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Authors: Debra Ann Miller

Ascended

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Ascended

 

Book Two of Fallen Guardian Saga

 

Debra Ann Miller

 

Edited by: Lynda Dietz  [email protected]

http://
ilovetoreadyourbooks.blogspot.com

 

Illustration by E. Myslewiec based on original art by Bruce Rolff

 

Kindle Edition

 

Copyright ©2013 by Debra Ann Miller

All Rights Reserved

 

Chapter One

New Beginning

 

Carter and Jeremy sat in silence at Vivian’s be
dside in Weston Memorial Hospital, ignoring the soft sounds of the television in the corner of the room. It had been one month to the day and there was still no change; Vivian, her body lifeless and still on the hospital bed, was not waking up.

All Carter had left were his memories of a girl he called Vie. He clung to them like a lifejacket
, hoping, wishing, and praying that she would open her beautiful eyes and return to him.

Jeremy was losing
faith, his prayers unanswered, and hope fading fast.

Neither Carter nor Jeremy spoke a word about what
had happened at Devils Tower a month ago; it was as if the whole catastrophic series of events had never happened at all. They bonded silently, both wanting the same thing: for the girl lying beside them to open her eyes. The only difference was that Jeremy hoped to see the familiar blue eyes of his beloved girlfriend, Vivian; Carter, on the other hand, ached inside, longing to see the violet eyes of the girl who lived in his soul.

The door opened and Henry entered the room. He looked at the
boys’ weary faces and knew it was pointless to ask the question he asked every time he stepped into his daughter’s room:
Any change?
He didn’t waste his breath; he could see the answer in their eyes. Although he didn’t understand what had bonded these two adversaries, he knew one thing was clear: they both loved his daughter and he thanked God for each of them.

“Still raining outside?” Henry opened with small talk.

“Yep,” they both responded in unison.

“Weathermen are at a loss. It’s the talk all over town
—the weather, I mean. Thirty days of rain in November. Now that shouldn’t happen in any part of Wyoming! Must be that global warming thing everyone talks about…” Henry’s voice trailed off as he looked at the blank faces of the boys and realized that, once again, he was talking to himself. Carter and Jeremy were both lost in their pain, waiting anxiously for Vie to wake up. Henry couldn’t stand to watch them any longer.

“Okay, that’s it!
” he ordered, the briskness of his tone getting their undivided attention now. “You boys need to get out of here. You can’t stop living your lives; Vivian wouldn’t want this at all. I know both of you love her and I thank you for that, really I do, but you need to go.”

He
nry could see the despair in their eyes as he spoke, knowing he’d only said what needed to be said, knowing it was painful for them to hear. He pulled back a little and continued in a gentle, fatherly voice.

“Please, I’m begging you boys to go
.”

“But
—” Carter tried to protest.

“But nothing
, Carter,” Henry stopped him. “If I have to call security to get you both out of here I will, but I would rather you leave on your own.”

They knew Henry was serious and that he had the right, as her father, to make his request. Carter and Jeremy
hesitantly stood, each one waiting for the other to leave first.

“After you,” Carter signaled to Jeremy to exit the room.

“No, please, you first,” Jeremy responded.

Henry stood up
, shaking his head and said, “Both of you: out—now!” He pointed to the door and they wasted no time hurrying through it.

“Gosh, I didn’t know the
reverend had such a bad temper,” Jeremy said.

“Yeah
, well, you bring out the best in people, Jeremy,” Carter remarked sarcastically.

“Well then
, maybe you should spend more time with me,” Jeremy wisecracked.

“No thanks. I’ve spent far too much time with you already, so feel free to leave now
.”

“Oh
, no you don’t! Henry said for both of us to leave and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Carter got in
Jeremy’s face, challenging, “I’m not leaving. Unless, of course, you want to try and make me.”

As
Jeremy recalled watching Carter tear down cement walls with his bare hands, he decided getting physical with Carter would not be a good idea.

“Whatever,”
he said, defeated. He walked slowly down the hall toward the red and white exit sign, turning back once to look at Carter, who was still standing behind him with a fierce look and defensive posture, and then left the building.

“Hey
, you,” a friendly voice called out to Carter, drawing his attention away from Jeremy’s exit.

N
urse Ivy approached him with a sweet, compassionate smile on her face. Carter had gotten to know Ivy pretty well over the course of the last four weeks, since he’d practically become a resident at Weston Memorial. Vie had often spoken to Carter about how special Ivy was to her, and Carter, after meeting Ivy, knew exactly what Vie had meant. She was a truly insightful person, one that people in this world would refer to as an angel on earth.

“Hey
, Ivy,” Carter’s response was automatic.

“No change
, huh?” she said sympathetically.

“No. I talk to her about everything just like you
suggested, but…nothing,” Carter said, tears welling in his eyes. “Ivy, do you really believe she hears me?”

Ivy put her arm around Carter and said confidently, “I know she does. And I will tell you something else I know for certain
: the girl you love, the girl I saw here a few months ago—” she seemed to speak to Carter as if she knew something about ‘his’ Vie, continuing, “That girl would move Heaven and Earth to return to you, and nothing and no one would stop her.”

The absolute certainty in h
er words gave Carter hope that Vie would return to him. He hated doubting anything about her, but was starting to believe maybe she didn’t have a choice. He knew deep down that Vie would return to him if she could, and he was starting to think someone or something was stopping her. He tried to hold on to his renewed faith as he remembered Gabriel telling him all would be as it should, and answers would come soon.

I
f there was one thing Carter knew for sure, it was that Vie belonged with him. So if Gabriel was right, then Vie would be in his arms soon. She was his destiny.

Carter walked over to the window in the waiting area and looked up to the dark sky. The rain was still falling all around Newcastle
.
That’s strange for sure
, he thought. He closed his eyes and thought back to his first official date with Vie. She’d stood at the Tower, looking up at the rain with her arms spread out, smiling up at the sky. God, how he loved seeing her bright smile, even if only in his thoughts.

“Son,” the sound of Henry’s voice jolted him back to the present.

“Sir?” he said, worried about defying the reverend’s order to leave.

“I knew you would be the one still waiting he
re.” Henry smiled warmly. “Let me tell you a little story,” he said, leading Carter to a cozy family waiting area. He directed him toward one of the seats.

“Once upon a time
, I met the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I was swept away by her the very first time she smiled at me. I knew right then that she had been put on this Earth just for me, and I was sure God had sent her to be with me forever.” He paused, as if watching a scene in his mind, then brought his attention back to Carter. “But we didn’t have forever. Her time was cut short here. Let me tell you something, though: we cherished every moment we had, and every memory we made together.”

Carter knew Henry was speaking about his life with Lily, Vivian’s mother. He wondered where the conversation was headed and what it had to do with him.

Then Henry continued, “One day, evil landed on our doorstep and my Lily was taken away from me. My faith was shattered and I was angry; in fact, I felt like I wanted to die. But I didn’t—I couldn’t—because I looked at my daughter and knew there was more for me to do here in this world. I knew one day my time would come and I would again be reunited with my love, my soul mate, my Lillian.


I knew I had to let her go…and I did,” he finished.

“Sir?”
Carter said, still wondering what his point was.

“Carter, what I am trying to tell you is that it
’s that time for you, too. It’s time for you to find your purpose, your destiny; take your own journey here in this world.” He was having a hard time holding back his tears as he spoke.

“My purpose, my destiny, and my journey are all to be with her,” Carter said
, more certain than ever.

“You need to let her go
, Carter. She is not coming back,” Henry said, putting his hand on Carter’s shoulder and giving him a hard, penetrating look.

“You are wrong
, sir! She is coming back!” Carter stood up and shouted at Henry.

“Carter, the doctors all say we need to let her go now. She’s not here with us anymore. Those machines in there, they
’re the only things keeping my daughter alive. My Vivian, your Vie—she is gone now!” Tears rolled uncontrollably down his cheeks.

“Those doctors all said the same thing a few months ago
, too, didn’t they?” Carter protested. “They all said she wouldn’t survive the surgery, but she did. They don’t know her strength. You don’t know her strength! She won’t leave me; she would never leave me.” 

He looked straight into Henry’s tear
-soaked eyes and said, “Sir, I know you’re losing your faith, but I haven’t lost mine. Vie is my soul; we are one. I am sure she’ll come back to me…to us,” He stared at Henry, speaking straight to his heart.

“I was asked to make a decision,” Henry said
, looking away uncomfortably.

“What decision?” Carter asked.

“If my daughter is gone, then I need to give her peace. She would want me to give her that, Carter. Vivian would not want to live this way, hooked up to machines that breathe for her. She wouldn’t want you to be tortured, watching her cling to life this way. Son, it is time.” Henry was heartbroken by the decision he was facing.

“No! You can’t do this! I won’t let you!” Carter yelled defiantly.

Henry hadn’t wanted to be the one to break the news to Carter about his decision regarding Vivian’s life support. Dealing with his own emotions and fears was hard enough, but telling Carter and seeing him in so much pain was more than Henry could bear.

“Carter, this is not your decision
; it is mine and mine alone.” Henry broke down. “Please understand: I need to do this for my daughter. I need to honor her.” His knees buckled and Carter grabbed him, supporting his weight.

“Please
, sir, please don’t do this. I can’t explain how I know, but I know my Vie is coming back. I can feel her, sir, she is here with me. Please, please, I’m begging you; don’t take her away. Not yet.” Carter forced Henry to look at him as he pleaded, his voice hoarse with emotion.

Henry didn’t understand why, but looking into Carter’s eyes now seemed to make Henry question his choice
. For some reason, Henry believed Carter could feel Vivian still here with him, just as he had felt Lily’s presence many times since she’d passed.

Carter’s eyes seem to speak the truth
, and Henry was inclined to listen. He could almost see his daughter while staring into Carter’s eyes, feeling her somehow present within him.

He let go of Carter with the lasting vision of his daughter burned in his heart. Henry felt Carter’s pain radiate through his body and suddenly
felt uncertain about his decision.

“I will wait
, Carter, but just a little while longer,” he said, making a bleak sort of deal with the young man. “If you’re right, she’ll return; but if not, then we need to let her go. As hard is that will be for both of us, we need to give her peace.”

“Thank you
, sir,” Carter said in a soft voice, relieved for the moment that Henry’s decision was delayed, at least.

“Now get out of here,” Henry ordered.

Carter knew Henry meant well and understood why he wanted him to leave the hospital, even for a little while, so he said goodbye and made his way toward the exit doors.

 

 

 

 

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