Where We Meet Again (Arrow Creek 1)

Page 71

“Evelyn was in an accident.”
“I’m coming, baby, you hear me? Stay calm.”
“Law, hurry.”
“I am, but you stay calm for me.”
I whimper, calm the last thing on my mind.
“Close your eyes, Cam.”
“Law,” the desperation in my voice begs him to help me.
“Do it, baby.”
I do as he asks.
“Are they closed?”
My voice is a strangled whisper. “Yes.”
“Remember our waterfall? Imagine you’re there. You’re surrounded by the deep greenery, sitting in the shade beneath the rocks. Water rushes overhead and pours into the pool of water beside you. You’re so close, if you reached your hand out, you could feel how cool the water is.”
My breathing slows.
“Are you there? Do you see it?”
Another whimper. “I’m there.”
“Good. Hold tight. I’m coming. I’m almost there.”
“Okay, Law.”
The calmness of his voice keeps coming at me. “See you soon.”
The line clicks off.
I lower the phone from my ear, trying to hold on to the image of the waterfall in my head.
Eventually, the image fades, replaced with the memory of Evelyn’s bloodied face, and I crumple to the floor and cry.
I don’t know how much time has passed, but I know it’s him without opening my eyes. His scent surrounds me; the smell of cedar the most distinguishable. And the feel of his body pressed against mine has become familiar. As if I weigh nothing, he picks me up from the floor and cradles me in his arms. He sits in one of the double chairs with me in his lap.
My hands find the open halves of his jacket, and I clutch them tightly in my fists. I want to crawl inside his body and live there until all this is over. I can’t do it again. The thought of losing another person I love eviscerates me.
“I won’t survive losing her.”
“Shh.” He strokes my hair, my shoulders, my back.
Abruptly, I sit up. “I’m serious,” I state in a tone that matches my words. “I can’t do it. I lost my parents, Ritchie, you.”
“You haven’t lost me. I’m right here.”
“But I did. I lost you, and it nearly killed me. I can’t do it again. I can’t lose anybody else.”
Pain etches across his features. He cups the side of my head and tucks me in the space beneath his chin.
“I’m right here, Cami, and you aren’t gonna lose anybody else.”