Some of you know this, some of you may not. I’m a widow. I was widowed at the age of 38. April 23rd would be 27 years engaged, and April 24th would be 17 years married. I have decided to share something I don’t think I’ve shared before. This is not a spoiler, as I’m not sure it actually happens, but a vision of what we should all have, at the end of our days, when we’re old and grey.
This has no title but we’ll call it “The end of an old wolf”:
Rebecca came out of the room with her head down. Her tired eyes found Natalia. “He’s asking for you.”
Natalia let go of Vincent’s hand and walked to the bedroom. It was dark and smelled strongly of death. Natalia stopped her breath and walked to the bed. She sank into the chair beside the bed and took the old wolf’s hand.
“Charlie?” She said softly, trying not to let the sadness into her voice.
He took a deep, stuttering breath and looked to her. His eyes fluttered open and he smiled. “Hey.”
“Looks like…” he took a ragged breath. “Looks like I still owe you a life.”
The tears blurred her vision as she leaned closer. She placed her hand on his cheek. “Charlie, stop.”
He smiled, deepening the wrinkles on his face. “Maybe I’ll become a ghost. Haunt you and keep you safe.”
“Charlie…” Her voice cracked.
He said nothing for a while but took ragged breaths. He turned to her again. “You still look as beautiful as the day at the club. Remember that?”
“Yeah.” She moved to the bed and sat close to him. “I do.”
“Not sure what I would have done if you turned werewolf.” He gave her a silly grin. “Maybe I could have had two wives.”
She laughed. “I’m sure Rebecca would not have allowed that.”
He shrugged his thin shoulders. “Meh. You never know.”
She laughed as pink tears ran down her cheeks. “Charlie.”
He smiled again and took a shallow breath. “Take care of Rebecca and the kids.”
She placed her hand on his cheek again. “Of course.”
“Tell Vincent it was a pleasure to work for him.”
“You could tell him yourself.”
“Nope. Gonna talk to my women only.” He coughed a bit. It sounded wet and painful, but he calmed quickly. Once he calmed he looked into her eyes and placed a hand on her chest, above her breasts. It was a friendly gesture. “I love you, Nat.”
“I love you too, Charlie. I’m going to miss you so much.”
He gave her a sad smile. She leaned down and kissed his lips softly. He returned the kiss and sighed as she pulled away. She left the room and went to Rebecca. “Thank you.”
Rebecca started for the room but paused at Natalia’s side. The women embraced before Rebecca went back to her husband. Natalia went to Vincent. He held her and comforted her. A few moments later, they could hear Rebecca crying. Danni went into the room and came back a moment later. There were tears in her eyes.
She didn’t have to finish her words. Natalia buried her head in Vincent’s neck as the others around her mourned in their own way. Charlie’s words came back to her as she felt a wind on her neck. She hoped the old wolf was at rest. He had been her protector for a long time. She didn’t need him any more, but she would miss him for all her days to come.