Authors Note: This is a mix between KH and Haunted Mansion. Specifically Constance Hatchaway, the Black Widow Bride. Anyone who knows me should not be surprised by this at all. (I seem to be addicted to Haunted Mansion and Constance) This does NOT go by chapters, but instead by days or nights. And while the story will continually move forward, I may skip days and nights to hurry the story along.
This takes place in New Orleans in 1878. This is during or just after the Reconstruction of the US (this does matter)
Credit to Choc for the idea and helping me.
I really own nothing here.
Here Comes the Bride
Constance Hatchaway leaned out of the attic window of her new mansion. Well, it wasn’t a NEW mansion, but it was newly her own. This mansion was old, and the pride of New Orleans. A grin spread over her oval face, but it brought no light to her blue green eyes. SHE owned the pride of New Orleans. She giggled, but was soon distracted by voices.
“Why are we here again?” A young man’s voice asked. She looked over at her lawn, two boys and a girl were walking up the path to the Mansion. The one talking was a brown headed young man dressed in something dark. It appeared an old man was with him and a young women with red hair, but slicked down. She glanced over to see if her most precious possession was still hidden, and practically slid over the floor until she got to the door of the attic. She left the attic, and went down to the front hall. Who were these people?
“Why are we here again?” Sora asked. The King had sent them on a mission to check out some darkness in this world. He also gave them new clothes, something about not sticking out like a sore thumb. Riku, however, had refused to die his silver hair. But, he had consented to a clothing change. Which was why both of them were wearing a suit while Kairi was wearing a dress with a large flowery skirt, a maroon bodice and pink sleeves. An orange parasol kept the sun off of her face.
“Mickey said there was a deep darkness in this world, but it was different than the heartless.” Riku responded. “There’s evil here, but not pure darkness…” He jumped as several heartless appeared in front of him.
“You were saying?” Kairi asked, summoning her own key blade in response. The three quickly made work of the heartless.
That was interesting. Constance thought, peering out from a window. The brown headed one, he was defeating with a giant key. Interesting sword. He went to it with such a vengeance too. He would be interesting to know. And that SWORD. That was it. If she married someone rich now it may be too suspicious, but HIM.
He was new, a stranger, the age thing was a bit of a turn off, but still….
“Wesley!” She barked. Her blond Valet walked out of a near by room. He bowed, turning his sea blue eyes to the floor. He WAS good looking, but not rich.
“You called Madam Gracey….I’m sorry, I mean Miss Hatchaway.”
“I forgive you. My husband’s death is rather recent. But that’s not it. You see those three people on our lawn?”
“Yes, Miss Hatchaway.” He said politely, while thinking. “Dang. The Gardener’s going to have a fit.”
“Invite them in.”
The trio looked outward at the house again. Now there seemed something rather sinister about it. But what kept them from thinking it was abandoned was the fact a man opened the front door and walked out. He followed a path they hadn’t noticed and appeared to wait for them on it. Sora shrugged and walked over, the others following.
“Welcome. My name is Wesley, and I am a valet here at Gracey manor. My Mistress, Constance Hatchaway, widow of George Gracey, requests for you to stay here for this evening. That battle you fought intrigued her.” He seemed fairly straight forward. The three turned toward each other and discussed the matter quickly.
“We accept.” Riku answered.
“This place is gorgeous!” Kairi whispered, peering around the front hall. There were two tall staircases in the front hall that swept from a landing on the second floor to the floor of the Entrance. The walls had red wall paper on them, along with painting and deep red velvet hangings. Gold tracings lit up the polished frames and the wood work. A deep plush carpet lay on the floor, also in a rich maroon. The wood paneling of the lower walls and the several wooden tables only added to the opulence.
“I am glad you like it.” A voice, sweet but with a tingling edge, swept through the halls. On a landing above the stairs, rested a young women dressed in black. She had brown hair, swept up in a bun with a black veil over her face. She turned and started to walk slowly down the stairs, her left hand trailing on the railing. She soon arrived on the floor, and she lifted her veil, revealing the face of a women in her mid or late 20’s. “My name is Constance Hatchaway. I am the widow of George Gracey, previous owner of this mansion.” She gestured to a picture on the wall, a dignified looking man with a large handlebar mustache and a top hat looked out, his hands resting on a large maroon chair. Well, that’s what Sora and Kairi saw. Riku saw the picture, except for the head. The head was not there.
“Er… why is his head not there?” Riku asked. He turned to face Constance, seeing her face drain slightly of color.
“His… His head is there. Are you mad?” Constance asked politely. Riku turned to look at the headless portrait again.
“I hope not.” he whispered. He glanced over at Sora and Kairi, they were both giving him odd looks.
“It IS hot outside.” Constance continued. “Maybe because of the heat you are seeing things? Either way, soon it is time to have lunch. Will you eat with me?” This was asked specifically to Sora. She gave a small, flirty, smile.
“Uh, sure.” Sora answered. She smiled again.
“Wesley, inform the cook we will have three guests for this meal and Dinner?”
“As you wish.”
Lunch was delicious. Clam baked Pasta with filet mignon. Riku just poked at his food, while Kairi ate with gusto, and Sora ate while talking to Constance. This whole thing bugged Riku. It wasn’t just the picture, though that was nagging at him. Another thing that bothered him was Constance. She seemed too happy for a recent widow… and she seemed to be flirting with Sora. He didn’t really get it, nor did Kairi, but this whole thing was weird. WHY was he seeing things no one else could? The Darkness? But he didn’t have it anymore.
“Riku?” Kairi said.
“What?” He jerked out of his reverie.
“Do you want to stay. Sora and I do, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.” They wonder if I’m crazy.
“I’ll stay. You invited to stay the night before anyway.”
“Wesley! Set up their rooms please.” Constance gave a grin as Wesley left. “Hopefully, you can stay for much longer than one night. In fact? I insist.”
“Are you sure, Miss Hatchaway?” Sora asked, blushing. “I mean, we are strangers and all….” She gave a flirty smile again.
“I’m sure. I have a feeling you need to experience some good old hospitality.”
Wesley led the three to their rooms, explaining the mansion’s rules. Soon, though, the three gathered in Sora’s room, Riku the last to walk in. He slammed the door.
“She’s flirting with you.” Riku growled.
“So what!” Sora said, defending himself.
“I don’t trust her, that’s what.” Riku continued. “She’s too happy for a recent widow, NO ONE flirts with strangers ten years younger them themselves unless they are getting something out of it, and continuing with all of this, you ESPECIALLY do not invite said strangers to the best rooms in your house.” Sora glowered at Riku. Riku, where do you get the right to say all of this?
“I don’t care.” is what he actually said. “She’s nice, she invited us in, and with what you said earlier, why should I trust you right now?” There, he said it. Sora watched as Riku’s face turned ash white, quickly flushed to a plum read, then turned white again. Then he stormed out of the room. Kairi turned to look at Sora.
“You shouldn’t have done that.” she said softly, turning her face down to look at her feet and the Persian rug.
“It’s true though.” Sora defended himself. “He saw that picture without a head.”
“And YOU saw me when I was in your heart.” Kairi responded quickly, looking at Sora. “Wouldn’t you be called crazy?” She ended softly. To buy time, Sora turned to look out the window and also at the room‘s reflection. It WAS a nice room. The bed was large with blue silk sheets, a window looked out over the lawn, and the elegant wood paneled room had pictures, mirrors, and other knick knacks through out the room.
“But, you were in my heart. I wasn’t seeing headless paintings.” Kairi turned, her skirt swishing, and headed for the door.
“I’m getting washed up for dinner tonight. But consider Riku’s points. I’m with you, she’s probably very nice, but Riku does point out some fishy areas in her story.” She walked through the door, her hand elegantly slipping through the crack. Sora finally turned away from the window and the half reflection in the glass, and flopped down on the bed.
Kairi was lost. She hadn’t really paid a lot of attention to where the rooms were and the hallways looked so alike right now.
“Can I help you?” Kairi whirled around, only to see Constance standing there, lifting up her veil.
“Oh, yes.” She said with a slight gasp from shock.
“What do you need?” Constance gave that sweet smile again.
“Where my room is. I’m… I’m lost.”
“I gave you the Davis Room, correct?”
“Yes, you did.”
“It’s this way then.” Constance walked off to a corridor on her right in a swish of black silk. Kairi hurried past the suit of armor and followed her. After about 15 minutes Kairi arrived outside of her door.
“Miss Damati? Did you ever go to finishing school?”
“No, I didn’t Con--- Miss Hatchaway. You can call me Kairi though.” Constance nodded.
“Fine then…Kairi. How about I complete your finishing education? I’ll send Harriet to get you some dresses and I’ll set up some balls for you to work on perfecting your manners. They are very good right now, but with a little bit of polish, you could find a husband in no time.” The last part of her speech took Kairi aback. A husband?
“Thank you… I accept.”
Riku remains the last obstacle that can not be overcome by time. But he doesn’t matter. Constance held back her internal fury. Sora was an opportune mark, but Riku was not only smart, he seemed to have internal abilities… like those blasted seers George had been talking about before he died….RIGHT before he died. Constance slammed the door to her room and ripped off her veil. Stupid tradition. She had to wear black, and it wasn’t her color. And she couldn’t skip town either. Riku was going to stir up trouble, and if she left she would not only lose her mark but she would lose any chance of keeping all of the inheritance. She walked towards the window and opened it gently, then rested her face on her hands as she felt the breeze caress her face. She had gained much. Her first husband, Ambrose, had possessed not even a fifth of what George had, George was even richer than the Marquis or Reginald. Just focus on Sora now. She told herself. Kairi’s out of the way now and Riku may eventually decredit himself then you won’t have an issue.