his hand, which was still waiting, it seemed, for the arrival of the spinning knife. A thin stream of blood slowly apeared on the palm of his hand, and started trinkling down. It was nothing really serious, and Locke, once again, started to laugh.

"Whooops! I bet you think that's funny, don't you?" He once again said to the wolf, still laughing.

Then, from out of nowhere, a feeling of extrene anger flared within Locke, making him clench every muscle in his body, and grit his teeth violently. He got up in a flash, shut his eyes tight, and yelled at the top of his lungs.

"Damn it!!" He screamed.

At this, several birds flew away from the trees nearby, as if to escape Locke's unexpected burst of fury. He then pulled his right leg back, and viciously thrust his foot into the dead wolf's belly. Dark blood gushed from the wolf's ruined stomach, and splattered on the bottom of Locke's leg. The impact of the blow sent the wolf into a contorted, unnatural position. It's mouth and muscle was now covered by it's own blood, wich was flowing fast out of it's throat. The long, deep gash which had finished off the animal, seemed to smile maliciously at Locke, as if if mocking him. Disgusted, the thief turned his head away from the beast he had slain.

The anger inside Locke subdued, but was only replaced with a terrible feeling of guilt and remorse. He closed his eyes once more, which were fighting back tears. He slowly put his arms down to his sides, and clenched his fists hard, causing his knuckles to go white. With a voice quivering of anger and sadness, Locke spoke to no one in particular.

"I can't do this to her! She doesn't deserve this! How could this possibly have happened?! I don't know what to do, damn it... But I can't tell my dear Celes about this! She'd leave me for sure! But I can't hide this forever, eather! What the hell am I gonna do??!"

Locke released another angry yell. Then, he slowly and carefully caught his breath, and ducked down to pick up his weapon. He sheathed the dagger in it's scabbard, and then inspected his wounded hand. It was still bleeding, but not very much.

Hmph. Whatever. He thought.

He walked back now, wanting to get back to town before it got dark.

Locke was coming back from where he went every day. For a while now, he had kept leaving Celes alone at home, probably chagrined and confused.

"She deserves to know. I have to tell her. But how?? I can't keep this up..."

Locke walked back in silence for a while, towards the southern entrence of Maranda. Thoughts were twirling in his mind, leaving him bewildered and angry. Still walking, Locke shot his head back, letting out an angry sigh.

None of this is making any damn sense, he thought. This couldn't have happened. None of it! But somehow it did. Locke decided he had to tell Celes, it was only fair. His hidden happiness had to be known to her. Somehow, tonight, he was going to tell her. She deserved to know.

It was a bit colder now, and the wind was picking up. The familliar smells of Maranda reached Locke, and he saw the shining lights of the city not too far ahrad. It was pretty dark now, and the sun was sinking deep into the horizon.

* * *

People were busy everywhere on the streets. Folks walking to and fro, in and out of shops, talking by street lamps, or simply enjoying the evening air. The excited bark of dogs could be heard nearby, and children were runing back and forth laughing and shouting happily, carefree. Thousands of voices traveled the streets, covering up one another. Street lamps flooded the crowds with they're warm, shiny lights. From the many houses and stores, activity could be seen from within the brightly lit windows.

As Celes walked through the streets, she breathed in the air, and was met by the inviting aroma of smoked fish, fresh vegetables and several other types of food. The smell of burning firewood was also quite heavy in the air, and it was a smell which Celes enjoyed very much. She looked up to the sky, and saw that it was almost dark now.

How long had she been gone? Celes wondered.

Well, it was dark, but that didn't seem to stop the townspeople. Everywhere she went, the streets were bustling with activity. She thought back to the day when her and Locke had decided to live here, and how Edgar had so generously bought them a house in Maranda. She could still hear his voice in her head:

"Aaah, a young couple so hopelessly in love! There's nothing more heartwarming then that!" His clear, joyfull voice still echoed in her mind. Celes always thought that Edgar's love area and attempts to get with every girl he saw was a bit silly, if not pathetic, but he was a good and caring friend, not to mention a feareless and able warrior in battle. She admired and respected him very much. No one could be a better king then he.

She was so happy to move to Maranda!

Celes swept back to reality. The busy streets filled with activity was why she loved this town so much. Everyone was so nice, and always seemed happy, it was never dull. Maranda may be a small town, but the people were always so cheerfull, and full of life. Everyone was simply busy just being happy, and leading peacefull lives, like as if nothing else mattered.

Not like in Jidoor, she thought. The biggest and most prosperous city in the world, yet the people there were so lifeless and depressing. All they cared about was money and rank, and always looked at strangers with a judging glare of suspicion and disapproval. Or Thamasa...Celes thought on just how cold and secretive people were there, even after the defeat of Kefka. Narshe eventually got rebuilt and habited in again, but a terrible air of gloomy depression and sadness was left hovering the streets of the once-happy city, like an angry ghost left to wander the earth for ever. Well, no matter.

Maranda was a nice little town, and she meant to stay here, no matter what happened to her relationship with Locke.

Locke- Celes's heart sank once more as she thought about her lover's sudden change. She had felt better walking the streets of the city, enjoying it's warm and rich atmosphere. But now- well now she felt the sadness overshadowing her heart once again, like a dark cloud ready to let torrents of cold rain fall. The expression on her face changed suddenly, and a woman of about twenty-five or so, carrying a basket full of bright red apples, looked at Celes with wide, surprised eyes. But Celes didn't notice, and kept on walking towards the pub, where she meant to go.

After a little while, she arrived at the quaint little cafe called "Blue Moon". The structure was fair sized, and made of brick and wood. Two lamps were shining they're inviting lights on each side of the heavy-looking wooden door. There were bright lights in the windows, and the silhouettes of people drinking, laughing and singing could be seen inside. Cheerful, upbeat music was coming from inside the tavern. Celes walked to the door, and pulled it open. She was greeted by the increasing sound of the music, and the scent of cooked food. Probably some kind of stew or soup, Celes thought. She walked in, and closed the door behind her. She stood at the entrence for a while, looking for a place to sit. The little cafe was packed, but nevertheless, she found an empty table, and started for it.

People were cheerfully greeting her as she passed by, and then turned back to their food and drink. Pretty young waitresses, carrying trays of mugs and plates were smiling at her as well, and welcomed her warmly.

Celes reached the table, and sat down on the wooden chair, which was padded with green leather cushions. She looked around the establishment, and saw a middle aged man joyfully jamming on the piano, with several younger girls talking and gigling around him. Turning her head to the stage, wich was set in the eastern side of the pub. Celes spotted six young and very pretty girls dancing with enthusiasm. They were all wearing tight red and white dresses, wich made them look quite unwholesome, Celes thought, but it didn't matter, they seemed to be enjoying themselves very much. When one of the dancing girls lifted her dress for a split second, a young man, who was obviously very drunk, cheered and jumped on the stage, and staring dancing with the girls. They all laughed and held on to him, making sure he didn't fall. The people who seemed to be this young troublemaker's friends all cheered him on.

Everyone seemed happy, and Celes couldn't help but let a faint, amused smile apear on her face. Looking back at the dancers and the drunk man, she let out a little laugh.

Then, she heard a voice speaking to her. "Good evening, miss!" It was one of the waitresses, no doubt to take Celes's order. "Is there anything I can get for you?" The waitress went on, in a cheerful, high pitched voice.

"I'l have a cup of Red Campion tea for now, please." Celes answered this in a most polite voice.

"Of course, miss, right away!" Then the waitress was off, and quickly disapeared behind the counter. Celes layed back in her chair, and sighed heavilly.

As she thought, for about the thousandth time what to make of Locke's behaviour, she noticed the drunk man almost falling off the stage. But he was quickly caught by one of the girls, who started to laugh in a loud, bell like voice.

Celes turned her head back to her table, and patiently waited for her tea.

* * *

Darkness covered the skies now, with only a few stars shining. But Locke didn't notice this. He was walking at a fast pace, through the town of Maranda. Speeding by the residents on the streets, he wanted to get back home, and tell Celes about his secret. But how was he going to tell her? This he didn't know, but he had to tell her, he knew that.

"How could I have done this? She's gonna go for sure. I can't believe this..."

Locke kept trying to find a way to break the terrible news to Celes, but before he could come up with anything, he found himself at the doorstep of their home. As he inspected the small but well kept house, he noticed that no lights shone throught the windows. Locke's heart sank. Where could she be? He wondered. Quickly and skillfully, he picked the lock of his own house, walked in and shut the door behind him. Unless it was for money or treasure, Locke really didn't believe in keys.

The noise of the streets was left behind, and Locke was met by silence and darkness. Slowly walking to the kitchen, he fumbled with an oil lamp and lit it. The glow fell on the dining table and the chairs, and basked the room in a warm, comforting atmosphere. Locke always enjoyed the warm and cozy glow of the lamp at night, but right now he didn't care.

"Celes?" He said this in a loud but welcoming voice, wich was slightly trembling.

He was met, just as he expected, by silence. He started for the staircase, and turned on another oil lamp. The stairs creacked slightly as he climbed up. Maybe she's sleeping? He suggested to himself. Locke entered they're bedroom on the second floor, and turned on the lamp there as well. As soon as the light came, he looked to the big bed, which he and Celes shared. A huge, white and blue comforter was resting there, and on top of it, there were four white pillows, and Celes's stuffed moogle doll, which Locke had given to her on her birthday. Along with many other stolen things, he remembered.

But Celes was nowhere to be seen. Sighing, Locke slowly dragged himself back down the stairs. He threw the front door open, and walked back outside.

The noise of the town filled his ears once again, and he shut the door behind him. Slumping down on the front steps, Locke was disappointed and sad.

"Maybe she became sick and tired of my secrecy? Is she looking for me? Where is she...?"

Thoughts raced aimelessly throught Locke's mind like many turbulent winds. He didn't know what to do, or what to think. He figured he'd wait for her here, and then-

Suddenly, Locke broke into a cold sweat, wich made him feel a bit nauseous. His insides started to burn, and he felt like the skin all over his body was on fire. He quickly got up from his spot, and breathed in several fast gulps of air.

"No...No she wouldn't do that! She can't!!" He said this in a loud voice, and tears of anxiety began swelling in his eyes. Several people looked his way, bewildered and surprised.

Bolting from the steps, Locke started running in no particular direction.

"I've got to find her!" He said under his breath.

While running, Locke was thinking back to when, shortly after they had liberated the world, how the gang had met together one last time for Professor Cid's funeral. They had spent the day mourning him. Later that night, when he was alone with her, Celes had confessed to Locke that she had tried to kill herself on the day she awoke and found everyone gone. She had told Locke how she thought everyone had left her, then cried softly against his shoulder. He held her in his arms, laid her head against his chest, and promissed Celes he would never leave her, and look out for her and protect her always.

But now he felt like he had broken the promise and betrayed her.

What if she tries it again?? Locke was holding his tears back as he ran, but was stopped short as he collided with something and fell back to the ground, hurting his lower back. Locke started cursing under his breath, and put his hand to his back. Looking up, he recognized Brunor, a fish salesman he was good friends with.

Brunor was a huge man, of six feet tall, and about three-hundred pounds. He had arms thick like tree trunks, and his big gut was bulging outwards. The big man turned around, his face red with impatient anger. But as he noticed Locke swearing on the ground and clutching his back, Brunor threw his bald head back and let out a warm, roaring laugh. His burly face once again looked at Locke, and still laughing, he greeted the young thief.

"Hey there, Locke!! Why don't you watch where you're going, you careless boob!!"

Locke, his face grimacing with pain, apologized.

"I'm real sorry about that, Brunor."

"So why the rush? Where you running to, boy? Swipe somethin' again?"

Brunor held out his big hand, Locke accepted it, and was quickly pulled to his feet.

"Brunor, have you seen Celes?"

"What? Oh yhea, I think I saw her walk into that Blue Moon place about an hour ago, but-"

"Thanks, Brunor!" Locke slapped Brunor's shoulder, and was off running again. The fish salesman, with a loud but friendly voice, yelled back at Locke.

"Keep you're damn eyes open, you twit!" Laughing, and slowly shaking his head back and forth, Brunor turned around once again to tend to his merchendise.

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