By: Debra Ann Miller

Book Two of Fallen Guardian Saga

Chapter One

New Beginning

Carter and Jeremy sat in silence at Vivian’s bedside 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.”

Henry 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.

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