Meet Sage and Merrick from The Temptation…
We sat in silence for several seconds before I finally admitted, “I don’t know how I’m going to recover from this.”
The bartender returned with a basket of bread and two bowls of stew. “St. Mary’s Well,” he announced.
“I’m sorry?” My brow furrowed in confusion.
“You go to St. Mary’s Well to heal a broken heart. Everyone knows that.” He rolled his eyes.
“Not us tourists,” Sage muttered. “So, where’s this well, anyway?”
“It’s a good hour and fifteen away.” The man tugged at his chin. “But once you get there, you get on your knees and circle the well nine times.”
“Nine? On my knees?” I glanced at Sage. “This has to be a Catholic thing. There’s always a price for everything, absolution, forgiveness…healing.” I huffed before turning to the bartender again. “Then what?”
“Then you drink a cup of water from the well and you’re healed.” He washed a glass, dried it, and slung the towel over his shoulder.
I turned to Sage. “Did you hear that? Presto change-o. I’m healed. My knees are wrecked. I’ll need arthroscopic surgery, but my heart will be fanfuckingtastic.” I made an okay sign with my thumb and fingers.
She grinned and took a spoonful of stew. For a moment, she chewed thoughtfully. “You know, it might be worth it.
What do you have to lose?”
“Three hours of my time,” I replied.
Sage snorted. “Yes, but then, presto change-o, you’re healed!” Then she smiled at me and I caved.
“Fine, but if I have to do some Irish legend quest, then you do too.” I turned to the bartender. “Whatcha got for her?”
“I don’t know. What’s her problem?” He chuckled.
“No love. Can’t find one. I have a broken heart. She has an empty one.” I shrugged. “You know. The usual.”
“Hey, it’s not empty,” Sage argued. “I’ve just never…given it to anyone. Never really loved anyone. Barely dated. Only a few unrequited crushes. That usual.” She glared at me.
“Have you considered Saint Valentine?” The bartender tilted his head.
“Yeah. I don’t get it. The man was served death three ways. I’m beginning to wonder why we celebrate February 14th at all. Seems almost mean.” She shook her head sadly.
“The man died for love,” the bartender argued. “You might want to try living for it.” Then he moved down the bar to serve a couple who had just arrived.
“That was way harsh.” She frowned as she finished eating a few minutes later.
“So, you gonna do it?” I asked, suddenly interested.
“You doing yours?” She challenged.
I leaned forward. “I will if you will.”
Coming March 13th in the Tempting Luck Anthology