Me feet are moving alongside Kerry-Anne’s, I’m aware of this. But my mind takes a fleeting moment to recall my trip to Dhara, and I absentmindedly stroke the golden strands that hang on my left wrist. I’ve begun to miss Della and her father lately. And Rush, of course. I think about him more than is healthy. Mostly wondering what he is doing, and where. And if he’s thinking about me too. What used to be an occasional thought has turned into a constant state of being.
It’s only simple curiosity. That must be it.
“…And then when she woke up, I got the first real look at where she lives, which was in an abandoned building. It’s so sad, Piper. There are so many teenagers living on the streets, I never knew that! This was the first case where my charge didn’t have an actual home and…are you listening to me?” Kerry-Anne touches my shoulder with her arm.
I trip over my own feet like a toddler learning how to walk. “Yes, I’m sorry. I was just thinking…” I’ve been drifting between her story and my memories.
“I noticed. You miss them, don’t you?” Kerry-Anne asks.
We’ve walked half-way to the fountain, our refuge, when I blink and realize I’ve been ignoring her since we left the Ones department.
“Miss who?” I ask.
She points at my arm, where my right hand is fingering the bracelet. I snatch it back and straighten my shoulders. I have too much to do to be losing myself in idle thought.
“No,” I lie, but when Kerry-Anne scrunches her face into a knowing glare, I shrug my shoulders in submission. “Okay, fine. Yeah, a little.”
“Have you talked to them or seen…him?” We’ve reached the fountain rim, and Kerry-Anne plops herself down, taking care to spread out the skirt of her yellow sundress.
I sigh, taking a seat beside her. “It’s complicated.”
“Everything is complicated if you make it that way.”
“When did you get so smart?” I laugh.
She smiles. “Will is out on assignment. I miss him, too. But it’s not the same for you. Will and I see each other between almost every case. Rush isn’t actually here.”
I shake my head in disagreement while dipping my index finger into the fountain water. “He is, in a way.”
The words Rush spoke to me just before he last left the Station replay over and over in my head, and again, I reach over my lap to touch the delicate strands wrapped around my wrist with a wet hand. We are bound together through this. Like family. If you want me to return, simply will it to be.
Simply will it to be, I thought. I almost do it. I almost open up my mind as far as it will go with my thumb pressing down on the bracelet to ask for his return, when a different voice speaks beside me.
“Hi, stranger,” Sloan says.
– Dying to Know, Book 4 of The Station Series, Coming Soon
© Trish Marie Dawson