chapter 14 of the voice in the forest

Very Much in need of a nap

I do have a new chapter this week, but my apologies for not having a lot additionally to say. Maybe it’s because doing the first thing after a year has drained me of all spoons for a while, or maybe it’s just lack of sleep catching up with me. But I’m tired friends.

So, without further ado…

Chapter 14 The voice in the forest


“Do you think the manor has records from ninety plus years ago?” Ara asked, her brow furrowed but her eyes bright as if she had an idea. 

“Most likely, although I haven’t spent much time in the office or around any of that since your grandmother passed.” He wanted to talk to her more about herself, about how she came to this place as she was when she was surrounded by such questionable people. 

But he didn’t want to push her, especially not when she was the only person he could talk to. The thought of risking her ire was enough to make him wonder if he was alive, because the sensation of his blood running cold was strong. 

“That would make the most sense as a place to start. I don’t think we’ll be able to figure out how to help you unless we know who you were when you were alive first.” She stood up from the bench and dusted herself off. 

He couldn’t keep up with what she was talking about. 

Of course he wanted to not be in this state anymore, and maybe that was why she was suddenly there — able to hear, able to help. But he couldn’t be sure there was anything to be done.

And even if there were, how would they know if they found the right person.

“Whatever life I had before this one, I’m not sure I would recognize it even if we found it. I didn’t recognize anything when I woke up,” he said, trailing after her as she headed toward her walled in garden.

“You recognized the name Blackwell, for now, that’s enough to at least start looking.” Her voice was determined and her stride was steady, but her hand shook at her side.

It made him want to reach out and take it, to hold it in his steady ones and help her calm whatever was running through her mind to make it shake. 

But that was far too familiar, far too personal a line to cross.

Not for him, he considered her his entire world because in a way she was, he would have held her tight, been more forward than he knew was proper, if it would help her. 

Arabella though, he was still surprised she was talking to him at all. 

“Can…” She glanced back at him, chewing on her lower lip, “Can I ask you to please not talk to me, or try not to anyway, when other people are around.”

“Oh.” For some reason he hadn’t thought about it, what sort of rules they should operate under now that they both knew. “Of course.”

She sighed, the tremor in her hand stopped. 

“Thank you.”

He opened his mouth to respond and realized he had nothing to say. Nothing coherent or polite was in his head at that moment. 

Just rage. Rage that she would be so traumatized that she would have a physical reaction to anyone even thinking she was seeing things again.

If he was able, he would have ran around shouting in their faces that she wasn’t imagining him. His history was longer than her life. 

There may have been a lot he couldn’t remember about his former life, but he remembered every second of this half one.

“I will be spending some time out in the garden every day and down by the lake, but I don’t trust the household not to eavesdrop.” She spoke at the ground but when she finished, she raised her head to look up at the house, her eyes scanning the windows.

When she was working in the house every day, he decided he would be useful and do his own bit of eavesdropping. 

“They can try and spy on you, but I think they will find that having someone on the other side they cannot see is detrimental to those goals,” he said, looking up at the windows himself and wondering if this was the first time his situation would be a positive.

She smiled and chewed on the inside of her cheek like she was repressing a laugh, her face back toward the ground, shielding it from the view of anyone who might be inclined to watch her.

He smiled the full grin she couldn’t let herself. 

“In fact, maybe I should get started right now and see if we can’t find a way to at least get those former friends of yours to leave.” He started to walk past her but she touched his elbow.

And he felt it.

Blackwell stopped, the entire world around him shrinking to that point where her hand touched him.

“Please don’t just yet,” she said, still looking at the ground and continuing to walk as if she had not just shifted his life with her fingertips.

“I’m going to spend some time out here in the garden before I go inside, will you stay with me?” Her voice was soft, but the loneliness and hope in it so mirrored his own mind he couldn’t speak.

He nodded instead, catching up to her and taking a place at her side, matching her steps. He coughed, an act only required for him to get the courage to speak again. It had been a long time since he even tried to do it, long out of practice with the act.

“Do you think that you could tell me more about yourself while you’re gardening? I wish I could help you with your task.” He kept his eyes on the windows, trying to take up her watchfulness while she looked at the ground in order to answer him.

“There really isn’t a lot to explain. My life has not been one of great moments and even fewer small tales like the ones people tell each other and hold in their pockets to take out and polish every time they need to chat with someone new.” 

“I haven’t spoken to anyone ever so chances are it’s more exciting than that.”

She laughed and shook her head, grabbing some gloves and sliding them on before she started pulling weeds. 

“We really are quite a pair, aren’t we?” She pulled out another weed and started on the story of how she first learned to ride a bike, but as much as he was earnest in wanting to hear her story, and as much as he wanted to listen, he was too distracted.

Not only had she called them a pair, as if they were connected more than just in his mind, which made him so happy he wondered if his ghost form could fly. 

But in the window above the little walled garden she so carefully and lovingly tended in her attempts to bring it back to life, someone was watching them.

Don’t forget

Before the sale ends, don’t forget to pick up your copy of the entire Grimm Star Saga: First Light trilogy!

Thanks for reading, see you all next week!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *