Alex’s eyes connected with mine and I saw a spark of determination in them that immediately placed me at ease.
All heads turned toward the doorway. Her daughter, Julia, stood under the arch.Do you remember Major Barrett?
Julia nodded. I’m real sorry. She sniffed. A tear leaked out of a swollen eye, and she heaved a long, shaky breath. She’d taken the Barretts’ deaths hard. In addition to babysitting Carson and Faith, Kate was Julia’s figure skating coach. Ellie went to her daughter and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. Her sexy thoughts of the hot major faded, adding another layer to her sadness. If things were different, if he wasn’t an ambitious military officer constantly moving all over the world, if she wasn’t so bound by the betrayal of her past, if their current meeting wasn’t mired in grief, then maybe something could happen between them.But that was way too many ifs, all impossible to change.Grant shifted his weight toward the front door as if he couldn’t escape fast enough. It’s late. I’d better go. Thank you again.
He called the dog, who went willingly, always thrilled to meet a new human. Ellie escorted them outside to the front porch. AnnaBelle followed Grant across the grass and up onto the stoop of the house next door. Ellie shut the door and locked the deadbolt.Night. Rubbing her biceps, Julia went upstairs.
Nan stood in the kitchen, one fist propped on a hip, brows pinched in deep thought. That man’s going to need help.
Ellie crossed her arms over her chest. If Grant needs help, he’ll ask for it. Until he does, we are going to mind our own business.But she chose four of the most damaged men in the underworld who could no longer exist inside a mind without madness, he goes on. To keep balance.
That makes no sense, I point out.They were already too imbalanced. In other words, you were able to give a gift with no strings attached, because of that imbalance. You were the only one who had to sacrifice anything, because they’d—we’d—already suffered too much, Gage patiently tells me.
I still don’t get it, and it’s starting to make me feel like an idiot, I say on a sigh while running a hand through my hair.Kai starts explaining. When you’re a resident of hell, you can’t repent. You can hold only a certain amount of impurities—usually it’s a very high threshold. But if those impurities tip the scales, you’ll start going mad. Much like humans, only on a much more volatile and dangerous level.