"Monica, I think your idea is exquisite," Jonathan exclaimed for the third time, "Teaming up with the School for Autism...I never would have thought of it. The school needs the program as much as we do."
"There is so much proof that animals can open up a whole new world to autistic children," The little angel continued enthusiastically, "I've already spoken to Tess and the school will pay you well for the program. More than enough to keep the farm going...without the racing." She held her breath. This was the part she prayed Jonathan and Caroline would agree to.
"Without the racing," Caroline stated firmly, "I've never liked it. I've always preferred that animals are ours to love and not to be used as a commodity. The children will love them as much as we do. Of that I am sure."
Andrew simply sat back in his chair and allowed the conversation to transpire. He felt so proud of Monica and she was positively beaming over her idea being so well accepted. It was hard for him to believe that just a few short weeks ago she had been a victim to an abusive man and now she spoke confidently and an assuredness that came from knowing she was loved; by the Snyders, by the Father, by him. It was one of those nearly perfect moments he would keep in his heart forever.
Margaret had been quiet after the initial excitement about the idea now managed a sad smile, "Well, that just leaves me with one question."
Expectant human and angelic eyes turned to her forcing her to continue, "How on God's green earth are we going to say goodbye to the two of you?"
Andrew could have predicted Monica's tears so he was not surprised when they immediately flooded her dark eyes and he instinctively reached for her hand, "This has been a long assignment for us, but there are always humans who become near to our hearts and I think I can speak for both of us in saying that this has been one of those assignments."
"You two have become part of the family," Caroline stated, blinking back her own tears, "I feel like my sister and her boyfriend are moving out."
The Angel of Death's face flushed bright red and even Monica giggled through her tears, "We will both miss all of you," The little angel replied, "And this assignment has been special to us for another reason too as it was during this assignment that Andrew and I have come to realize how we really felt about each other."
"Ah, I knew it all along," Jonathan quipped with a wink at the angelic couple, "I saw the way Andrew looked at you."
"Because it is the same way you have always looked at mom," Caroline smiled, glancing at her father with some envy in her eyes.
"And the way someone will look at you one day soon," Margaret added confidently as she looked at her daughter.
"It's true," Monica stated softly as she looked at her assignment with great affection, "God has someone special in mind for you, Caroline. You only need to be patient and wait on Him."
"I know that now, "The young woman replied, "I am not settling for anyone cruel again. I want what my parents have...and what you and Andrew have."
Andrew met his eyes with Monica's as a wealth of loving thoughts were exchanged in that glance, "True love is worth fighting for," Andrew never stopped looking at the little angel as he spoke to both she and Caroline.
Caroline eyed the two angels, having a feeling in her heart that the twosome would soon be in for a fight. She and Monica had time for some girl talk last night and though the angel had not said much, there was just enough for Caroline to know that angels in love was not normal protocol, "I pray things work out well for both of you."
"God is always in control," Andrew replied confidently, hoping to pass some of his assuredness onto Monica as he knew she was rather nervous about confessing their non-angelic feeling to their angelic friends, "and now I'm afraid it is time for us to go." He could feel the pull in his heart that he and Monica were being called Home and he knew by the look in her dark eyes that she felt it too.
He watched with great affection as his beloved angel embraced each member of the family, leaving them with encouraging words. Andrew had already said his own goodbyes and he took Monica's hand, silently asking if she was ready.
"I have one more place to go." Her sad eyes were serious, but he instantly understood. There was so little he didn't understand about her...
She had already said her goodbyes to Charmer and Joy, as well as the rest of the horses, save one. The whole time, Brady stayed loyally by her heels, emitting a whine every now and then, the collie sensing that his beloved friend would soon be gone.
Andrew hung back as he watched Monica approach Grace's stall, the horse greeting the angel with a soft nicker.
"Ah, sweet Grace," She whispered tearfully, as she stroked the spot between the horse's eyes, "I shall miss you and Brady the most. But your life will be so much better now. There will be many children depending on your sweet nature to help them communicate and you will be fulfilling God's purpose for your life," Learning in, she dropped a kiss and tears on the horse's nose, "I love you, my friend."
Swallowing back a sob, Monica then knelt to the ground and wrapped her arms around Brady, hugging him tightly, "Take care of this family, Brady. Thank you for helping Andrew to take care of me." Giving him one last affectionate scratch behind the ears, she then slowly rose to her feet and looked at Andrew through teary eyes, "I'm ready."
Stepping forward Andrew drew her into his arms and allowed her to shed her remainder of her tears, "I love how much you love them," He whispered into her ear, not only referring to the animals here at the farm but every animal and human she had ever met.
"How can I not?" She replied with a tearful laugh before she looked up into his emerald green eyes, "but never as much as I love you."
His heart seemed to skip a beat at her words before he dipped his head and briefly touched his lips to hers, "Let's go home, Angel." Her eyes were anxious but he soothed her worried expression with his fingertips against her face, "He's with us, baby. I can feel the Father's love for us. Can you feel it?"
"I can," She whispered, drawing in a breath of resolve, "Let's go Home." Though her words tried to sound confident, she only relaxed when Andrew's hand wrapped around her own as they vanished from the barn, leaving only a white dove, perched on the door to Grace's stall.
Thanks everyone for reading and for leaving your always so kind feedback. This is the ending of "Safe Haven" but Kim and I are already working on its sequel, okay? ;)