Part 2003 – A Ghost And A Reading Plan

John took in every detail of Carolyn’s face.

The color of her eyes.

The line of her nose.

The shape of her lips.

The way her hair fell over her shoulders.

It was like looking at a memory.

“Can this moment last?” he whispered.

Raven stopped beside the pew. “I do beg your pardon, sir, but the photographer is anxiously awaiting your presence.”

“Go, John.” she said softly. “I’ll be with you.”

***

Raven noticed the ghost, but chose to say nothing about it.

If Mr. Addleston chooses to mention her, so be it. If not, I will let it be. It is not my place to pry into such private matters.

He stopped at Olivia’s pew and repeated his request.

Olivia nodded and whispered to her daughter.

Raven took a step back as the mother and daughter exited the pew.

If Missy were here…

No.

I shall not think of it.

Not here.

Not now.

I must keep it all together.

I must not fracture.

I must not break.

I must stay strong.

Raven led them down the aisle to the front doors.

Missy.

Missy.

Missy.

****

Jeff stood by Missy’s side and watched over her.

Her hands twitched restlessly. Her eyes moved under her lids as if she were searching for something.

Or maybe just reading.

“It’s a strange thing.” he said softly to her. “So strange. We take so many things for granted without even realizing it. We can talk. So, we talk. We can walk. So, we walk. We breathe. We laugh. We cry. We get angry over things. Big things. Little things.”

Her mouth opened a crack.

“Sometimes such terribly small things. Things that don’t really matter when life can be so short.” He sighed. “I’m not really sure where I’m going with this thought. Maybe there really isn’t a point to it. Maybe I’m just talking so I’m not standing here listening to the silence and the machines. Maybe I want you to know that I’m still here. I’m still waiting for you to wake. Raven hasn’t come back yet. Not that I really expected him to.”

Jeff sighed again. “I’m going to read to you. Hope you don’t mind.” He rifled through the library books that were still lying on the foot of her bed.

LM came over to him. “Sit down and rest.”

Jeff shook his head.

“I’m here. I can help you. I can read to her if you want to rest.”

He shook his head again. “I want her to hear my voice.”

LM looked down at the book selection. “‘Hound of the Baskervilles’. ‘The Vampires Of Madison County’.’ How To Kiss A Girl In Fifteen Days’.” He frowned. “This is a very strange collection of books.”

“Don’t blame me for it. None of them were my idea.”

LM traced the outline of an iridescent kiss print on the ‘How To Kiss A Girl In Fifteen Days’ cover. “We could take turns reading.”

Jeff gave him a questioning look. “What did you have in mind?”

LM’s finger moved across the title’s raised letters. “I read a page. Then, you read a page. Back and forth.” His finger went still. “Unless you don’t want to do it that way.”

The former hunter quietly considered the half-fey.

It would be easy to tell him no.

But it wouldn’t be for her sake. It would be just for mine.

Besides, he clearly needs something to do. Something more than just sitting and watching me watch Tessa.

“Fine. But I’ll start.”

LM raised his head and smiled. “Of course.”

 

 

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