He was real. He was real and she was real and here they were, in a real world with real warmth and real…real…
He was real.
But she wasn’t very sure if she was anymore.
“Hey, what’s wrong?”
She held on to him. In the midst of the darkness and the flames he was real and he cared about her. He did. She knew he did.
His hand was warm and soft and dry. And suddenly it was the most important thing in the world.
Fire. The light of the fire is the shadow of death. The fire comes for us all.
She would forever be haunted by the smell of smoke.
He smelled like freshly cut grass. She’d never noticed that before.
She’d also never noticed how his hair fell over his ears, or how his eyes were so blue, or how wonderfully warm he was.
She spoke softly, not wanting to disturb this new feeling.
“You never answered my question.”
“You never answered mine first.”
“So, are you going to tell me why I am helping you escape from a murder charge?”
She didn’t want to think about that right now.
“It’s okay. You’re safe now.”
She swallowed hard and started to talk, her voice wavering.
“Remember, remember how I had a big story to work on? The night before Shannon…”
She swallowed again and went on with her story, wanting now to get it out. To get it all out and away from her.
“And you said that you saw a man in a blue sweater on the tape?”
“I see him. I see him in my mind.”
“The story was about him and…and Mr. Sekemoto said that Bella would know more.”
“She told me a story about his daughter. And how he…”
“…he killed his wife.”
“And it got late and I stayed there last night and then…then Bella….”
She looked up through the film of tears that had gathered in her eyes.
His hands were warm and gentle on her face, and she thought she might die.
Seth and all his ghosts faded away, and Jason filled the entire world.
“It’s getting pretty late. We should go.”
She didn’t want to go. She wanted to stay here, in his circle of light and warmth and…love.
She whispered the word to herself in her mind.
“Hey, look, it’ll be all right. I’m going to go get some stuff and then we’ll leave. I think I know somewhere we can go.”
She watched him walk away, feeling very happy and safe and warm.
Very very warm.
Maybe a bit too warm.