3 Years Later…

He laid the bundle of clothing down in her bed, smoothing her dark hair down. It hung in waves down her back and with her deep chocolate eyes staring up at him she looked quite similar to someone he used to know. She smiled up at him, dimples bringing up the image she always did, when she did that, into his mind. He remembered exactly who she looked like. Her mother, Camille.

He swore every day since birth that she resembled nothing of him and nothing less of her mother. And every day she grew more and more, personality bringing back all memories of Camille and her loving nature. He reached out to tuck her in, watching her small mouth form a circle as she yawned. Her eyes closed and she began to twirl her hair around one little finger.

"My sweet, sweet, Annabelle," He breathed. "How much you've grown from a petite infant to a adorable toddler in 3 years." He reached into his pocket and gripped the small pebble, the one that used to be a tear. The last tear Camille shed.

He felt the air around him stir and was filled with a warmth like summer. The smell in the room was like a spring garden, flowers and fresh cut grass filling the room. It smelled like her, when she lived and when she died. Every time he touched the stone she came back into the room with him. But this time the feeling was stronger, and something surged through him.

Then a voice in his head told him everything. "The child is the key to the living, the dead, and the spirits. She is filled now with a part of me, one that she will always carry. As I said, forever together, until we meet again. And now, we have."

He glanced at the child. For now, she was everything. He'd protect the child more than usual until she was reborn so that they could be a family. He'd protect her with the strength of love that Camille left behind. He'd wait. Whether for months or years, it didn't matter; he'd find her, no matter what it took. Then they'd be together. Together Forever.