Authors note: Ok, everyone, this is the last chapter. Thanks for all the great reviews. But fear not, Miss Cavendish will be back.
I start laughing. Then, as the adrenaline wears off and the enormity of what's just happen hits me, I start to cry. But it's not just any cry. It's the cry of a heart in pain. A heart so lonely, it has forgotten how to love another heart.
I collapse, but before I can hit the ground, Abe catches me. He picks me up and carries me toward the others. I can hear Abe talking to the others and I hear them respond, but I can't understand what they're saying through my pain. I haven't cried like this since my parents' funeral all those long years ago. That was when I locked my heart in a box so it could never be hurt again. And now it wants out, but I'm too afraid to let it. I cry in fear, and my heart cries in pain.
After a while, I hear a mans' voice.
"Margaret? Margaret it's time to wake up."
"Come on, Maggie. It's time to wake up."
Is that you, Daddy?
"Magpie, please wake up."
"Daddy?" I open my eyes and see Abe looking down at me. I'm lying on bench in what looks to be a small laboratory. I can smell coffee. Abe smiles and helps me to sit up. I finally notice the open door. I'm in the garbage truck. "How long have I been asleep?"
"About an hour," Abe answers. He sits down next to me. "You fell asleep shortly after we got back onto the main path."
"You carried me all the way back?"
I feel wiped out, physically and emotionally. That coffee smells so good. Without saying a word, Abe gets up, pours a cup and hands it to me. I smile my thanks as he sits back down next to me. As I sip my coffee, I look around. I notice some lab equipment on a table with the coffee maker, and what appears to be an ammo locker. I finally look behind me and notice a chicken in a cage.
"Ok, I've got to ask," I start. "What's with the chicken?"
Before Abe can answer, Hellboy shows up at the open door.
"Hey, you're awake," he says. "Good. Now Manning can pester someone else."
Before I can say anything, he disappears only to be replaced a moment latter by Manning.
"Well, Miss Cavendish," Manning says in a rather snooty tone. "It seems you put on quite the show for the men. Would you mind explaining yourself?"
I finish my coffee and stand up. I head for the exit and put my empty cup down next to the coffee maker.
"No, Dr. Manning, I wouldn't," I tell him. "All I want right now is to go get my horse and go home to bed."
I walk down the ramp and head for my truck. I get in the cab and wait for the others to leave. A few minutes later, the garbage truck starts up and starts heading for the exit. I follow it all the way back to the BPRD. I park the truck in front of Magicks' paddock. I check on him real quick, and then I head inside to get the rest of my stuff. While I'm inside, I say goodbye to Hellboy and John. Abe's no where around. He probably went straight for his tank. I can't say as I blame him, but I am a bit disappointed that I don't get to say goodbye.
I get back to the truck and dump the tack, boots, helmet, gloves and even my dirty socks into the bed. I grab the halter and head to the paddock. I stop dead in my tracks when I come around the trailer. Abe is in the paddock with Magick. He's not only in there; he's even petting the horse. I just stand there dumb founded for several moments and watch them. Magick keeps trying to see if Abe's respirator is edible, and Abe keeps gently pushing his head away.
"I thought you just wanted to get your horse and go home to bed," Abe says laughing.
I just walk into the paddock. I can't stop staring at them. Abe gently takes the halter out of my hands and puts it on Magick. He then leads Magick up to the trailer and puts him in without as much as a tail swish from Magick. Even I can't manage that one. Abe comes out of the trailer and then shuts the tailgate. He turns and looks at me.
"But…how?" I barely manage to get out.
"He likes me," Abe responds, shrugging. He walks up to me until we're toe to toe. The moon is half way between its zenith and the horizon, and I can see every detail of his beautiful skin by it. "Were you going to leave without saying goodbye?"
"I thought you went back to your tank," I start explaining, but before I can finish, he cups my face in his hands. Then he kisses me.
And for the first time in over two decades, I let my heart go.