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The drive from the castle on Angel Island into the city
was mostly quiet. From what Lissa could tell, Philip was as
nervous about this upcoming meeting with Thalia Hendricks as
she was...and probably had no idea why. There's something
about that symbol which doesn't seem right, Lissa thought.
Philip asked softly, "Does that symbol trouble you as
much as it troubles me?" Lissa gave a start, then nodded
with a rueful smile. She should have expected it...as
children, they had often done this. Philip continued, "I had
a feelin' it might. What are you thinkin'?"
"You mean aside from, you haven't changed that much from
when we were kids?" Lissa inquired, trying very hard not to
smile at her companion. Philip smiled ruefully and the cop
added, growing serious once more, "Ok, I think that symbol is
religious. However, we're almost to Webster, and I have a
feeling our questions will be answered there." Lissa paused,
then added with a mischievous smile, "I'll bet your accent
still thickens when you're agitated, too!" Philip rolled his
eyes, much to the amusement of his companion.
A gentle rap on the door alerted Thalia to visitors.
She smiled complacently and called, "Come in!" The door
opened and two young people, a man and a woman, slipped into
her room. Just in time, the elderly woman thought, I didn't
think I would have to wait long for them!
Thalia looked first at the young man. He was nearly six
feet tall, slim and small-boned, with dark brown hair and
pale blue eyes. Thalia remembered her ten year old great-
granddaughter sighing over the boy's good looks, and smiled.
The woman turned her attention to his companion...and
barely stifled a gasp. Elizabeth Reynolds bore a striking
resemblance to a long-ago friend of Thalia's, a woman named
'Barbara Rayne.' This petite girl also had curly dark hair
and dark hazel eyes. Thalia took a gamble and said, "I knew
two young people from the Luna Foundation were coming...but
I had no idea that Derek Rayne's daughter was a visitor."
Elizabeth's eyes widened and she gasped, "How did you
know? I didn't find out for certain until yesterday
morning!" The girl looked at Father Callaghan anxiously, and
he put a gentle hand on her shoulder. Thalia noted the
gesture, the mixture of long-time affection and concern.
She replied, "You bear a striking resemblance to your
grandmother, child...I knew her and your grandfather long
ago. And, your mother was one of my students. She told me
that William Reynolds wasn't the father of her child...but
that's all she would ever tell me." Elizabeth looked away,
her mouth twisting, and Thalia continued, "I am so sorry,
child...she should have told you sooner."
"She tried to tell us just before she died...my father
and me," Elizabeth murmured, leaning back into Father Philip,
"but she just didn't have the strength. I try not to think
about what my life would have been like if she had told us.
It would hurt too much if I did know."
Thalia gestured the girl to come closer, which she did
as Father Philip's hands dropped away. For the first time,
Thalia realized that Elizabeth could See. She took
Elizabeth's hand and thought, show me what this child's life
would have been like as Derek Rayne's heir. Thalia sighed
deeply as images overwhelmed her. The traumas which had led
her to become a policewoman in this reality would have never
taken place, and instead, Lissa Rayne would have begun her
training to battle the darkness at the age of fifteen. There
would have been countless battles with her father, but in the
end, Derek's immense love for his daughter, and her love for
him, would prove strongest of all.
At last, Thalia released the girl's hand and said, "So,
you wish to know about our urn?" Elizabeth nodded and Thalia
said, "Please sit, for my story is a long one. It began over
seventy-five years ago. And, you should know that like your
father and you, I have the ability to See what others cannot.
But, I also have the ability to See what might have been."
Elizabeth froze as she asked, "What might have been?
You can see what my life would have been like as Derek's
daughter?" Thalia nodded, waiting for the girl to ask the
next question, but instead, she took a deep breath and said,
"I see. So, your story begins when you were a child?"
Thalia smiled and answered, "Yes. The story actually
begins a few years before my birth, when a young man named
'Andreas' began doing magic tricks for the children in our
village. I was born on the island of Crete. Andreas had
long been interested in magic, ever since he was a child."
"Greece is magical," Father Philip said solemnly, and
Thalia noticed the glance he gave Elizabeth. Interesting,
she thought, he knows something which she doesn't, and he
believes that's how it must stay. But what could it be?
However, she replied, "So it is, Father Philip. And for
years, Andreas was content to do his tricks for the children.
But, like many, he was gradually drawn to dark magic. By the
time I was seven, we had heard whispers of what Andreas was
doing in the great house...stories of child sacrifice and
other unholy rituals. Every year, more and more children
disappeared. Finally, when I was ten, the village priest
and a local law officer vowed to stop Andreas."
"How were they certain that Andreas was behind the
children's disappearance? I don't know about 1921 Greece,
but we need probable cause. And rumors don't qualify for
probable cause, we need something concrete," Elizabeth
commented and Thalia nodded. The young woman blushed and
said, "Sorry about that, Mrs. Hendricks. I didn't mean to
interrupt you. Old habits, I suppose."
"No apology necessary, child. One of the children
escaped from the Great House, and told the priest her story
before dying. The priest had long suspected that Andreas was
behind the disappearances, and he had been urging parents to
keep their children away from the Great House. But, children
will be children," Thalia replied.
"So the priest and this law officer joined forces and
killed Andreas?" Father Philip asked and Thalia shook her
head, closing her eyes briefly. After all these years, the
images from that night were still unbearably clear. The
young priest asked anxiously, "Are you all right, Mrs.
Hendricks? Should we go? Do you need a nurse or a doctor?"
"No, dear boy, I'm fine. I had thought I had banished
my ghosts, but they are still with me. No, Andreas killed
the priest and the officer...and in making an example of
them, caused his own death. When the bodies of the priest
and the officer were discovered, the villagers were enraged.
They all headed to the Great House...many taking their
children with them. Some of them forcefully, I'm afraid.
The sound of the children weeping has stayed with me, also.
I went with my parents, half-afraid and half curious. Like
any ten year old would be," Thalia said quietly, half in the
present and half in the past.
She paused, taking a deep breath, and Elizabeth covered
her hand. Thalia squeezed the young woman's hand, drawing
strength from her, then continued, "He was burned alive by
the villagers. As he died, he swore that he would return,
though not in his own body...and that the world would
tremble before him. I can still smell his flesh and his hair
burning..." Thalia shuddered, her voice trailing off.
Father Philip said slowly, "So this urn contained
Andreas' ashes, his essence. And your father, or someone,
carved a symbol on the base of the urn...to keep Andreas
from returning?" Thalia nodded and the priest continued,
"Then why did it have the opposite effect? Why, when Jason
Daugherty touched that symbol, did it release Andreas?"
"I'm not sure," Thalia admitted, "my uncle did carve
that symbol, and he told me when he died to keep it away from
the living...that if a living being ever touched that
symbol, they would cease to exist. I later learned from
another uncle, who was a Greek Orthodox priest, that the
symbol was to ward off evil." She caught a glance between
her two visitors, and said, "So, you already know why that
urn was in the family crypt, rather than a house?"
"Yes, my father and I realized it last night. It could
be that Andreas had magic more powerful...that he was able
to subvert the symbol to his own purpose, so that when it was
touched, he could escape," Elizabeth replied. She fell
silent, and Thalia nodded. What the girl said made sense.
Elizabeth asked, "Do you have any idea how to stop Andreas?
He has already taken another body for his own."
Thalia felt as if she'd been kicked in the chest. Once
she could breathe again, she replied, "No, child, I don't. I
know little of stopping demons, much less demons which take
over the bodies of the dead. I wish I could be of more aid,
but I've told you everything I know."
"It's all right, Mrs. Hendricks," Elizabeth said, rising
slowly to her feet. Philip Callaghan followed suit. Thalia
took the boy's hand...asking what his life would have been
like if he hadn't been Called to the priesthood. Thalia
closed her eyes as images flashed through her mind, then
nodded...it was as she thought. However, she said nothing
of her Vision to the young man. Elizabeth continued, "Thank
you for your help...we really do appreciate it."
"I wish I could have helped more. Your decision not to
see what your life would have been like as the heir of Derek
Rayne does you credit, Elizabeth. The past cannot be
changed, dear girl, and you have been given a second chance
with your father. Do not squander it, but I don't believe
you will. You've learned the hard way just how precious a
father's love is. It's a lesson you'll never forget," Thalia
replied, releasing the priest's hand.
Elizabeth nodded with a rueful smile. The two young
people started to leave. Thalia called, "Beware, Lissa
Rayne! Beware!" Elizabeth turned and nodded, then she and
Father Philip departed. Thalia lay back against her pillows,
silently praying for the two children who had just left her
and for the children whom they protected.
Philip and Lissa were silent as they walked back to her
car, but once they were both buckled up and ready to go,
Philip said quietly, "I don't know about you, Lissa, but that
was just a little bit un-nervin'." The young cop cast a
rueful look at her childhood friend.
"Yeah, 'un-nerving' is one way of putting it. Do you
think she's right, Philip? Did I do the right thing, in not
asking her how my life would have been different?" Lissa
asked hesitantly as she backed the car out of her parking
space. Philip was silent while Lissa pulled up to the curb.
"Yes, I do. When she took my hand, she was seein' what
my life would have been like if I hadn't become a priest," he
replied at last. Lissa nodded. That, she had figured out
immediately. Philip asked softly, "How did it feel when she
called you 'Lissa Rayne' before we left?" Lissa didn't
respond at first...she was trying to merge with traffic.
Once she was safe in the proper lane, she replied, "It
felt right, Philip...as if that was really my name. Well,
that's who I am...I am Lissa Rayne. But until Derek
feels comfortable in announcing it to the world, I'll be
'Lissa Reynolds.' I hate carrying the name of that monster,
make no mistake, but Derek's peace of mind is worth it."
"You're a good daughter, Lissa," Philip observed. Lissa
shook her head, observing from the corner of her eye the way
the wind blew Philip's hair away from his face. The priest
continued insistently, his Irish accent thickening, "You are,
Lissa! You've been very gentle with Derek the last few days,
tryin' to look after him while dealin' with your mother's
bombshell. I'm really proud of you."
"Each of us does what she must," Lissa replied quietly
and Philip grinned. Lissa thought of something which had
been said the previous afternoon, while they were talking
with Corinne Daugherty. She said, settling herself against
her seat, "Now, I have a question for you, Philip Joseph."
Philip rolled his eyes at the use of his full name and
sighed, "Now I know I'm in trouble...the only time you ever
use that is when you're seriously annoyed with me. Ask away,
Elizabeth." Lissa grinned, but that smile quickly faded. I
should have asked him about this yesterday, she thought, or
this morning, but the urn was worrying me. It still did.
She replied, "No, Philip, you'll know when I'm seriously
annoyed with you. Besides, how many times have you called me
'Elizabeth Marie' or 'Elizabeth Marie Anne' without being
annoyed?" Philip nodded in acknowledgment, then Lissa asked
quietly, "When did you plan to tell me about Michael?"
Philip was silent for several moments, then replied, "I
wasn't ready to talk about it yet, Lissa...that's all. The
wound...it's still fresh. It's like Mrs. Daugherty said
yesterday, it takes years to stop feelin' fragile after
somethin' like that happens. I'm sorry."
"It's ok, Philip, there's no need for you to apologize.
I was just concerned. Are you ready to talk about it yet?"
Lissa asked. There was a brief silence, and out of the
corner of her eye, she saw him nod. Lissa asked softly, "How
did it happen? He wasn't sick or anything like that, was
he?" Philip shook his head and Lissa fell silent, respecting
his need to gather his thoughts.
At last, Philip said, "Michael was a barrister...a
lawyer, in Manchester on business. The IRA rigged a car to
explode, injuring a girl on a bike. Michael went to help
her...the second explosion..." Philip's voice trailed
off. Lissa glanced into her rear-view mirror...the coast
was clear, so she pulled off. She put the car in park as
Philip whispered, "I didn't even get to say good-bye."
Lissa put her hand on his shoulder, wishing she could
ease his pain. Philip continued in a low voice, "I was so
angry...why Michael? Why not me? I've done things I'm
terribly ashamed of, and what did Michael ever do? But he's
gone, I'm here, and there are five kids without a father!"
"Philip, you're only human...and you know, people who
respond to that kind of tragedy with 'it's God's will' bug
me. That seems like taking the easy way out, to blame it on
God. People do evil things to each other because it's part
of human nature. Besides, what kind of God takes a young man
from his family, leaving yet another generation of small ones
to grow up without a father?" Lissa inquired.
Philip nodded and said, "Yes, exactly. What kind of God
allows this...and how can I fight these battles for Him?
At the funeral, my nieces and nephews clung to me and their
mother. My oldest nephew, Joseph...he's ten...asked me
how this could happen. I didn't know how to answer."
"How do you explain to a ten year old that God does love
us, when good people like his father are killed in senseless
acts of violence? I don't know anyone with the answer. Did
you tell him that you didn't know?" Lissa asked and Philip
nodded. Lissa asked, "How did he take it?"
"He wasn't pleased with the answer. His mother
overheard and told him that I didn't have all the answers. I
don't even have most of the answers, Lissa! Joseph's next
question...what good is a priest if he doesn't have the
answers. What good is an uncle if he can't comfort his
nephew?" Philip asked, his voice raw with emotion.
He wiped away his tears, then continued, "Erin is the
youngest, she's four. I was sittin' in the nursery after the
funeral, lookin' at old pictures of Michael and me, and
started cryin' like a kid. I felt a hand on my wrist and
there was Erin. She touched my face and said, 'Don't cry,
Uncle Pip, Da's with the angels.' I picked her, but couldn't
stop cryin,' no matter how hard I tried."
Lissa's eyes blurred with tears as she listened to
Philip talk. I should have been there for him, she thought,
dammit, I should have been there for Philip, I could have
helped him! She muttered angrily, "I should have been there
for you...I should have been able to help you!"
Philip looked at her through his tears, surprise evident
in his expression, and said, "Elizabeth, up until a month
ago, you were comatose. The only way you could have helped
me...we agreed that we weren't goin' to think about what
might have been. You can't blame yourself for not bein'
there, it wasn't your fault. And I did get through Michael's
death. Promise me that you'll never say that again."
Those eight words echoed in Lissa's mind, recalling
childhood promises. Promise me that we'll be friends
forever, promise that you won't scare me like that again...
Lissa replied softly, "I'm sorry. You're right. And I do
promise that I won't say something like that again, it just
slipped out. You want a pinkie promise?"
A small smile edged the corners of her companion's mouth
and he replied, "That's not necessary. We'll save the pinkie
promise for somethin' really important. Like, me baptizin'
your first-born." Once more, that secret place inside her
heart was pierced, but Lissa just smiled.
"Make it my first-born son, and you have a deal. I
think I'll consecrate my first-born daughter to the pagan
goddess Brighid," she replied. Philip glared at her, and
Lissa burst out laughing. She said, "I'm sorry, bad joke on
my part. I was just testing your reflexes."
Philip just shook his head, but Lissa could tell from
the corner of her eye that he was trying not to smile. After
a moment, the young priest sighed and said, "Well...all
right. You are an incorrigible woman, Elizabeth, but we'll
discuss that later. We should get goin' to the precinct."
"You're right...the chief is expecting us, and if we
don't get back to the castle by noon, Derek will probably
send Nick for us," Lissa replied ruefully. Philip nodded and
the young cop asked, "Are you all right?" Again, her friend
nodded and Lissa said, "Okay, then we're off." She waited
until traffic was clear, then pulled back onto the road.
As she drove, Philip said quietly, "You would have been
there for me if it had been possible. I know that, Lissa.
Just as I would have been there to protect you from Reynolds
if I could have been. Never doubt that." Lissa flashed him
a quick smile, then Philip continued, "I do wish Michael
could have lived long enough to see you again. He would have
been really pleased to see the kind of woman you've become."
Again, Lissa smiled, though her eyes stung.
Nick had gone into Lissa's room to learn why she had
been distraught enough to go to the docks...but he ended up
getting to know both Philip and Lissa as children. It showed
him a side of Philip he had never seen before...the impish
little boy whose antics made everyone laugh.
Even before Ellen's suicide, Philip had been quiet and
reserved. Certainly, he had a wry sense of humor, but even
when Nick first met him, Philip had been shy. That was not
the youngster whom Fiona wrote of in her diary.
I wish I could have known that boy, Nick thought, then
smiled to himself as he read an entry which took place
shortly after Alicia's death. Fiona had written, 'The last
few days have been so sad and somber, I've left Lissa with
Molly. The Legacy House is no place for a little girl, and
Molly won't allow William to hurt Lissa. It's no place for a
little boy, either, but Philip is Derek's godson.
"And it's just as well that he's here. This afternoon,
while Maeve was on the phone to her mother, Derek came into
the kitchen, laughing, with Philip trailing behind him and
looking very pleased with himself. Actually laughing!
Apparently, Philip pulled a prank of some kind. Derek
managed to tell Maeve, who immediately began laughing. She
told him, 'Philip Callaghan, you'll be the death of me!' She
hugged and kissed him as she said this. Maybe I don't want
to know what Philip did...Lissa has an uncanny ability to
read my mind, and she might decide to do something similar!"
Nick's smile faded as he read the next entry, which was
nearly six months later. Fiona had written, "The last five
months have been exhausting at best. My dear friend Maeve
and her husband Thomas were killed in a plane crash on the
very day I last wrote in this diary. They were landing in
Dublin, when something went wrong with the gear. The two
boys both survived...Michael had a broken leg, and Philip.
Well, I suppose you could say Philip had a broken heart. He
wouldn't speak for several months after the crash...partly
due to the trauma of his parents' death and partly due to his
biddy of a grandmother.
"I'm a terrible Christian, I know. I've not told Derek
that he is Lissa's true father, and now I'm making cruel
remarks about Nuala Ryan. Well, I am sorry, but that woman
hurt an innocent little boy! She actually had the nerve to
tell poor little Philip that Thomas and Maeve's deaths were
his fault! Not just once, but over and over! Well, finally,
Michael got tired of it. He hated what his grandmother was
doing to Philip, so he got his grandfather to call Derek.
Philip has been living with Derek ever since.
"It took my sweet little Lissa to break through to the
poor child, though. At first, he refused to speak to anyone.
He clung to Derek, who has unlimited patience with children,
bless his heart. In any event, perhaps he recognized another
lost soul in my daughter, because Derek told me last night
that Philip had informed him that Lissa was his very best
friend in the whole wide world...besides Derek.
"If it weren't so sad, we would have both laughed. At
least, I would have. But Philip...the poor kid is
terrified of losing more people he loves. Right now, Derek
and Lissa are the only constants in his life. He's starting
to warm to me...gradually, but his eyes light up when he
sees Lissa. And my daughter...she's only five years old,
but seeing Alicia's death through Derek's eyes has changed
her. She's still a little girl...but she isn't."
Nick smiled at the woman's remarks about Lissa and
Philip. He glanced at his watch...he had been in Lissa's
room for a little over a half hour. In those thirty-two
minutes, he had learned an extraordinary amount about his two
friends. I won't forget what I learned, either, Nick thought
as he put away Fiona's diary, I will never forget. He
glanced around Lissa's room once more and nodded. Yes, Lissa
was finally where she belonged, there was no question of
that. And here she would stay.
Lissa wasn't expecting anything to happen when she and
Philip reached the precinct...she certainly wasn't
expecting the standing ovation she received from her fellow
officers. It wasn't just her Vice colleagues, but the
Homicide and Crimes Against Children divisions.
Her face grew very hot and she started to back away, but
Philip blocked her path with an impish grin. Sandy Horowitz,
a slim young woman with raven hair and coal black eyes, came
forward with a broad grin of her own and hugged Lissa
tightly. Lissa returned the embrace and the older woman
said, "It's about time you got here, kid! The chief filled
us in on what's been happening in your life."
Lissa shrugged as she pulled away. So much for keeping
her paternity a secret! I should have expected this, the
young woman thought as she answered, "What can I tell you,
I've been busy lately. Sandy, I think you remember Father
Callaghan, don't you?" She accompanied this question with a
warning glance, which Sandy blithely ignored. Typical Sandy,
Lissa thought, but it's too late to change her now.
"Of course I remember Father Wh...Father Callaghan
from our stakeout last year!" the other young woman retorted,
choking off what she had been about to say when Lissa elbowed
her sharply in the ribs. Not that it did much good...every
last person in the precinct knew exactly what she planned to
say. Including a fiercely-blushing Philip.
"Behave yourself, Alessandria...not only is he my
parish priest, he was also my best friend when I was a kid.
So watch your step around him, or you'll answer to me!" Lissa
warned her partner. Sandy raised an eyebrow, then assumed a
demure expression. Lissa laughed in spite of herself,
saying, "Don't even bother, Sandy, I know you better than
that! The innocent act doesn't work!"
"It might not work with you, but maybe it will work with
Father Philip!" Sandy answered with a mischievous grin.
Lissa glanced over her shoulder at Philip, sighing. The
young priest had turned another shade of red, and Sandy would
have said more, but Chief Markham entered the room. The
other officers and detectives immediately dispersed, leaving
Sandy, Philip, and Lissa in the center of the room. Sandy's
dark eyes were dancing with mischief, and Lissa shook her
head. I gotta do something about this gal, she thought.
"Horowitz, don't you have anything better to do than
harass Father Callaghan? Would you treat your rabbi with
such disrespect?" the chief asked. Sandy grinned, winked at
Lissa, then walked back to her desk without answering the
chief's question. Dennis Markham shook his head and sighed,
"Sorry about that, you two...I'm afraid Sandy went a little
nuts after you were shot, Lissa."
"That's my husband's rabbi! And he isn't as much fun to
tease as Father Callaghan," Sandy called from her desk, "he's
about sixty, married, and isn't nearly as cute!" Philip
turned even redder, then Sandy added more seriously, "And I
didn't go nuts, Chief, I just wanted to catch whoever put my
partner in a coma. That's all. And I didn't even get to do
that, dammit! None of the friggin' evidence pointed to him!"
"Mark Herbert can't hurt any more people," Philip said
quietly, his face still bright red, "but this urn can. Chief
Markham, can you take us to it, please?" The chief nodded
and led them down the hall to the lab. Philip murmured to
Lissa, "I don't remember Sandy being so..."
"Outlandish? Same here. But people change a lot, even
within just a year. I found that out when I woke up to find
my little sister an adult. Sandy was never exactly quiet,
but she was a little more subtle before I was shot," Lissa
replied in an undertone. Philip nodded as they reached the
evidence room. The young cop smiled at the sergeant on duty.
"Hey, Greg...how are you doing?" she asked. The man
looked at her, then he gave a whoop of joy. He grabbed her
by the waist and spun her around a few times. Lissa giggled
as Sergeant Gregory Montoya set her on her feet again, his
dark eyes glowing with pleasure.
"Kid, you don't know how glad I am to see you! Horowitz
has been driving me nuts for the last month, ever since you
woke up! Hi, Father Philip, I'm Greg Montoya, Andy's dad,"
Greg replied, releasing Lissa to shake Philip's hand. The
young priest returned the handshake, smiling.
"Andy's a good lad...he just takes a lot of pleasure
in drivin' Sister Antonia crazy," Philip answered, grinning.
Lissa laughed, thinking of her sister's stories about Sister
Antonia, and Philip continued, "He's also very proud of you.
He won't tell the other kids, but he does tell me. Outside
the confessional, so you don't have to worry about my
breakin' a confidence. He's very, very proud of you."
Greg's smile widened, though Lissa hadn't believed that
was possible, and he said, "Well, I suppose the two of you
would like to sign for that urn. Kiddo, I won't even ask
what that thing is. I'm hearing really nasty stuff about
what happened in St. Bart's Cemetery, so be careful." Lissa
nodded as she signed for the urn. Greg was silent, then
asked quietly, "So you're really Derek Rayne's kid, huh?
Markham told the entire precinct last night."
"Yep...the DNA tests came back yesterday. Mark
Herbert said something before he died, and well...it's kind
of a long story. I'll tell you about it one of these days,"
Lissa replied and Greg nodded as he went into the evidence
room to get the urn. Lissa looked at her childhood friend
and asked quietly, "Philip, why do I get the feeling that
he's not just making idle conversation? Why do I get the
feeling that he's trying to tell me something?"
"I'm gettin' the same sense, Lissa. There's somethin'
on his mind, somethin' that troubles him about your
relationship to Derek. I only hope he tells us what's on his
mind," Philip answered softly. Lissa nodded. Yes, she felt
the same way. Though she couldn't quite identify what was
troubling Greg, she was certain it dealt with Derek in some
way. But what could it be?
"Is there anything you haven't told me yet?" Lissa
whispered and Philip flinched. Startled by his reaction, the
young cop asked, "Is there anything you haven't told me about
Derek and his enemies?" Philip paused, then shook his head.
However, Lissa was puzzled by his strange reaction. Is he
hiding something from me, she wondered, if so, then what?
Greg returned with a small case, which he opened. Lissa
released a breath which she hadn't even realized she had been
holding, and smiled apologetically at Greg. He said, "It's
okay, kid. Just do me a favor...be careful. Derek Rayne
has a lot of enemies...I don't want you to get caught in
the crossfire if one of 'em goes after your dad.
Philip and Lissa were silent for several moments after
Greg warned Lissa about Derek's enemies. At last, the young
woman said softly, "I know about Randolph Hitchcock, Greg.
Alicia Summers was my aunt." Philip nodded, though he
recalled that Derek had other enemies. Like Victor Arkady.
"Hitchcock isn't the only problem, kiddo. A man like
Derek Rayne makes enemies, just by being who he is. Just be
careful, that's all I ask. When are you coming back to work
full time?" Greg asked and Lissa shrugged, though her eyes
remained steady on the other officer's face.
"I'm not sure yet. I still have some sick leave which
the chief gave me. Greg, if you know something specific,
then please tell me. Derek is afraid for my safety as well,
and I want to know what's going on. Vague threats...vague
warnings...they don't do the trick with me, you should know
that by now," Lissa replied. Greg Montoya sighed, and Lissa
continued, also sighing, "All right. You aren't going to
tell me, at least not right now."
"Kid, there is nothing to tell! Nothing specific, at
least. I just hear things from the kids on the street...I
mean, the rookies. They hear things...Randolph Hitchcock
foots the bill, and at least a hundred low-lifes jump to do
his bidding. I've heard nothing concrete...just watch your
back," Greg replied. Lissa hesitated, then nodded.
"Okay, fair 'nuff. But I want you to do something for
me...after Derek acknowledges me to the world as his
daughter, put the word out on the street. Anyone who goes
after Derek Rayne will answer to me. Same thing holds true
for the rest of the Luna Foundation. They are part of my
family now, and I will protect them with my last breath, if
necessary. Do you think they'll get the message?" she asked.
As she spoke, she leaned forward, placing both hands on
the desk. Her dark hazel eyes bored into Greg's brown eyes,
and the sergeant nodded. He said, "If they don't, kid, it's
their hide. Let me know if you need backup."
Lissa grinned as she picked up the case which held the
urn and said, "You got it. C'mon, Philip, let's scram.
Derek will send out the National Guard and the SEALS if we
don't get back to the House within the next half hour."
Philip bit down on his lower lip, trying not to laugh at her
reference to Nick, and nodded. Lissa told Greg, "Catch ya
'round like a doughnut."
The sergeant nodded and Lissa headed out the door.
Philip started to follow her, but Greg bounded to his feet
and grabbed his arm. He said softly, "Look after her, padre.
You know what kind of enemies Derek Rayne has. Make sure she
doesn't get caught in the crossfire. The chief also told us
how she got shot the last time...how she was caught in the
crossfire when someone went gunning for her step-father.
Make sure that doesn't happen again."
Though he didn't like people grabbing him, men or women,
Philip didn't pull away. He said quietly, "We'll all look
after Lissa. Her college roommate is also in the Luna
Foundation, and we're all going to take care of her." Greg
nodded, relaxing, and Philip followed Lissa from the evidence
room. As she had said, they still had to return to the
castle. Still, he couldn't shake the feeling that there was
still more which Greg wasn't telling them. Something which
troubled him about Derek, and about this urn.
At the castle, Derek worked in his office for most of
the morning, catching up on paperwork which was neglected
after Lissa's second return to the castle four days earlier.
Derek closed his eyes, remembering the way his heart raced in
his chest as his daughter walked toward him and the others.
They had gone inside, once Derek welcomed his daughter
home, and Duncan immediately took Lissa's coat. She had
seemed at odds with herself, not quite knowing what to do or
what to say. Philip gently suggested that Nick take her to
her room, while the young priest would take Maeve to hers,
and the girls took leave of each other after the younger
sister squeezed the elder's hand.
Almost against his will, Derek followed Lissa and Nick
upstairs to her room. Nick had said as he carried her
suitcase and duffel bag upstairs, "You know, Lis, I can drive
you into town if you'd like to decorate your room. Posters,
pictures, whatever...Derek won't care. In fact, I think
he'd be pleased if you did that." Lissa had put her hand on
the back of Nick's shoulders as they walked into her room.
"I don't know how long I'll stay, Nick. I'm...I'm in
shock, I think. For some reason, I didn't expect to find
what I did. I'm not upset, you understand...it just never
occurred to me that Derek was my father. I've wished so many
times that he was, and now to find out that he is...how did
he take it, Nick?" Lissa had asked.
"That's a really good question, Lis. I think he's
pleased that he is your father. Right now, the only person
whom I can read is Philip...he's angry with your mother,
and with Bishop Douglas. Yeah, he told me that himself. I
guess Douglas knew all along about your step-father abusing
you, and he never did anything about it," Nick had answered
as he set the bags on the bed.
Lissa sat down beside the bags and whispered, "I don't
know even what I'm feeling, Nick. My father was only
seventeen years old when I was born. I know that my mother
was trying to protect him...sort of. Let's face it, having
to deal with a baby, when he was just a kid himself...
that's not fair to him, Nick. And yet, she had so many
opportunites to tell him later! The thing I don't get is,
why I never met you? Your father was in the Legacy, he was
an uncle to me...but until I woke up, I never met you."
"I don't know, Lis. I didn't meet Derek until my
father's funeral. It's just one of those things," Nick
replied. Lissa had nodded with a sigh, and Nick said,
"Listen, I need to check on Pip...I mean, check on Maeve.
Damn, I gotta get used to calling her that!"
Lissa had laughed and answered, "I know what you mean.
Listen, could you pass me my purse? Thanks. I'll be fine,
Nick, don't worry about me. 'Sides, you don't really think
Derek would allow anything to happen to me?" Nick had
glanced out the door, where Derek was standing.
"Then you'll be in good hands. I'll be back in about
five minutes," the young man had said. He gently squeezed
Lissa's shoulder, then left the room. Derek had entered as
his daughter withdrew a ponytail holder from her purse, and
she smiled a bit wearily.
"I just wanted to make sure you were getting settled in
all right," Derek had said awkwardly and Lissa nodded. They
stared at each other in silence for several moments, then
Derek reached out to touch a strand of Lissa's dark brown
hair. He murmured, "My beautiful, beautiful daughter."
Lissa had looked away and muttered, "I'm not beautiful,
Derek. I may not be ugly, like Reynolds always said, but I'm
not beautiful either." Derek had captured her chin, forcing
her to look at him, and he saw the tears shining in her eyes.
Seeing those tears...it was like being stabbed in the
heart, because hurting Lissa was the last thing he wanted.
"You are beautiful to me, Elizabeth. You were a lovely
child, and you've become a beautiful woman. You don't want
to call your father a liar, do you?" Derek had asked, trying
to coax a smile. The young woman had responded with a rueful
grin, and Derek said, "Much better. I'll leave you to
unpack. Call me, or Philip, if you need anything. The last
time I saw Philip, he was on his way to the library. That
place was always magic for you both." Lissa had grinned, a
true smile this time, which took Derek's breath away.
"This entire castle is magic, Derek," Lissa had replied
in that solemn voice he recognized. He had touched her hair,
then quietly slipped from her room. All the while, he kept
thinking...my daughter. Elizabeth is my daughter. All
this time, I had a child and I didn't know it.
Derek was jerked back to the present when the front door
slammed. At first, he thought, Lissa and Philip are back
from the precinct and the retirement home, then he heard the
unmistakeable sound of Kat's laughter. Derek smiled sadly
and returned his attention to his paperwork.
Philip and Lissa walked out to the car together in
silence. Philip carried the box holding the urn, while Lissa
dug into her purse for her car keys. At last, Philip said
quietly, "You're still troubled by what Sergeant Montoya
said, aren't you? About Derek."
"Yes," Lissa admitted, "I can't shake the feeling that
he's not telling me everything. He says that he hasn't heard
anything concrete...and Greg has never lied to me. It's
just...I don't know. Something doesn't quite feel right.
I know Derek has enemies...we all do. Well, except you."
"Don't be so sure, Lissa. Priests make enemies, too,
often without trying," Philip answered. Lissa nodded.
Philip started to speak, to say something else, but his
thoughts were driven straight out of his head by a horrifying
sight...a man standing across the street. He was in his
late forties, several years older than Derek...at least, he
would have been if he was still alive. The man who stood
across the street, staring at them, was William Reynolds.
"Lissa..." Philip whispered as his friend stared at
the man. Its lips moved, and Philip heard what he said, even
though the Reynolds entity was across the street. It was one
word, but that one word caused a cold finger to trail down
Philip's spine. The word was 'remember.' What frightened
him even more was Lissa's reaction. The car keys dropped out
of her hand. Then she sank to the ground. Philip ran around
to the other side of the car, still clutching the urn. He
grabbed the keys and unlocked the door, then threw the urn
inside. With that taken care of, he drew Lissa into his
arms, shuddering at the emptiness in her eyes.
The sight of her late step-father standing across the
street from them had been frightening enough for Lissa...
but seeing his condition was even worse. He didn't have much
of a face, and it was rather obvious that he had been
decaying under the ground for over a year.
However, Lissa was more or less in control until the
entity mouthed the word 'remember.' And she did... She
was in a pool, in the arms of a young man. His arms around
her waist felt so good, so reassuring. And his lips were
pressed against her...so warm. Lissa simply allowed
herself to enjoy the sensation of his body pressed against
hers. And then she saw her companion's face...
"Lissa? Lissa, please, don't do this, not again! Sweet
Jesus, what's happenin' to her?" she heard Philip cry out.
Lissa blinked, and for the first time, realized that she was
kneeling on the ground. Philip was cradling her in his arms,
brushing a lock of hair back from her forehead. He smiled
when she blinked, whispering, "Thank God. You scared me."
Lissa pulled back from him, staring at the face of her
long-time friend. She could still feel his hands at the
small of her back, his lips pressed against hers. My best
friend when I was a kid, she thought, and my parish priest.
Glory be, I kissed my own priest in our dreams!
Philip asked softly, "Lissa, what is it? Why are you
lookin' at me like that?" His voice trembled a little, and
he offered her a weak smile. Lissa looked at him, feeling as
if she was looking at a stranger. The face was familiar, as
was the voice, but she didn't feel that she knew this man.
However, she said only, "I'm not feeling very well,
Philip. Do you have your license with you?" He bobbed his
head once, and Lissa continued, "Could you drive home,
please? I think I'm strong enough to get to the passenger
side." Once more, Philip nodded and Lissa pulled herself to
her feet. The dizziness started to recede as she forced
herself around the back of the car and opened the door. When
they were both inside the Taurus and buckled up, Philip
started the car and headed for home.
Kat had worn herself out playing, so she went to her
room to take a nap. Maeve had free time on her hands, so she
began wandering around the castle. Maeve closed her eyes as
she leaned against the wall beside her room. Four days she
had been back in this great House...four days since she had
learned the truth about her older sister. And four days
since Maeve's greatest fear had been realized. Or so it had
seemed at the time. The teenager opened her eyes once more,
sighing deeply as she walked through the halls of the House
which she now knew as well as the house where she grew up.
I honestly thought that I would lose my sister, Maeve
thought, when we found out that Derek was her biological
father, I really thought that I would lose her. And yet,
we're as close as we ever were. Sure, she's spending a lot
of time on this weird case, but that's not unusual.
"You look a little lost," Alex commented and Maeve
looked up with a smile. She had wandered into the library,
where Alex was checking on something for another case, which
had nothing to do with the Grecian urn. So many things had
changed in the last four days. But Alex hadn't. And Philip
was still her parish priest...it was just that now, he
was also her sister's friend from childhood.
"Not lost. I had some free time, and I didn't know what
to do with myself. I was just thinking, that's all. I was
so sure that I would lose my big sister after we found out
the whole truth...but I haven't. She's been pretty busy
with this case, but Lissa has always put a lot of effort into
her work. I just...I suppose I'm trying to figure out
where I fit into this whole thing," Maeve replied.
"I can understand that. Everyone is a little shaky at
the moment...we're all trying to figure out how things are
different and the same. We're all trying to figure out how
to relate to each other," Alex obsered and Maeve nodded.
"Yeah, that's exactly right. And it's not just that,
Alex. My parish priest turns out to be my sister's childhood
best friend...I mean, I've been listening to some of
Lissa's stories about when she and Philip were kids. I was
eleven years old when he came to the parish, and I remember
the very first time I saw him. Do you know what I was
thinking?" the girl asked. Alex shook her head and Maeve
continued, "I thought, now he'd be good for Lissa!"
"An eleven year old matchmaker. Well, that's not a new
concept. Bet you were pretty disappointed when you found out
that he was a priest. That was my reaction, and my friend
Julia's," Alex observed with a sad smile.
"Julia was the lady who was killed before you met Rachel
and Kat? Kat told me about that," Maeve commented and Alex
nodded sadly. The teenager continued, "And Nick is still
kinda angry with Derek for that. He didn't tell me...I can
tell from his eyes. He thinks Julia's death could have been
prevented. Lissa told me once that those wounds hurt the
most." Alex frowned and Maeve explained, "The things that
can't be helped. Like Julia's death. It wasn't Derek's
fault that she died, right? Now Kerry's death, that could
have been prevented. Kerry was Lissa's first partner. She
was killed almost four years ago. I don't think Lissa has
ever forgiven herself for that...even though nothing she
did could have prevented it. She doesn't believe that."
"Sometimes, Maeve, even though you think there was
something you could have done to prevent a tragedy, there
really is nothing. Lissa mentioned Kerry earlier...said
that it should have never happened. But she didn't tell me
why," Alex replied. Maeve hesitated. She had brought it up,
yes, but how much she tell about Kerry's death?
"Lissa and Kerry were put in a situation they weren't
trained for. It wasn't Lissa's fault that Kerry was killed,
but she still blames herself," Maeve said. Alex nodded and
Maeve changed the subject, "So, have you come up with
anything interesting for this other case?"
Lissa spoke very little during the ride home, and her
silence was like a knife in Philip's heart. She had
remembered the dreams. There was no doubt in his mind about
that...she had remembered the dreams which re-established
their childhood connection.
There was also no doubt in Philip's mind that the
appearance of the entity had pushed the memories to the
surface. For a brief moment, the young man wished he could
forget that he was a priest and do some rather permanent
damage to the entity which had taken William Reynolds' body.
To say nothing of Reynolds himself.
However, that would do nothing to help the quiet young
woman huddled against the passenger door. And that was what
Philip really wanted...to somehow help Lissa. He was
miserably aware that he had hurt her, by not telling her
about the dreams himself. But he had no idea how to do so.
How did you tell a woman about something like that?
Especially when recalling those dreams sent chills through
Philip...that was the most difficult part of the dreams,
remembering his own reaction to Lissa's mouth against his.
Philip leaned his head back as the ferry carried them
across the San Francisco Bay toward Angel Island. He wished
Lissa would say something...anything. Even if she yelled
at him, it was better than this silence. However, he didn't
have the courage to speak first. He barely had the courage
to look at her. She held their very special package on her
lap, her arms wrapped around the box which held the urn.
Philip closed his eyes, remembering her arms around him.
Stop it, he thought, just stop that right now!
Once she and Philip reached the castle, Lissa placed the
urn in a glass case in the control room, then retreated to
her room without speaking to anyone. She needed to be alone.
She needed to think. She kicked off her shoes as she sat
down on the bed, mentally re-living the dream.
I kissed my priest, she thought numbly, never mind
that he was my best friend when I was ten years old, never
mind that it was a dream, I kissed my parish priest! The
images in her mind were still so clear...both of them wet,
Philip's damp hair falling into his eyes. His hands resting
in the small of her back, his lips so warm and gentle.
Lissa moaned and fell back on her bed. She knew why
Philip hadn't told her about the dreams, of course. He knew
how she would react, and he wanted to protect her. Lissa
accepted that...he had been the same when they were
children. But she was also angry...he had promised to be
straight with her, a promise he hadn't kept.
"Lissy?" a soft voice with a gentle Irish lilt called
from the doorway. Lissa couldn't help her faint smile.
Philip hadn't called her that since they were very small.
'Lissy' had given way to 'Lis' when they were nine and seven,
after Lissa had tried to protect Philip from her step-
father's wrath. However, her smile died as she sat up.
"I need to be alone right now, Philip. Please. Leave
me," Lissa said quietly. Philip shook his head resolutely,
a familiar look of determination appearing in his pale blue
eyes. Despite the collar, despite the black clothes, he
seemed no more than fifteen or sixteen at the moment.
"I'm not leavin' until we talk, Elizabeth. I've done
somethin' to hurt you, and I wanted to apologize for it. We
both know what I'm talkin' about," Philip replied in an
equally quiet voice. Lissa slid off her bed, pulling the
pins from her hair and massaging her temples.
"You mean, the dreams? The dreams in which I contacted
you? The dreams in which I pulled you into a pool and in
which I kissed you? Those dreams?" she asked. Philip's body
jerked as if she had struck him, and Lissa continued, "Listen
to me, Pip. I can't talk about this with you right now. It
hurts too much. Remembering the content of those dreams, and
realizing that you broke your promise to me."
"All right. I suppose I don't feel up to a
confrontation at the moment, either. Derek wants my help
with this urn. I'll just tell him that you're tired," Philip
replied at last. Lissa nodded and the young priest asked
hesitantly, "Lis...d'ye think you can ever forgive me?"
A harsh laugh broke from Lissa's throat and she replied,
"It's not you I have to forgive, Philip. I'm furious with
you for breaking your promise, but I know you were trying to
protect me. I just don't know if I can ever forgive myself.
Please leave now." Philip nodded and slipped from the room.
Outside Lissa's room, Philip leaned back against the
wall, his arms wrapped around his waist. The pain in his
heart had intensified to a physical agony. God in heaven,
why won't she just yell at me and get it done with? The
young priest had never enjoyed confrontations of any kind,
but he knew they were necessary.
"Philip, are you all right?" Nick asked with obvious
concern. Philip nearly went through the opposite wall, he
was so surprised. Nick rested his hand on Philip's shoulder
and repeated, "Are you all right? You're so pale! Did
something happen while you and Lissa were out?"
An almost hysterical laugh broke from Philip, who
answered as he pushed himself away from the wall, "Yeah, I
s'pose you could say that. We just ran into the entity, who
made Lissa remember our dreams. You know, it figures. I've
let everyone in this House down, and now I've let Lissa down
as well!" Nick's green eyes reflected first confusion, then
recognition, then finally sympathy.
"C'mon, Philip," Nick said very gently, "let's give Lis
some time to sort herself out. You need some time to sort
yourself out before you go help Derek with that urn. Alex is
already running tests, so let's go to your room and talk.
You need to get it outta your system, Philip." The priest
nodded numbly and Nick led him in the opposite direction.
Maeve had silently slipped back into the woodwork once
Lissa and Philip returned home...although Alex winked at
her and smiled as she headed to the control room. Maeve
nodded, but she was worried about her sister. Lissa was un-
naturally silent, and Philip looked terrible.
The teenager followed Philip upstairs, listening to his
conversation with Nick from a safe distance. She frowned.
She had heard about Philip's dreams, of course, but what did
they have to do with her sister? She hid in the darkness
until Nick led Philip down the hall, then headed for her
sister's room. Nick will take care of Philip, Maeve
thought, but I should make sure Lissa is all right.
She rapped lightly on her sister's door, looking down
the hall both ways. Lissa said tiredly, "Who is it? Philip,
if that's you, I told you, I'm not ready to talk about this!
I'm not sure if I ever will be."
Maeve called, "It's me, Lis. Can I come in?" There was
a long pause, then her sister responded with an assent.
Maeve pushed open the door to find Lissa sitting on her bed,
her face streaked with tears. Maeve swallowed hard and
asked, "What is it, Lissa?" Lissa shook her head mutely and
Maeve ran to her sister's side, enveloping Lissa in her arms.
Maeve was stunned by the sobs which shook her older
sister's body, but said nothing...just cradled Lissa in her
arms, rocking her back and forth, as Lissa had rocked Maeve
when the teenager was a small child. She gently stroked her
older sister's hair until Lissa had cried herself out. Once
the sobs eased, Maeve whispered, "What happened?"
"Get my handkerchief...it's in my purse...and I'll
tell you everything," Lissa answered. Maeve scurried to the
vanity, pulled the handkerchief from her sister's purse, then
returned to Lissa's side. The young woman wiped her eyes,
then blew her nose, and patted Maeve's hand, murmuring, "I'm
sorry, sweetie. I'm trying to figure out a way to tell you
about this, since... You know, it's really funny. Philip
was never in any danger from you or your friends. I was the
one who was the problem."
"What do you mean? I don't understand, Lissa," Maeve
whispered, curling up beside her older sister. She felt
Lissa's arm slip around her shoulders, and Maeve continued,
"I saw you and Philip when you came back, and I heard Philip
saying something about his dreams to Nick. What do his
dreams have to do with this?"
"They were my dreams as well, honey. While I was in a
coma, I dreamed about Philip. One of the reasons I always
told you and the other girls in your class to stay away from
Philip...when he was in the seminary, just before he became
a priest, there was a girl, Ellen. Apparently, she wanted
Philip, and he was fascinated by her, but...he chose to
become a priest. She killed herself," Lissa replied.
Maeve gasped, "That's terrible! And it must have hurt
poor Philip terribly. And that's what the bishop wanted to
talk to you about when Philip arrived at St. Bart's?" Lissa
nodded, then Maeve continued, "Well, that certainly explains
a lot. No wonder you were always so protective of him...
the bishop asked you to look out for Philip. Right?" Again,
Lissa nodded and Maeve asked, frowning, "I don't get it. So
why are your dreams such a problem?"
"Because, honey," Lissa explained wearily, "I kissed
Philip in our dreams. Twice. The first time, I pulled him
into the pool after staying under the water a long time. A
very insensitive thing to do, since Ellen drowned herself. I
pulled him into the water...we started splashing each
other. My foot slipped on the floor of the pool, and when I
started to fall, Philip caught me. I remember...we were
standing there. His arms were around my waist, and that lock
of hair had fallen into his eyes. I brushed it back...he
looked so young and innocent. And that's when I kissed him."
"Let me get this straight," Maeve said skeptically,
"you're out of sorts, and putting Philip through hell,
because you kissed him in your dreams? Come on, Lissa, I've
kissed Philip in my dreams loads of times!" Her sister
looked away, but was obviously trying not to laugh.
"It isn't that simple, love. I used our childhood
connection to call out to Philip. For some reason, though,
the wires got tangled and we were adults in our dreams.
Given that, I should have known that he was a priest. But I
didn't," Lissa replied. Maeve got up and began pacing.
After a moment, she said, "I still think you're making a
mountain out of a molehill. I..." Suddenly, it hit Maeve.
She finally realized why her sister had always kept her
distance from Philip. Thunderstruck, the teenager gasped,
"That's it! You've got the hots for Philip! And because you
didn't want to hurt him the way that bimbo Ellen did, you
kept away from him altogether. And that's why you're so
upset about these dreams...you never wanted him to know!"
"Do you blame me?" Lissa retorted and Maeve sat down
beside her sister again, taking Lissa's hand. The two were
silent for several minutes, then the older girl said, "I
don't know what I'm gonna do. I asked Philip weeks ago to
level with me, and he didn't. And how can we be friends when
he knows how I feel about him?" Maeve's heart broke for the
pain in her sister's voice, but something occurred to her.
She turned to face Lissa, still holding her hand.
"Lis, did you tell Philip that you're in love with him?"
Maeve asked. Lissa shook her head, obviously horrified, and
the teen continued with a broad grin, "Then how will he know?
Philip is dear, but he's male, and you've always told me that
males sometimes don't know which way is up. Ten to one, he
has no idea how you really feel."
There was a glimmer of hope in her sister's eyes, and
encouraged, Maeve continued, "And listen. I know you would
never do anything to hurt Philip. You'd rather die than harm
him in any way. The other girls...they think he's cute,
but they don't care about him half as much as you do."
Lissa drew Maeve into her arms, and the teen rested her
head against her sister's shoulder as Lissa murmured, "Oh,
sweetheart. And you actually thought that being away from
you would help me?" Maeve returned the hug, smiling happily,
and Lissa continued, "You've helped, honey...but I still
kissed a priest in my dreams. And, I hurt my best friend."
"It takes you forever to forgive yourself. That's
probably why you and Philip are such good friends...you're
two of a kind," Maeve answered with a sigh. Lissa laughed,
gave a hug, then both girls jumped with Lissa's cellular
phone rang. Lissa rolled her eyes and slid off her bed.
"Lissa Reynolds. Yes, Mrs. Daugherty, how are you?" she
asked. She was silent for several minutes, then her eyes
widened. Lissa continued, "That would be a very big help.
I'll be there in about two hours. Thank you again. 'Bye."
Lissa flicked the phone shut and said, "Sorry, kiddo, we need
to find the others. We just got some new information."
Maeve nodded and the sisters headed downstairs. The girl
didn't know what was going on, but she was glad her sister
was back to her usual self.
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