I looked over at the fireplace mantle which had pictures of the two of them together. They’d been married for many years and had two children, a boy and a girl. Unfortunately, Rosalyn was human, which meant she couldn’t go to the Hereafter . . . but their kids could since they were half fae. He’d be reunited with them one day.
“Where are your children?”
Mikel’s head lolled to the side and he smiled. Then, his heart started to slow down. “Lainey is in New York pursuing her modeling career. She got her beauty from her mother.”
That made me smile.
“And your son?” I asked.
Mikel squeezed my hands. “He’s still in town, married with three little girls. I’m going to miss my grandbabies.”
“They have your blood in them, Mikel. You’ll see them again when it’s time,” I assured him.
A tear fell down his face. “At least I’ll get to see my parents. They never forgave me when I left the Land of the Fae and fell in love with a human woman.”
His heart slowed down even more.
“I’m sure they will now. In the Hereafter, there is only love and joy. It’s an amazing place, Mikel.”
Nodding, he glanced over at the mantle and smiled. “You can take me now.”
Closing my eyes, I could feel the warmth of my magic spread around us both. When taking people to the Hereafter, it was a whole new level of energy. I loved the cold of the Winter Court, but there was something about the warmth of the Hereafter that felt like a soothing blanket over my skin.
Mikel still held my hands when we appeared by the lake in the Hereafter. He looked the same, only younger and more vibrant. As soon as his eyes opened, I could see the happiness surrounding him. He would always love his Rosalyn, but the pain of leaving her was now a distant memory. The joy of their love would stay with him forever.
Mikel let me go and circled around, his gaze lit with wonder. “Thank you for this,” he breathed. “This place is amazing.”
“If you want to see your parents, all you have to do is think of them. You’ll feel the connection, and you’ll be right there with them before you know it.”
Mikel closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. A couple of seconds passed, and then he disappeared.
“I love the smile you get when you help people,” Merrick said.
Grinning, I glanced at him over my shoulder. He was leaning against a tree, dressed in his brown warrior leather pants and a white tunic.
“It feels good,” I said to him.
Merrick strolled down to me and searched my eyes. “Why have you been avoiding me?”
Since that night with Kai, I couldn’t bring myself to lie to him, so it was easier just to avoid him at all costs.
“I needed time,” I confessed. “I’ve made mistakes and failed miserably at doing what needed to be done.”
Merrick nodded. “I know what it’s like to make mistakes, Ella. I made plenty of them when I was alive. But, whatever’s going on with you, I know you’re a good person. I will love you no matter what.”
My eyes burned with tears as I wrapped my arms around his neck, and hugged him tightly. “I love you too.”
He let me go and smiled. “Why don’t you go back home and get some rest? You haven’t slept much the past two nights.”
That was for damn sure. I could feel the tiredness in my bones.
“I think I will,” I said, kissing his cheek. “See you tomorrow?”
He nodded. “Of course.”
I didn’t realize how heavy my eyelids were until I closed them to summon my magic. Then, the warmth of the Hereafter began to fade away and was replaced by the Winter cool.
When I opened my eyes, I was in my bedroom, surrounded by windows on all four walls. I walked over to them and peered out into the darkness. My parents’ ice castle was close by, illuminating the snow as it fell. Further into the distance was the main Winter Court palace where my grandparents lived and my ancestors before them. It was surreal to think that soon I’d have my own court.