The Sequels to Syrrah's Game SGSequels

chapter 60

Wednesday, September 27th, 6:05 PM

Grand Marais, MN

 

 

Following Dr. K’s suggestion, Evan helped Syrrah to sit down on the recliner part of the sofa. He sat down next to her, on her left, and at the same time he reached to hold her close she did the same to him, wrapping her arms around him closely. Her earlier words, that she can barely breathe when he is not with her, were only being reinforced again, and it felt too amazing to be true.

Dr. K and Art sat down in front of them, on the ottomans. Syrrah leaned forward, but still stayed close to Evan.

“So, did Tate need any stitches, after punching the wall?” Evan asked.

“He could have used a few,” Dr. K replied. “He was actually quite lucky. This could have been a lot worse for him. But he didn’t want to stay a second longer, and said he would treat the wounds himself, so we took him back.”

“And where did you drop him off at?”

“Neraeh and her father’s home,” Art answered, “since it was locked, no one was there, and this is where we acquired him from. He promised to make sure he locked the front door, once leaving, since he has a key.”

“He has a key?” Syrrah asked.

“Well, yes,” Art said. “I suppose that shouldn’t be too surprising, given he is a close family friend.”

She sighed. “I feel terrible for him,” she said, “and Dad, but everything is different now, and he will just have to accept this, I guess.”

“He has no choice but to accept it,” Evan said to her, as she gazed up into his face. “We are a couple now, soon to be married, and that is how it is.”

Dr. K leaned toward Syrrah. “How are you feeling, Syrrah?”

She was quiet a moment, before answering. “Physically, pretty much okay. For some reason, the connection from my mind to my legs got better, like I told Evan earlier. Especially after being around my family, like it made me forget about it, or just feel more normal again. If that makes any sense.”

“Yes, that is highly possible,” Dr. K said. “Often times, anxiety or stress on its own can create physical symptoms. Or, on the other hand, make actual physical symptoms worse.”

“That does make sense. But, yeah, from what I can tell, I’m not feeling that disconnect, at least not now. So I can walk better, but I feel tired at times. And I’m sort of getting hungry, it seems. But psychologically, I could be better.”

“Are you sensing any influence,” Dr. K asked, “to do harm to yourself or to others?”

She shook her head. “No. Nothing like that. Evan just asked me while we were in that room, if I felt anything, but no, I don’t. I really think it’s gone, at least for now. Hopefully forever. And I feel all strange because my personality is different, not like Dana’s anymore. But it’s something else.”

“Before you give further details,” Art said, “be aware that Kamal and I are monitoring any negative influences around us here, and we will do whatever we can to stop them.”

“Have you detected anything lately?” she asked.

Art smiled at her. “We have, but nothing to be concerned with. We are keeping you safe.”

“Well, that’s good. Thank you. I haven’t even been thinking much about those…those entities, to tell you the truth.”  

“Then I’m going to guess,” Dr. K said, “the entire situation with Tate has you psychologically stressed.”

“Yes,” she said. “But not so much because of Tate, but because my father is so upset about it. But at the same time, I’m very happy to be with Evan, very happy.”

“And I’m very happy to be with you, hon.” Evan gave her a brief, gentle squeeze.

“Syrrah,” Art said, “I did not want to bring Tate along, and this was not a test, although it certainly shows the strong connection between you and Evan. But Tate insisted, he wanted to see you again, but he also didn’t seem to trust us, and the teleportal system, even though Neraeh explained her familiarity with it.”

“I see,” she said. “Thank you for letting me know.”

“Of course.”

“And now, for an additional concern,” Dr. K said. “We are worried he might direct government authorities to our location.”

“Although,” Art said, “Kamal is channeling again, to gather information about this. Nothing definite so far.”

“You mean they’ll know this location,” Evan asked, “but possibly not come here?”

Art nodded. “We believe so. Kamal is still working on the details.”

“Kamal is upstairs right now,” Dr. K said. “But, what’s done is done, in regards to Tate. Hopefully he won’t say anything.”

“Couldn’t you just stop him, Art?” Evan asked.

“Influence him, you mean. I could do that, but this is why we need Kamal’s guidance now, since a course of events might need to unfold as intended, paradoxically, in order for us to fully protect Syrrah. We need Kamal’s information first.”

“I suppose I understand, though that does seem a bit sketchy.”

“I know,” Art said. “You will just have to trust me for now.”

Evan sighed. “Okay. I’ll try.”

“But now, Syrrah,” Dr. K said. “Your favorite guy here had a bunch of hamburgers a while ago, and I know you’re probably craving a steak, but I don’t think either of those would be a good idea now.” 

She gazed into Evan’s face. “You did? I thought you lost your appetite.”

“Well, I forced myself to grab some hamburgers and a couple of sodas from the kitchen before heading to that room. But, that definitely wasn’t enough. You know, this hulky guy here needs his food. I could definitely eat again.”

She smiled, laughed briefly. “I know. I bet you could.” She looked at Dr. K. “I was never much of a meat eater, as Syrrah, in this body. But, actually a tuna sandwich and some apple juice would be okay.”

“No, not to start off with. I’m thinking a fresh mango smoothie, with some non-dairy milk, and some other natural ingredients, something milder on your stomach. Would that be all right?” 

“Yes, sure,” she said happily. “I love mango smoothies.”

“Okay, then.” Dr. K promptly stood up. “I’ll have my kitchen whip you up that smoothie, or maybe I’ll just do it myself.”

“Thank you, Doctor K.”

He smiled at her and walked away.

Syrrah looked over to her right, into that guest room. Her mom, Beverly, and Hanson, that is Mr. Van Meir, Evan reminded himself, were congregating, along with Dad, Mom-Kyleigh, Rochelle, and Matti.

“Did you want to visit with your mom again, Syrrah?” he asked her softly. “See how she’s doing?”

“I do, but not right now. I really need to calm down some more. I’m still upset…from, you know…”

“Tate. I understand.”

“Yeah, so…”

“Kamal is walking around the track upstairs,” Art said, yet sitting across from them. “Helps him sometimes in his receiving.” Art winked at them.

Evan laughed. “Oh, really? He needs to let us know what Tate could be up to.”

“Oh, it’s more than that. He should know more later tonight, or tomorrow morning.” Art took out a phone from his pocket and eyeballed it. “Six twenty PM now. Think I’ll go give him a visit, make sure he’s getting plenty of exercise.”

“Ha, yeah.” Evan smiled at Art. “Good idea.”

After giving another wink, Art arose and walked away.

“I suppose he means they both need to get together to protect me,” Syrrah said. “He said it’s more than about Tate.”

“Maybe. But I wouldn’t worry about it. I mean, who knows what’s up, with that crazy Kamal guy.”

She giggled a little.

No one was around them now. He embraced her a closer, breathing in her scent, a scent somehow familiar of a newborn baby. Strange. Or maybe he was just imagining it. But he ignored, for now. Maybe discuss later. “So, are you okay otherwise?”

She rested her head on his chest, and then softly ran her fingertips over reachable spots, from her position, on his pecs, deltoids, and biceps, feeling every muscle fiber. Her touch felt heavenly. “Damn, Evan. I still cannot believe how strong you are, how muscular you are. Never really been with a guy as built as you.”

“Aww, thank you hon. And it’s all for you, every bit.”

“Mmm, thank you Evan, and I want every bit.” She inhaled and let out a sigh. She stopped her soft touch and only wrapped the same hand around him. “I’m so incredibly confused.” 

“Why? What do you mean?”

She raised up her head, her eyes sad, slightly blood-shot. “I’m still not truly registering that I’m here now, in my own body. I don’t really know who, or what I am anymore.” She closed her eyes. “It just feels so strange.”

He kissed her on her head, on her beautiful, wavy blond hair and wrapped her up closer. “Hey. I will tell you who you are. You are Evan’s girlfriend, and Evan’s soon-to-be wife. That is who you are, now. And you don’t have to worry about anything else. What your parents think, or my parents think, or anyone else thinks. Okay?”

She gazed into his eyes, staring a moment, like she was searching for something more, something else. “Thank you, Evan. I cannot believe you would want to be with me.” She sighed and lowered her head, so he couldn’t see her eyes any longer. “I’m starting to wonder, what Tate said. Maybe I am some sort of freakshow.”

“Hey.” He tickled her stomach a little, and she giggled. “But guess what. You are MY freakshow.”

She looked at him and made a crooked smile. “Yeah, I know what you’re thinking.”

He leaned in closer and kissed her lips briefly, but then moved back so he could see into her gaze. “And you would be correct.” He closed his eyes, thinking about what he would do to her when they were alone again. He opened his eyes, his lids heavy, and stared with intensity into her very being. “I want you so bad, Syrrah.”

She gradually slipped her hands up around the back of his neck and head and drew closer to him, until placing a soft, wet kiss on his lips. She moved away until gazing at him with the same bedroom eyes he had given her. “I love you, Evan, so much.”  

He stared directly, unflinchingly into her eyes. “I love you even more, baby.”

“Hey, guys, what’s up?”

Evan turned to the direction of the voice, noticing Freddy had sat down, along with Neraeh across from them, on one of the larger ottomans.

“Wow. Sorry you two,” Evan said. “Didn’t even hear you guys approach. We were just discussing the physics of the universe. What’s up with you two?”

“Ha-ha, good one, dude.” Freddy laughed, and so did Neraeh. “I could see you guys were hard at work on that one.”

Evan laughed. “Yeah, we sure were.”

Syrrah giggled, sat forward, and said ‘Hi’ to Neraeh. They both struck up a quiet conversation with each other.

“Dude. Your drinks have arrived.”

Seeing white motion to his right, Evan looked in that direction. Dr. K, wearing a white lab coat, probably from just coming from his lab carried two large, transparent plastic cups filled with bright, orange-colored drinks, obviously those mango smoothies. “Oh yeah. I see that.” But Dr. K didn’t head toward Syrrah, instead walking into the guest room. Once in the room, Dad approached Dr. K, seeming eager to discuss something with him. They talked for a short time.

Finally, Dr. K left the room and walked over to Syrrah. “There you go, dear.” He placed the large cup, with a cover and plastic straw, in Syrrah’s hands. “And here’s one for you.” He placed the second one in Evan’s hands.

Syrrah immediately lifted the cup, placing the straw in her mouth. She took a good swig of the smoothie. “Oh, it’s very good, Doctor K. Thank you.”

Evan did the same. And damn, she spoke the truth. “Yes, thank you, Doctor K. Really good.”

“Totally,” Freddy said. “Neraeh and I just had some in the kitchen, along with really great restaurant-style tortilla chips and salsa. Wicked good.”

“And you’re all very welcome on your compliments,” Dr. K said, smiling. He looked around the room, until settling his eyes on the guest room. “Hey. Hanson. Lang. All of you. Come on out here, I would like to speak to everyone.” 

After a few moments, with Freddy and Neraeh helping to wheel Beverly into the room, Hanson, Dad, Mom-Kyleigh, Rochelle, Matti, and Beverly were all soon situated near Syrrah and Evan.

Matti ran over and jumped up on the sofa, to Evan’s left. Evan tussled his hair, and spoke with him for a short time, but then told him to stay quiet, so Dr. K could speak. When that didn’t work too well, Evan gave him a swig of the smoothie, and he finally settled down enough. And Syrrah smiled, laughed kindly at him, thought he was being quite cute and adorable.

“Okay everyone.” Dr. K stood near the TV screen, a good placement for himself so all could see. “Glad we are all here now. All of you are invited to dinner, at seven o’clock, in our formal dining room, adjacent to the kitchen most of you have visited thus far. We have plenty of seating, so do not be concerned about that.”

“What about Art and Kamal,” Evan asked. “Will they be there too?”

“Yes, they should be, provided Kamal’s channeling is coming along. I will be visiting with them on the track, soon here, to see how it’s going.”

“Did Kamal figure out anything new or different?” Freddy asked.

“Not last I heard,” Dr. K answered, “when I visited with him about fifteen minutes ago. He was still in deep concentration. But, now what I also want to address is the rest of the evening, after dinner. As you are aware, this home is quite large, with many rooms, and many guest bedrooms. My home assistants have made arrangements so that all three families involved will be able to stay here overnight, in various rooms of your liking.”

Well, that was a given. Where else could they go?

Dad, Hanson, and Rochelle asked some questions, but ultimately realized this was the best solution. All their homes had been closed and locked before they left. And for safety here, at this home, Dr. K explained he had security techs monitoring numerous video feeds overnight, that even he himself would check upon periodically. After several more questions, everyone agreed this would be the best situation for tonight.

“With that being our agreed solution,” Dr. K said, “once I visit with Syrrah again, I will leave you all alone to enjoy yourselves here for the short time before dinner. Watch TV, play some games. Pool. Cards. Whatever you would like.” He walked over and sat in front of Syrrah, at the same moment Matti took off running for those arcade games again, near where Dad stood. “How are you feeling, after drinking some of the mango smoothie?”

Syrrah placed her hand on her stomach. “Well. I guess okay, for now, although things feel a little uncomfortable, not exactly normal yet, in my stomach.”

Dr. K took out a stethoscope from the white coat jacket he was wearing and instructed Syrrah to remain still, quiet and he listened, placing the diaphragm chest-piece on the soft, pink fabric of her jogging top, in different areas over her abdomen. “I hear a bit of gurgling, but nothing much out of the ordinary. I would say, try to relax, not worry, maybe watch TV or anything distracting. You could be having a bit of anxiety, so keep that in mind.” 

“Well, that could be,” she said. “I am rather worried at times, about all of this.”

Dr. K smiled at her. “Yes. I see. Try not to worry.” He directed his eyes on Evan. “I’m sure the big guy here can help distract you. Give you some positive thoughts.”

“For certain,” Evan said. “I’ll keep her preoccupied.”

“And I’m sure you will.” Smiling, and then removing the stethoscope and placing it back in his pocket, Dr. K stood up. “Oh. And I’m sure you’re both wondering. We will be able to discuss more of the test results tomorrow.”

“Okay,” she said. “That’s good.”

Dr. K sat down again. “And just to inform you two. You can stay here, if you don’t want to attend the seven o’clock dinner. That is perfectly fine. And furthermore, I still want to monitor your reaction to the mango smoothie before we venture forth into any heavier foods, so keep that in mind too.”

“All right, Doctor K,” Evan said. “We’ll be fine.”

He stood up. “Good. See you in a bit.” He walked away, toward the gym.

Mom-Kyleigh approached and sat down on the ottoman. “Your dad, Evan, is going with Dr. K, to visit with Art and Kamal.”

“Oh, he is?” Evan turned to the right, noticing Dad following Dr. K.

“Maybe you two should get some rest,” Mom-Kyleigh said. “You look a little tired, Evan.” She stood up. “I’ll keep Matti in the guest room. I have some phone games and coloring books he likes.”

Evan gently placed Syrrah’s arm upon her lap and he stood up too. He wrapped his arms around Mom-Kyleigh. “Thank you, Mom. I’m so glad you’re here. And I love you.”

“Of course, dear,” she said, hugging him the same. “I love you too. I wouldn’t have missed this for anything. It’s a true miracle.”

Evan leaned back until seeing her face. “Yes. It truly is.” He smiled at her, so happy to hear her kind words.

He spoke a few more things to her. Syrrah did too. After Mom-Kyleigh instructed Matti, the little noob, to follow her, she then walked over and met up with Rochelle, the three of them entering the guest room.

“We’ll be hanging here, for a while,” Freddy said. “Neraeh and I.”

“Oh, cool,” Evan said. “Glad you will be.”

Syrrah sat up more, until at a ninety-degree angle with the sofa. She took another sip of the mango smoothie. “Wow, so good.”

“Sure is,” Evan said, taking another sip himself.

Hanson stepped over and sat down next to Syrrah, on her right. “How is your stomach handling the smoothie?”

“Hey, Dad.” She looked at him. “I’m sorry about Tate.”

“That’s okay. We can discuss this another time. But is your stomach better?”

She thought a moment. “Yes. A little, I think.”

Neraeh brought Beverly, in her wheelchair, closer, and conversations then ensued between all of them, Freddy included. Mom-Kyleigh stayed by Rochelle and Matti, though, that little noob now having a blast with Mario Bros. But overall, Hanson seemed to have changed his attitude, giving Syrrah more of a chance, simply talking to her, listening to her, even laughing with her now and then. Or maybe it was just him hoping for more interaction between Syrrah and Beverly, to help Beverly’s condition, because he often nudged Syrrah to do so. But it was apparent Syrrah wanted to interact more with her mom, regardless of Hanson’s encouragement. Syrrah showed she really cared, speaking more to her mom, touching her, hugging her. And like earlier, all of Syrrah’s caring behavior was working. Beverly showed more and more improvements, talking a little more, showing less of the complicated grief and other disorders.

Maybe the change in Hanson was because Dad had talked some sense into him, earlier, when they were in the guest room together. Whatever the reason, it was a good thing. Hanson was treating Syrrah better, and it felt great, though Hanson was keeping the convo light, just talking about current things, nothing really pertaining to Dana’s life. And Tate wasn’t mentioned.

Time went by, and both he and Syrrah finished their smoothies. Belinda soon after took their cups. All seemed to be going okay, with a discussion struck up about the entire hull experience, with Evan giving more details about Dad and Mom-Kyleigh, how they fell in love and eventually married, same as Nahas and Akina, and some other conversations about Robert, Alan, and Nahas, and how they would argue with each other, when abruptly Syrrah didn’t look so good, her face pale. 

She placed her hand over her stomach. “Wow.”

“What’s wrong, hon?”

“I don’t know. I feel very full, for some reason.” She removed her feet from her slippers and leaned back into the sofa. “And very tired.”

Hanson stood up. He searched the massive room, until finding Belinda. “Belinda! We need your help.”

Good. Another sign he was behaving more like a concerned, caring father.

After going in and out of the examining room rather quickly, Belinda arrived with blood pressure equipment, a stethoscope, a forehead scanning thermometer, and a few other items. She sat down next to Syrrah, where Hanson had been sitting.

Syrrah’s blood pressure was still on the low side, but normal, 100 over 60. Her temp was a little higher, at 99 degrees, but still nothing concerning. Belinda listened to her stomach, with the stethoscope, like Dr. K had done, and she too felt it sounded mostly normal. She asked Syrrah is she was still thirsty, and she replied yes. Evan was about to stand up, to get a bottled water, when Syrrah told him she didn’t want him to leave her side. Instead, Belinda instructed Freddy to retrieve a bottled water from the cooler by the bar. Freddy rushed over and brought it right back, placing the bottle in Syrrah’s hands.

She quickly removed the cap and drank nearly all of it. 

Belinda informed Syrrah that all her vitals appeared okay and that the further test results from her blood and urine tests should be completed by tomorrow morning, but she could offer Syrrah some pain meds for now, if need be. But Syrrah said she just wanted to rest, to sleep now.

And it was true; her eyes showed tiredness that Evan hadn’t seen earlier. Maybe it was just anxiety again, but he didn’t speak a word of that since this could possibly encourage even more anxiety.

“Do you want me to take you to one of Doctor K’s guest rooms,” Evan asked, “so you can get some sleep?”

“No. Can we just stay here? Can I sleep next to you?”

“Of course you can.”

Belinda stood up. “Freddy. Can you help me again?”

“Sure. What do you need?”

After Belinda explained that this part of the lounge seat was actually a wide, special recliner, she and Freddy went about moving the ottomans far enough away, while also making sure to position Beverly’s wheelchair at a safe enough distance, with Hanson’s help. Freddy also picked up Syrrah’s slippers and moved them out of the recliner’s path. Once all was completed, Belinda stepped over to the sofa’s end closest to the arcade games and guest room and pressed some controls. Evan felt and heard moving parts beneath him, as Syrrah explained she did too. An underneath section slowly rolled forward, lifting their legs, while the seat behind them leaned back, like any recliner would do. Of course, Matti had to come over and watch too, touch the moving section, before Mom-Kyleigh finally got him back on the game. In a short time, their two seat sections, but only their two seat sections, had made a double-size bed.

Evan used his strong stomach muscles to pull himself forward until he was able to secure Syrrah’s shoulders and help her lie back, her head resting nicely on some soft throw pillows. Hanson helped get her comfortable too.

“You have any blankets?” Evan asked Belinda.

“Yes, sure. I’ll be right back.” She walked away.

Belinda was only gone for some seconds until returning. She covered Syrrah with a plush, red-patterned blanket that had a nice scent. She also placed two white, pillow case-covered pillows on Evan’s lap. He helped place one under Syrrah’s head, after lifting her up gently. Belinda leaned down near Syrrah. “Are you sure you don’t want to rest in the guest room, where your parents have been? It will be much quieter. We can close the door.”

“No. I want to stay here.” She turned to Evan. “If that really is okay with you?”

“Yes, of course,” he said immediately. “I already told you that hon. You can stay right here by me for as long as you want.” After saying his words, though, he realized she was probably questioning this for another reason.

“Syrrah,” Hanson said, standing nearby, “I’m not very comfortable with this arrangement. You two barely know each other.”

“But I told you, Mr. Van Meir, I want to marry Syrrah,” Evan said, as calmly and politely as he could. “And besides. I’ve been working for her as Dana since August eleventh.”

“That’s true, he has,” she said. “I just need him by me. He makes me feel safe, more positive. I really need him, Dad.”

“We will only be watching TV, or maybe playing video games,” Evan said. “And of course, just sleeping. I promise.”

Hanson only sighed under his breath, a disgruntled expression on his face. He turned and walked over to Beverly in her wheelchair.

Syrrah didn’t respond, just making herself comfortable on the pillows.

After briefly speaking quietly to each other, Freddy and Neraeh approached.

Freddy held out his fist. “Dude.” 

Evan automatically fist-punched it. “What’s up, Fred?”

“What about dinner at seven? You two think you will be there?”

“I don’t think I will,” Syrrah said, before Evan could give an answer. “Doctor K wants to see how I handle the mango smoothie, first, before eating anything heavier.”

“Oh, sure, that’s probably a good idea. What about you, dude?”

“I will stay right here by Syrrah, since she wants me to.”

“Maybe I could bring something down to you.”

“What are they having?”

Freddy turned to Neraeh. “You recall?”

“Some sort of chicken dish, maybe chicken cordon bleu? And then some vegetarian dishes too, maybe with lentils, since Freddy’s mom is more or less a vegetarian, right?”

Freddy smiled. “Oh yeah. New thing she’s doing lately.”

“Sure,” Evan said. “Bring some food down later, when you get a chance.”

Hanson entered their conversation, as did Mom-Kyleigh, Matti, and even Beverly with some hand signals and a few words. All of them were getting rather hungry, and so finally it was agreed that they would head upstairs now. Belinda would stay behind, and monitor Syrrah’s condition, besides agreeing it was best for Syrrah not to eat any heavy foods now, but to keep hydrated, with plenty of liquids.

Neraeh talked to Syrrah too, asking if she felt any better, and if she wanted some drinks or food brought down later too. Syrrah agreed to some drinks, like any fruit juice, but still wanted to follow Dr. K and Belinda’s advice.

As they all walked away, Belinda glanced at Evan and then back at them heading to the elevator. “A sharp eye, Hanson,” she called out, with a nod, smirk and a wink. “I’ll keep them out of trouble.”

“Thank you,” Hanson called back, though he didn’t seem too concerned. 

After placing the other pillow from Belinda, under his head, Evan lay back and wrapped Syrrah up closer to him. “You okay, hon?”

She looked into his eyes. “Yeah, pretty much. My stomach feels a little better. I’m still tired, though.”

Belinda reached over, offering a remote and game controller. “Here. Take these.” Evan took both in his one hand. “I need to do a little clean up in the examining room. I’ll just be over there if you need me for anything.”

“I thought you would be keeping a sharp eye on us,” Evan asked, feeling a bit mischievous.  

“Oh, I will be. Don’t you worry about that.” Belinda stood upright, but kept her eyes on Evan. “But, honestly, I trust you. So, don’t break my trust.”

“He won’t,” Syrrah responded, before he could. “I’ll make sure he’s a good boy.”

Belinda laughed. “Okay, you two. Call out if you need me.” She walked away.

Evan gazed into Syrrah’s beautiful green eyes. “I might watch some TV for a while, but I’m actually rather tired, like you. But you can fall asleep right next to me, I’ll be right by you.”

She smiled. “You’re not going to take advantage of me now, are you?” She gave him a sly, seductive look.

“Now, Syrrah. I thought you just told Belinda you’ll make sure I’m a good boy.”

She closed her eyes, wrapped her arm around his chest and snuggled against him. “You’re right. I’m sorry. Though I was really just kidding.”

“I know. But, besides. I am honoring your father’s request. It is only the proper thing to do.”

She lifted her head and looked into his eyes. “Evan. Can I ask you something?”

“Sure, baby. What is it?”

“Did Heidi say she hated you, when, you know, when you called her by my name?”

“Yes. That is exactly why. Although it happened a short time later.”

“Well, yeah, it makes sense she would.”

“She was also quite upset that I had been telling her for weeks prior, that I wanted to wait until I was married, before having sex, you know, my belief, as a Christian. Don’t know what happened, but I forgot all about it, in the heat of the moment. Wanted to wait until we were married…but, well, I didn’t.”

“You were going to marry her?”

“Yeah, were, is the operative word here.”

“So…” She made sure to speak softly. “Did she…even like…what you were doing? I mean, was it anything like what we experience, together?”

“Oh, yeah, we both did. But, of course, then I ruined it, by calling out your name. But, that said, let me be perfectly clear. It was absolutely nothing like what we have together.”

“Evan.” She snuggled against him. “Thank you, really. I’m glad you told me that.”

“Of course, Syrrah, my darling.” He stroked up and down along her back, attempting to comfort her even more.

She remained near him. “Evan, did you tell your girlfriend you were sorry, that you didn’t mean what happened? And I apologize, I don’t mean to be intrusive. I’m just sort of curious.”

“Sure, it’s okay. Yes, I did. I kept telling her I was sorry, and I loved her, no matter what she called me or said to me. I explained you were from my past, and were gone now…deceased. But, it didn’t help. And that was basically the turning point. Once I turned eighteen on August sixth, the next day, Fred and I took off, to visit your hometown, your sister, hoping if I found out more about you, I would finally clear my mind of you, so Heidi and I could work things out. And, well, the rest is history.”

She moved up and kissed him on the cheek. She gazed at him, kindly. “Oh, Evan.” She sniffled a bit. “I don’t want to start crying again.” She blinked a few times and rested her head on his chest, so he couldn’t see her eyes, but he felt her tears wet through his shirt. “Thank you, with all my heart.” He even sensed her kind words reverberate into his own heart. “You saved my life.”

“Of course, hon, anything for you.” He gently tightened his embrace around her.

And you, likewise. You saved mine.

Yet he didn’t tell her this.

She sighed and nestled closer against his chest, wrapping her arms around him.

He didn’t speak to her anymore, determining she wanted to sleep. He only made sure to place the blanket around her warmly and keep her close.

He also carefully slipped off his sneakers and shoved them over to the bed’s side with his feet until they plopped softly onto the floor. No way he was keeping on those colossal boats next to her small, sock-covered feet.

Quietly, the volume low, he used the remote to pass through the channels. Anytime he arrived at a news report about Dana, himself, and Syrrah, he quickly switched on to the next channel. He finally settled on a channel discussing the latest reviews of 4-wheel drive trucks.

My Ram Girl, I miss her a ton.

But she didn’t matter that much anymore. He had who he wanted more than anything else ever in his life, sleeping in his arms. 

Nevertheless, he would love to take Syrrah for a ride in her, someday…someday soon.