Dark angel|42

Gary’s voice came out of the gale. “What if I just go away and leave you for a little while?”Gillian’s eyes were watering, the tears freezing on her lashes. It was hard to get a breath. But she gathered herself, hanging on to the tombstone, and yelled.”You won’t! You know you won’t-“”How can I know?”She answered with a question, shouting over thewind. “Why didn’t you kill David?”Her only answer was the howling gale.Gillian’s sight was dimming. The cold hurt. She tried to ding on to the tombstone, but her hands were numb. “You couldn’t do it, Gary! You couldn’t kill someone! When it came right down to it, you couldn’t! And that’s how I know.”She waited. At first she thought that she’d been wrong. That he’d left her alone in the storm.Then she realized the wind was dying. The curtains of snow were thinning. Stopping. A lightformed in the empty air.Angel-no, Gary-was standing there. She could see him clearly. She could even see what was inhis eyes.Bitterness. Anger. But something like a plea, too.”But I did, Gillian. That’s exactly what I did. I killed someone.”Gillian took a breath that started out quick and ended long. Oh. Oh … that was bad.But there might have been some justification. A fight. Self-defense.She said quietly, “Who?””Can’t you guess? Paula Belizer.”Chapter 16Gillian stood as if her snow-powdered body had been turned to ice. Because it was the worst, the absolute worst that she could possibly have imagined.He killed a kid.”The little girl who disappeared a year ago,” she whispered. “On Hilkrest Road.” The one she’d thought of-completely irrationally-when she’d heard the crying.”I was doing a spell,” Gary said. “A strong one; I was a quick learner. It was a fire elemental spell-so I was out in the woods. In the snow, where nothing would burn. And then she showed up chasing her dog.”He was staring into the distance, his face dead white. Looking not haunting, but haunted. And Gillian knew he wasn’t with her at that moment; he was far away, with Paula.”They broke the circle. It all happened so fast. The fire was everywhere-just one white flash, like lightning. And then it was gone.” He paused.”The dog got away. But not her.”Gillian shut her eyes, trying not to imagine it. “Oh,God.” And then, as something twisted inside her,”Oh, Gary …””I put her body in my car. I was going to take her to the hospital. But she was dead. And I wasconfused.So finally I stopped the car. And I buried her in the snow.””Gary…””I went home. Then I went to a party. That was the kind of guy I was, you see. A partyin’ guy.Everything was about good times and me, me, me. That was even what being a witch was about.” For the first time there was emotion in his voice, and Gillian recognized it. Self-hatred.”And at the party, I got really, really drunk.”Oh. Suddenly Gillian understood. “You never toldanybody.””On the way back home I wrapped my car around a tree. And that was it.” He laughed, but it wasn’t a laugh. “Suddenly I’m in Neverland. Can’t talk to anybody, can’t touch anybody, but sure can see everything. I watched the search for her, you know. They passed about a foot away from her body.”Gillian gulped and looked away. Something had twisted and broken inside her, some idea of justice that would never be put back together. But this was no time to think about that.It hadn’t really been his fault… but what did that matter? You played the hand you got dealt. And Gary had played his badly. He’d started out with everything-good looks, obvious brains, and witchpower enough to choke a horse-and he’d blown it.Didn’t matter. They had to go on from here.She looked up at him. “Gary, you have to tell me where she is.”Silence.”Gary, don’t you see? That’s your unfinished business. Her family doesn’t know…” Gillian stopped and swallowed. When she went on, her voice wobbled. “Whether she’s alive or dead. Don’t you think they ought to know that?”A long pause. Then he said, like a stubborn child,”I don’t want to go anywhere.”Like a frightened child, Gillian thought. But she didn’t look away from him. “Gary, they deserve to know,” she said softly. “Once they’re at peace-“He almost shouted, “What if there isn’t any peace for me?”Not frightened, terrified.”What if there isn’t anywhere for me to go? Whatif they won’t take me?”Gillian shook her head. Her tears overflowed again. And she didn’t have any answers for him.”I don’t know. But it doesn’t change what we’ve got to do. I’ll stay with you, though, if you want. I’m your cousin, Gary.” Then, very quietly, she said, “Take me to her.”He stood for a long moment-the longest of Gillian’s life. He was looking at something in the night sky that she couldn’t see, and his eyes were utterly bleak.Then he looked at her and slowly nodded.”Here?” David bent and touched the snow. He looked up at Gillian. His dark eyes were young- alittle scared. But his jaw was set.”Yes. Right there.””It’s a pretty strange place to do it.””I know. But we don’t have any choice.”David got to work with the shovel. Gillian pushedand mounded snow into walls. She tried to think only of how she’d done this in childhood, about how easy and interesting it had been then. She kept at it until David said, “I found her.”Gillian stepped back, brushing off her sleeves and mittens.It was a clear day, and the afternoon sun was brilliant in a cold blue sky. The small clearing was peaceful, almost a haven. Untouched except for a welt in the snow where a ground mouse had tunneled.


About ayanfe

LIVE!!! LOVE!!! LAUGH!!! life is just too short to be sad #wink
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