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.Slowly, painfully, Brigit lifted her hand from the molten water.She could feel the hot rivulets snaking down her arm as she waited to feel his hand against hers.She held her breath with the hope that she had not misplaced her trust.“Seamus, please,” she pleaded painfully.“That’s all ye needed to say, lass,” she heard him say with a light chuckle.With a sharp and painful yank, Brigit felt her entire body pulled free from the burning river.The sharp inhale of the dry air sliced her throat and lungs as she felt Seamus’ hands lift her onto the bank.The air was hot against her naked skin, but not as hot as the river had been.The difference gave Brigit a brief moment of respite.The searing of her skin began to ebb as he lowered her onto the hot sand of the bank.Once she caught her breath, Brigit turned her blurry sight to the kneeling shadow beside her.“What now?” she whispered.“You’re on yer own now, lass,” Seamus said quietly.“Once ye’ve got yer strength, start walking back up river.Eventually, ye’ll return to yerself.Ye’ll be back to yerself in no time once ye awake,” he predicted as he stood.“What about you?” she called.Though she could not see him clearly, she could tell that he was walking away.“I’ll be around,” he called over his shoulder.“When ye least expect it, I’ll be around.”Brigit listened to his voice.She did not hear any malicious undertone in his words.He was a ghost in her memory now, that was all.She would never forget the evil he had borne during his existence as a mortal and as a Reaper.At the same time, she would never forget the act of kindness he had just shown her.He had answered a question she remembered asking him before she had destroyed him.He had not left her behind when she needed help the most.Seamus Flannery, now nothing more than a ghost in her memory, had redeemed himself.39: CoffeeBelinda let the last low note hang on her breath.She had been singing gently.It was a soothing song whose words seemed to come from some memory she had never known.She didn’t know what the words meant as they rolled off her tongue.Once they were loose in the air of the small room where Brigit had been placed, Belinda seemed to forget them.Silence settled around her shoulders like a warm blanket as she gazed on her mentor’s sleeping face.Belinda had grown accustomed to the dark woman’s silence during their journey on the mountain.Though Brigit had sent her away in a sudden show of kindness, Belinda couldn’t help but to liken this silence to the silence she had endured before that moment.The only difference now was that Brigit was unaware of its effect on her protégé.It didn’t matter, though.Belinda had made a promise to Maggie to take good care of Brigit.She intended to honor that promise despite the agonizing silence between them.“How much longer, Brigit?” Belinda sighed as she leaned back in the chair beside the small bed.“How much longer before you wake up?”They had been taking turns keeping vigil for a week.John sat with her most of the time, his ice blue eyes revealing the concern he carried for his assistant.Mama Dee would sit with her when John became restless with his thoughts.She would retell her side of the memories she shared with Brigit.When the old woman grew weary of wading through the memories, Belinda would take a turn at her mentor’s side.All she could think to do was sing.So she opened her mind to hear the words she had never spoken before and opened her mouth to let them out with the hope that it would help Brigit find her way back.Belinda let her blue eyes roam around the dimly lit room where they had laid Brigit.It was bare except for the bed and the chair.It was also much smaller than the other rooms of the building.She wondered momentarily if John had opened a broom closet and decided it would do.Slowly, Belinda closed her eyes and leaned her head against her fist.Her throat felt dry, but it would still be awhile before John returned to resume his watch.In the mean time, she decided, it wouldn’t hurt to rest herself for a moment.“A watched pot never boils,” she mumbled quietly.“Coffee,”Belinda’s eyes shot open at the dry croak that suddenly filled the room.Her head whipped to the right to look at Brigit.An audible gasp escaped her when she saw that Brigit’s dark eyes were open and staring at her through the dim light.“Brigit! Oh my… are you okay? Can I get you anything?” Belinda gushed as she leaned forward.“I need coffee,” Brigit croaked clearly.Belinda searched the other woman’s eyes.A light grey film still covered them, but Belinda knew for sure that Brigit was definitely looking at her.“Right.I can do that,” Belinda proclaimed as she jumped up.“Don’t go anywhere.I’ll be right back,” she promised as she dashed from the room.Brigit listened as Belinda ran down the long hall to the office’s main entrance [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]