My home exists in a dimension made just for it. My home is a little pocket outside a great, big world, hiding me from other magical beings. I have a long past and, hopefully, an even longer future that would be upset if either side truly finds me. Inside the walls of my home, I disappear from the ether that could lead directly to me. Here, I can toss bits of magic around Logan and myself without disturbing the ether outside my bubble.
Using his memory instead of my own, I show him the police station where they took his mother, his brother and himself on that fateful night.
The room bustles. Despite the odd hour, an army of officers rustles around the open room full of desks. Doors off to the sides are marked with names and ranks of those who rate an office. The officer who’d driven them from the boathouse leads the family to a room toward the back and closes the door on all the noise. The woman, upon taking her seat across the table, stares at the officer. The oldest boy paces in the corner, counting off steps – turning and counting, turning and counting. The smallest boy sits on his mother’s lap, not moving like any another kid of his age bored silly by the grown up world.
No, she is not staring at the officer. She is staring at a point in space somewhere near him. She holds the little boy’s hands on the table. Her thumbs rub his little palms over and over.
“I’m so sorry for your loss, Mrs. DeBlanc.”
The woman doesn’t answer, doesn’t even appear to hear him.
“Did you see…?” the officer begins, but can’t finish. “Did you find…?” Another false start.
Her silence unnerves him. He is used to tears, to rage, to questions, to signs of guilt. He is not used to quiet children, especially boys. He is not used to silence from the wife.
He gets up and walks out of the room, accidentally leaving the door open a crack.
The oldest boy notices and walks over to it, listening.
“—never seen anything like it.”
“The wife is in shock.”
“She’ll snap out of it.”
“—so much blood.”
“—talk to the FBI?”
“—probably send it up the chain.”
“What do we put in the report?”
“Can’t put everything. Just doesn’t make any kind of sense.”
“What can we put?”
“We have to mention the missing…”
Another voice, a woman’s, “I know they brought them here.”
The woman with her two boys in the room in the back recognizes the voice. Her eyes regain focus. Her arms tighten around the little one on her lap. She stands, flips him to her hip and grabs the oldest by the hand, leading him out into the bustle.
“Morgan!” says a woman in the middle of the police station. She makes her way to the woman and two boys, bumping into desks and chairs as if the room is more crowded than it is. She knocks papers and envelopes and anything not heavy enough to resist her into the air, onto the floor.
Dressed all in black, the only color is her bright red nails and lips. “I heard what happened. I’m so sorry. Let me take you and the boys to my place.” She speaks over the bustle, focused on the woman just now stepping into the maze. She reaches the boys and their mother. “I’ll take care of everything. I promise. Damon is with me. He’ll help. Let’s just get you and the boys out of here.”
I stop the vision. I know the woman who’d rescued the family from the police station. (Alina’s is another story, one I don’t think I should share with Logan just yet. I may have to, just not yet.)
I flip through Logan’s memories, letting some of them play out on my roof around us. I see more than I expect. I see some things I missed. I see that I should have kept a closer eye on the boys and their mother over the years. I also see that all this had to happen to bring them to me now.
Now I show Logan what I’d seen in the boathouse. There is something there he needs.
Logan’s father built this house with his own hands. He added rooms when and where he needed them. Most of the house rests on the shore. A small portion covers the boat he uses to make a living. There are about five rooms, and outside, it looks as if he is getting ready to build another addition.
I never make it past this first room. When I open the door, the first thing I notice is all the furniture pushed up against its walls. Tall pieces block the windows. On every flat surface rests burning candles, making the room seem as if it is on fire. Melted wax connects the candles, covering the surfaces. They have been burning for a while.
Symbols drawn with white chalk cover every surface.
There is no body.
Blood spatters and pools everywhere.
In the corner surrounded by more white symbols stands a white wicker bassinet.
In my memory, I know I have to check, to be sure, but I don’t want to.
Now, with Logan watching, I don’t want to show him, but I know I have to.
I take him the long slow steps to the bassinet.
Inside are pink blankets. One is a carefully handmade quilt embroidered with a name: Olivia.
There is no blood on the blankets.
There is no body. There is no baby. The bassinet is empty.
The image of the memory fades.
Logan looks at me.
“I don’t understand.”
When he does, the weight of it pulls his knees to the ground. His face is a mask of emotion he is not used to expressing. His brown hair, dark like his mother’s, falls into his eyes.
Standing in front of him, I run my hands through his hair, letting him know I am here.
He wraps his arms around me and buries his head in my stomach. His body shakes.
We stay like that for a long time.
After a while, the sky lightens and I sink to my knees.
Logan buries his head in my shoulder, not yet ready to face any reality. I put my fingers on his chin and lift his head. I let him look into my eyes. I let him see that I know exactly what he is going through. I let him see the pain that rests in my own heart.
Our auras mingle and in the early morning light, I see my own glow surrounding us mixing with his, blending in a way I’ve only seen once before in a faded memory I don’t want to bring to the surface.
I distract us, the best way I know how and lift my lips to meet his.
He is unresponsive at first, until the salt from his silent tears is gone. Then his lips meet mine with a ferocity born of desperation. He is desperate to bury his feelings deep, so deep they can’t hurt anymore.
I let him.