Fantastical Page 81

“You can do it later,” he stated.

“No, I want to get it out of the way.”

He turned to his side, gave me his full attention and when he did I noticed the change in his eyes and I noticed it in three specific parts of my body.

“Put it aside,” he said softly, “and we’ll both go to your indoor waterfall.”

Those three specific parts of my body twanged at the thought of a shower with Tor.

“Five minutes, honey,” I replied just as softly. “I’ll be done and we can shower.”

He rested his head on his hand, elbow in the couch. “What are you doing?”

“Making lists,” I answered, looking back down at my paper.

“Lists of what?” he asked and I looked back at him.

“Contingency plans.” His eyebrows rose so I explained, “We don’t know how long we’re going to be here. So, if we’re here awhile, like I was in your world awhile, there are things I have to do and things I don’t want you to miss.” I looked back down at the paper and started enumerating. “I have to go to the doctor, get the pregnancy confirmed medically, get some vitamins or whatever, start that whole gig. I want you, Mom, Dad and me to go to the seafood place where Dad asked Mom to marry her and where we go every year for all our birthdays. I want to take you for a drive down the coast so you can see all my world isn’t dreary and some of it is actually really gorgeous. Since you’re interested in baseball, I want to take you to a Seattle Mariners game before the season ends. And I want you to go over to Phoebe’s so she can make you one of her dirty martinis, which are divine. And I forgot to buy you gum at the store so we have to get you some gum so you can try –”

“Cora,” Tor cut in and my head came up.

“What?”

“Put your list aside and come here,” he ordered.

“Tor, I have to put this down on paper so I don’t forget anything.”

“Put it aside and come here,” he semi-repeated.

“Honey, you took time out in your world to show me places and allow me to meet people and I want to give you what –”

“Love, put it down and come here.” His voice was very firm and I’d been so intent on my list, I’d missed the look on his face.

But I wasn’t missing it now.

I put the list down and went there.

When I was stretched out full on top of him, he lifted both sides of my hair and held it at the back of my head with one hand, his other arm closing around my waist.

“You can go back to your list in a second but when you do, you need to change it. You need to list all the things you want to do, people you want to see, in order of priority. Then we will do these things and see these people,” he told me.

“But I want you –” I started but stopped when his head lifted and he brushed his lips against mine.

He dropped his head and whispered, “It is not me giving up everything for love, my sweet.”

My heart clenched just as his arm tightened.

Tor kept talking and he did it with that tender look in his eyes and a low rumble in his voice. “You must fill the time you have left here with the people you want to see and places you want to be and I’ll experience your world through that. I want you to have that. You’ll need it. And it will allow me to feel more at peace as our decades together pass in my world knowing that I was able to give that to you before you gave everything for me.”

Tears suddenly and swiftly filled my eyes.

God but God, I loved this man.

“Baby,” I whispered as one slid down my cheek but it didn’t make it very far before Tor let go of my hair and his thumb swept it away.

“Now, kiss me, my love, and then finish your list so we can shower together.”

I stared down through my watery eyes at my gorgeous warrior prince.

Then I dropped my mouth to his, both of his arms closed around me tight, I tipped my head to the side, he slanted his the other way, my mouth opened but before his tongue slid inside and I could taste the gloriousness of him I felt myself flying through the air.

Yes, flying through the air!

I cried out in shock but my cry stopped abruptly when my back slammed painfully against the wall and blue sparks shot out around me.

Oh God.

I knew what that meant.

Oh God!

No!

“Tor!” I shouted after I slid down the wall, landed on my booty and lifted my head.

But the couch, the whole couch, was shrouded in blue mist. So shrouded, I couldn’t see him, not even a little bit of him. Nothing.

No!

“Tor!” I shrieked, jumping to my feet and taking one step toward him only to feel an invisible hand plant itself in my chest and I was shoved right back against the wall, violently, blue sparks flying again when I landed and that pressure at my chest did not go away.

I struggled against the invisible hold that held me pinned against the wall, pushing forward and screeching, “Tor! No! Oh my God! Please, no!”

Then I heard an evil cackle I’d only heard once before, my blood turned to ice, the blue mist disappeared from my couch and the invisible hold that had me in its control melted away.

My couch was empty.

Tor was gone.

I collapsed to the floor not only in despair but in sudden pain. Excruciating, unbearable pain that made me curl my body automatically into a tight, protective ball.

And I knew what that pain was.

I knew exactly what it was.

Half my soul had just been torn away.

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Get Your Shoes

Two weeks later…

“Nothing?” I asked, the cell phone pressed tight to my ear, my knees pressed tight to my chest, my tush on the tiled floor of the bathroom.

“I’m sorry, Cora. She’s nowhere to be found. Harold and I asked all the people the other Circe talked to, went to all the places she told us she went and no one knows anything about Clarabelle,” Marlene answered in my ear.

I closed my eyes tight and dropped my forehead to my knees.

Then I whispered into the phone, “Remember, I have money. You can use all of it. I have seventy-five thousand dollars. Remember that.”

“I remember, Cora, but there’s no information, even information to pay for and you may need that money,” Marlene said quietly back and I knew even through the phone she could hear my voice, she could hear the pain I lived with every day, the pain that got worse with every f**king second.

“And the other Circe, her power –?” I tried but Marlene cut me off.

“She says its growing but she doesn’t have enough, not near enough. She’s asking around. She says there’s a great deal of magic around New Orleans. She asked me to tell you if she finds someone she’ll let us know immediately and you can fly there. But you need to save your money, Cora. She says if she can find someone, the amount of magic they’ll need to use, it’ll be expensive.”

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