Disclaimer: I do not own Hellboy and company. Don't sue me. Ok?
Our lips part and my brain slowly starts working again. I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point I must have wrapped my arms around him, since that's where they are now. His fingers are tangled in my hair. I'll probably need an entire bottle of conditioner to get all of the knots out, and I don't care. I look into his eyes and realize that they aren't black, but a very deep blue. I could get lost in those eyes. I could stay lost forever. He pulls me closer to him, and I lay my head on his chest. I close my eyes and listen to his heart beat. I feel an ache, a need, which I've never felt before for any one. My brain is so far gone; I'm not even sure what day it is anymore.
"It's Sunday," he whispers. I smile.
I can hear a car engine off in the distance. Abe pulls away. He takes a step toward the gate, and cocks his head to the side. I turn toward the gate as well. Now that I'm no longer looking at him, my brain starts to shift into gear. Then the enormity of what I've just done hits me.
"Liz," he says.
I quickly turn and run toward the truck. I manage to get in and lock the door about a second before he gets there. He bangs on the window.
"What's wrong?" I hear his voice in my head.
I shake my head as I start the engine. My emotions are one big jumble. I can't think straight, but one question keeps coming to the front of all the questions that are swimming around in my head.
How could he?
I put the truck into gear and slowly start to roll forward. I'm at least coherent enough to remember that I'm pulling the trailer still. Abe walks beside the truck, just looking at me. I can see him out of the corner of my eye. I tighten my grip on the steering wheel, and concentrate on what I'm doing. As I get to the gate, a red sports car arrives. Both gates open at the same time and I pull out. When I get to the road, I look in the rear view mirror. A beautiful woman with dark hair and alabaster skin is standing beside Abe. The sports car has its driver side door open.
I pull onto the main road and drive home. I spend the next 35 minutes with a death grip on the steering wheel, desperately holding my emotions in check. I finally arrive at the main gate to the ranch. The lock undoes itself and falls open. A sudden wind pushes the gate open. I park the truck and I feel the first hot tear roll down my face. I refuse to let go yet.
I get out and quickly head for the trailer. I get Magick out without any trouble and get him into his stall. I manage to make sure he has food and water before I bolt for the door. I run all the way up the hill to the house.
I'm out of breath by the time I get to the front door and I can feel my hands shaking. I don't even bother with a key. The door unlocks on its own. I stop by the kitchen long enough to see that Helen was nice enough to come up and feed Wizard. I charge upstairs and into my room. Wizard is sleeping on the pillow next to mine. I don't even bother getting changed, but I do at least manage to kick my shoes off before I climb into my unmade bed.
I look at the clock before I lay down. 4:02 am. The earthquake happened less than 23 hours ago. I knew him maybe 7 hours before he…
The feelings that I've been keeping back burst past the dam I built, and I can feel myself loosing control. I hug my pillow and curl up into a ball. Then I cry myself to sleep.
I'm lying on my stomach on the family room floor in the home I share with my parents. My math home work is splayed out on the floor in front of me. There's a fire burning in the fireplace, and I can hear the rain hitting the window. My parents are snuggled together under a blanket on the couch, each reading a book, and I'm watching them. Mom has her head resting on Daddy's broad shoulder, her slender frame all but disappearing under the blanket. Her auburn hair gently falls over her shoulder.
"Daddy?" I say.
"Yes, sweetie," he answers.
"How did you and Mom meet?" I ask him. He looks up from his book and gazes at me with hazel eyes. Then he and Mom look at each other and smile.
"We meet in college," he says. "We were taking a human biology course."
"How did you know that you loved each other?"
"When I first saw your mother, I thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world," he answers. He and Mom look into each others eyes again. "When I looked into her eyes, I knew that there could be no other."
"Oh," I say. I look down at my homework.
"It'll be the same way with you," he continues. I look back up at him. "You'll see some man, and realize he's the handsomest man in the world. Then you'll look into his eyes and get lost there. And you'll be content to stay lost. That's the way it is with our kind. But be warned, little Magpie, that whomever you give your first kiss to must be the one you've given your heart to. The magic of your first kiss is a very powerful thing, and should not be trifled with. The man you kiss must be the one you marry."
I wake with a start and realize that Wizard is walking over me. He's probably on his way to the food bowl. I sit up and look at the time. 9:30 am. I'm still tired and my head is now throbbing. I get up and go into the adjoining bathroom. I look in the mirror and just about have a heart attack. If the phrase "death warmed over" had a face, mine would be it. My eyes are bloodshot, there are bags under my eyes that I could pack and my hair looks like a family of rats has taken up residence. The scratches from yesterday are still noticeable. I'm going to have to figure out something to tell Helen, or she'll freak.
I go over to the shower and turn on the hot water. I strip and look at myself in the full length mirror. I see my parents in me, my mom's hair and my dad's eyes. I got her height, but mostly his build. I'm lean and in good shape even if my body isn't today's advertised version of beauty. Calista Flockhart can just bite me, I think uncharitably.
I notice the shower is ready and I get in. I get clean and then I just stand there until the water runs cold. I get out and dry off. Then I take some pain pills for the headache that didn't go away in the shower, put in eye drops and put on some eye cream to reduce the puffiness. I get dressed and head for the kitchen.
I go to the coffee maker and realize that I didn't have time to clean it yesterday. I contemplate skipping coffee, but if I do, I'll probably fall flat on my face half way down the hill. I get the coffee maker cleaned and put together. While I wait for the coffee maker to get its act in gear, I check the answering machine.
There are four messages on the machine. That's odd. I get maybe that many in week, not a day. The first message is from my cousin Sharon.
"Hi, Maggie, it's Sharon. It's going to be great to see you again. I can't wait for you to see the baby. She's so cute. See you soon. Bye."
What's she talking about? I'm not going out to see her. I certainly hope she's not planning driving all the way out here from Manhattan with the baby. As for the baby herself, what's the old proverb? There's only one cute baby in the world. And every mother has it. It's Irish I think.
The next two messages are hang ups, but the third one is the one that stops my heart. I quickly stop the machine and go back to the coffee maker. I come back to the machine with mug firmly in hand. This is my second cup. One should never have to listen to my grandmother without a good amount of caffeine in her system. Actually, it would probably be better for my nerves if I was drinking something stronger than coffee, but it's a bit early in the day for that.
"Hello, Margaret. It's your grandmother, please pick up the phone." Pause. "Very well, child, if you don't feel like answering, then so be it. I will see you tomorrow, so be ready to go when we get there."
What are they talking about? I look at my calendar and my heart stops yet again. There it is in big red letters. NEW YORK. Uh oh. I am going to Manhattan. I totally forgot about the trip. I look at the calendar again and just about stop breathing as well. 1:00 is when my grandmother is scheduled to arrive, and my grandmother is never late.