His best friend. His mother had worked as housekeeper in her family’s home for years, and her father had been a father figure to him since his own had disappeared long before Gabe was born. Leah and James Bannon were as much family as the three men standing next to him.
He started, tore his gaze away from Leah and met blue eyes as familiar to him as his face. Ana Devlin, his mother, squeezed his hand, grief heavy on her face.
“It’s over, Gabe,” she whispered. “Are you ready to go?”
Panicked, he jerked his head back to the casket. Already employees of the funeral home were removing the flowers, and people headed across the cemetery to their waiting cars. No, his mind screamed. Terror and agony shredded him, and he wondered why his blood didn’t seep into the withered grass at his feet. Nothing should hurt this bad and not bleed.
He must have released a bit of that animal-like howl because Chay shifted closer and grasped his shoulder in a hard grip, as if bracing him. Or prevent him from leaping in the earth with Maura and Ian.
“You go ahead, Aunt Ana,” Malachim murmured. “We’ll stay with Gabe and bring him with us.”
“If you’re sure,” his mother stammered. “I can wait, too.”
“No,” Rafe assured her, his voice low, soothing. “We have him.”
Gabriel couldn’t rip his eyes from the white, large box that a crane slowly lowered into the ground with an eerie creak reminiscent of a raven’s caw.
He couldn’t leave, couldn’t force his feet to move from this place where his wife and son would find eternal rest. God help him, he couldn’t leave them behind.
To read Part 1 of The Grave, click here.
Part 3 of The Grave continued on July 8th...