Chapter Twenty- Two

Pagan

I was tired of this room. Even though the nurses were all really nice, I missed my bedroom. I loved my pink fluffy cover and my Bratz dolls. I’d asked mommy if we could go get them but she said it was too far away. She didn’t want to leave me that long and I didn’t want her to be gone long either. Now, that Grandma had gone back home to see her doctor it was just mommy and me. She’d gone to get some coffee and something hot to eat she’d said. I knew she didn’t sleep very good in the chair beside me that turned into a bed. But I was glad she stayed. At night I would get scared. The room was so dark and then sometimes my door would open and no one would be there. Mommy said ghosts weren’t real but I wasn’t so sure.

I missed Grandma already. She read me a story every morning. I wanted to ask mommy to read me a story today but her eyes had looked so sleepy. I reached under my pillow and pulled out the pretty heart shaped pin Grandma had left me. I always loved it when she wore it on her fancy shirts. She said my grandfather had given it to her on their wedding day. He’d told her that now she had his heart. That was a silly thing to say but it sounded kind of sweet. I had it now because I had Grandma’s heart. I could always remember she loved me.

The door opened and in stepped a guy I didn’t know. He wasn’t wearing white or blue so he wasn’t a doctor or a nurse. His dark hair was kind of long in front and it curled a little on the end. Really blue eyes studied me and I stared right back. He had long eyelashes like a girl but he was wearing a black leather jacket and scruffy jeans and a pair of black boots so he wasn’t very girly. Was he somebody’s older brother and he’d got lost?

“Hello Pagan,” he said in a warm deep voice that made me feel at ease.

“Hey. How do you know my name?”

He kind of laughed a little. “Because I’m here to talk to you about something.”

“I’m not supposed to talk to strangers,” I replied shaking my head and pointing my finger toward the door. Mommy would have a fit when she got back and found him in here.

“That’s correct but I’m not exactly a stranger. You’ll be seeing me again soon. I’m here to explain something to you and I need you to listen to me, okay?”

I nodded

“Your body is sick. The doctors aren’t going to be able to make it better. But your body is just a shell. You are a soul. When this body gets too sick the soul will need to leave it and that’s where I come in. I’ll be here to take you out of this sick body and then I’ll give you to a beautiful young girl who will remind you of a fairy princess. She’ll take you to a place where you’ll be given a new body.”

“But how will my mommy know me if I’m in a different body? She just knows this body.”

“That’s true. You see, the life you have now will die. Do you remember when your grandfather died?”

I nodded

“Well, his soul left that body and he was sent up and given a new body. A new life. Your next life your soul will be near your mommy’s soul and the souls of all the people you love. Souls are attached in each lifetime. You won’t remember this life but your soul will remember the souls it loves.”

So I wasn’t going to have to go sit and wait on Mommy up in Heaven? I was going to get to come back and see her again?

“Okay.”

The guy seemed happy with my reply. “Good girl. Now, the next time you see me you’ll know it’s time. You come with me. Don’t try to stay with your body because you want to get another life, okay?”

I didn’t understand really but I nodded. Then I remembered my grandma’s pretty heart. I squeezed it tightly and asked, “Can you take this and give it to me after my soul leaves my body? I want to keep it.”

The guy frowned and reached for the pink heart in my outstretched hand.

“I guess I could do that,” he replied.

I watched as he slipped it into his jeans.

The door opened and in walked my mommy, “Hey sweetheart, I brought you some of that orange juice you like so much,” she said in her happy voice. I glanced up at the guy and he put his finger over his lips and shook his head and then he was gone.

“What is this?” I asked holding up the strange silk gown I’d found on my bed when I’d woken up.

Leif sat down a tray filled with donuts, berries, cream, bagels, cream cheese, and bacon before answering me. “It’s the ceremonial gown you’ll wear tonight.”

“Um no, I want my jeans.”

Leif clenched his jaw and stood up straighter. “No, Pagan you will wear what I tell you to wear. I’m tired of you being so difficult. You agreed that if I made arrangements for Wyatt’s soul to be handed over to a transporter you’d do everything you could to make this work.”

Well, crap. “I didn’t realize you would be picking out my wardrobe from now on is all,” I grumbled and dropped the black gown back to the bed and reached for a cream filled donut.

“I know, and normally I won’t be, but there are certain times you must wear certain things. This is one of those times. You’ll be with me as my princess standing with Ghede.”

“But it looks like a nightgown,” I argued.

“It will look lovely on you,” Leif replied.

I glanced back at the piece of offensive silk. Did everything Ghede have his hand in have to be so sexual?

“It will cover you properly. I promise. But you must get comfortable with your flesh. Here it is worshipped and appreciated. There are few who cover it up. The only coverings on the flesh are meant to enhance the attractiveness, not hide it.”

I wanted my jeans. Now. Just hearing him talk about my flesh made my flesh crawl. If he expected me to flash my body for his perverted father he was crazy. I’d agreed to make this work not become a call girl.

“It all just takes some getting used to.”

“When will we be giving Wyatt’s soul to a transporter?” I really wanted a change of subject.

“This evening.”

Good. I had hoped it would be today. Picking up the silver goblet I paused and lifted it toward Leif, “What’s in this?”

“Grape juice. It’s fresh and like nothing you’ve ever tasted,” Leif replied with an amused grin.

Since I was here for eternity I had to start trusting him. I put the cup to my lips and took a tentative sip. The sweet juice hit my tongue and I quickly drank more. He was right. It was like nothing I’d ever put in my mouth. The rich taste awakened my taste buds and I felt a little lightheaded. Warning bells went off in my head and I quickly set the drink down and reached for the bowl of berries.

“It was a sugar rush, Pagan. Nothing more,” Leif said as he reached for his cup.

I wasn’t so sure about that but then I was also paranoid. With good cause.

“Would you like a visit from Wyatt before he leaves?”

“Yes, please.” I’d managed to sound polite that time.

It obviously pleased Leif because he smiled a little too brightly.

I finished with my breakfast and hoped Leif would take that as a hint to leave. He’d knocked and woken me up asking if I wanted breakfast then given me barely enough time to pull on the robe he’d supplied last night with my pajamas. Which were flannel, thank God.

I’d had a dream last night of a memory that absolutely nothing to do with Leif. He hadn’t been in my head. I’d dreamed of the day Dank had come to my hospital room and I’d given him my brooch. Tears burned my eyes as I thought about the brooch that now lay beside my bed at home. It was the one thing I wished I’d been able to bring with me.

“I’ll take this tray away and come back for you soon. Maybe we can finally take that tour,” Leif said in a jovial tone. He had so much to be happy about. He’d won.

“Could you send Wyatt to see me?” That was all I really cared about.

Leif nodded, “Of course.”

He closed the door behind him and I stared at it hating the sight of it and wondering if this was ever going to get better.

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