One Life for Another

Chapter 10 The Life you Left Behind


It was barely 8:00 in the morning when Undertaker and Gem departed for her home. It was still dark and fog decorated the streets the air was very cold making the woman tighten the grip on her coat. She bit her bottom lip to prevent herself from complaining about having to do this so early but again Gem would have to remind herself of their current situation and how they could not risk the baby's safety.

"We're here dearie." Gem gazed at the small town house and sighed last time she was here Andrew had been brutally slaughtered. She hopped out of the wagon to stand next to Undertaker who simply stared silently at the building. "Heh, heh shall we go in or would you rather head back now?" The reaper said smiling at her. "N-no I need to do this, I will not have my past haunt me any longer." Gem moved to walk on the stairs but was held back by the mortician.

She gazed at him confused as Undertaker pointed to the yellow tape surrounding the door. The woman face-palmed if she had attempted to open the door Gem would have broken the tape giving the authorizes a clue in finding her in other words this whole situation was a trap. She turned seeing Undertaker waving his long black nail in her face. "Let's be more careful shall we Gem."

"You knew this was a trap and still agreed for me to come here?" He smirked taking her hand in his own, stroking it gently." It was your heart's desire to come here dearie who am I to refuse a lady's desperate request." The woman placed a hand over her heart touched by his concern for her but a little insulted when used her way of healing from the past as desperate. Gem tossed that thought aside it was for her best interest to never understand the mind of grim reaper. Being married to Andrew gave her a front row seat in the whole experience and the woman grew to appreciate his kind.

Yet in a way Gem pitied the reapers being raised in a society obsessed with death and perfection was scary in her eyes; it was no wonder Undertaker was insane the guy just wanted to be himself and society didn't allow him to. How Grell stayed carefree and flamboyant was beyond her knowledge maybe he took medications to keep his personality in check?

"Come dearie." Without warning Undertaker pulled his death scythe from his cloak and encased Gem in his right arm. His scythe illuminated and with a flash of light they were instead the house." How-?" Undertaker only laughed positioning a finger to his lips." That's a secret!" The woman rolled her eyes Andrew had done the same thing when there was confidential information on an assignment (obviously when he went soul collecting didn't tell her who he was reaping).

"Whatever just make yourself comfortable while I gather some things." Gem proceeded upstairs while Undertaker collapsed on the couch. She stormed into her bedroom gathering all her clothes, toiletries and blankets in a suitcase. Next, Gem went to the baby room and crammed all Ryder's toys in a bag along with his blankets and her photo book. Afterwards she dragged all of it down the steps," Good only one more thing to get."

The brunette darted to the broom closet to retrieve Andrew's scythe a look of shock crossed her face as she slowly opened the door. She collapsed crying because the scythe was nowhere to be seen. Undertaker kneeled to the floor allowing the woman to weep in his shoulder when her tears dried Gem explained the situation to an equally angry Undertaker." Do you think the police took it?" He sniffed the area and frowned. "Doubtful I smell the reapers' scent all over the house, the weapon is in Dispatch's hands." Gem cried some before Undertaker flashed her and the belongings in the wagon; she remained silent when they reached the safety of the parlor.

Undertaker and Ira graciously carried all of Gem's belongings to her room since she was a too distracted to do. As the angel and reaper brought the last of the belongings inside, Grell appeared in doorway waiting for Gem who somberly emerged from the wagon." Darling! How was the trip did you get everything you needed?" She stared at the red reaper sadness in her eyes." Not everything Dispatch took Andrew's death scythe I'm sorry Grell."

He remained silent as he brought Gem into his arms where she continued to cry. Grell bit his bottom lips holding back his own tears, the scythe was very important to Andrew and since both Stucliffs wheeled chainsaws it signified their bond as brothers. Now Grell felt as if that bond was broken when Andrew died." Come on Grell I'll make us some tea."

Gem grabbed his hand dragging him to the couch and settled the reaper next to Ira. They glared at one another before sliding on the other ends of the sofa as Gem brought out the tea." Where's Undertaker?" Ira sipped her tea before answering" He recently received a new guest he's working on the funeral is a week from now but he wants to get it started." She nodded knowing his work was what kept the parlor in existence, but it was disappointing he wouldn't be able to join them.

Gem sat across from the two in a nearby chair smiling as her son began making cute baby sounds in his coffin. She sighed bringing out her photo book and opened it so the angel and reaper could view the content. The photos were interesting and some were quite silly; Grell stared in awe at the book every photo he saw made him feel as if he was seeing a new side of Andrew." I never knew my brother had an interesting personality!" he chirped. Gem smiled" Did you think he was always so serious? Andrew did have his funny moments I recall I was sick he tried to cook me dinner and like you he was terrible!"

All three burst into a fit of laughter," Hey you know we should do a candle lit ceremony for him what do you think?" Grell agreed, Gem was uncertain. "If Undertaker is all for it." Ira waved off her concern" Don't worry Adrian will be fine with it!" She began carrying three candles outside to the backyard luckily Undertaker had a private garden facing the woods and it was dark even the stars were still out.

Gem's gaze remained to the sky as Ira and Grell set up the candles all while arguing of course. After all the candles were arranged and lit Grell went inside returning with a giggling Ryder who awed at the lights. The candles were positioned carefully making a huge heart in the middle of the lawn, they stepped inside gathering the spare candles from the box.

Each person held one and sat in remembrance." Andrew you were my darling brother and other half I'll miss you dearly." Grell said before lighting his." But again you could have warned me you ungrateful brat, no offense but when you disappeared I was worried!" Ira cleared her throat before beginning," What can I say you saved my life and Gem's when we were in a pickle. I admit I was suspicious when you admitted you two were dating but with a few words I knew you loved her and would treat her like a queen for that thank you Andrew." The angel then lit her candle.

"My soul mate, my lover and husband. There so many things I could call you Andrew but most of all you were my best friend and you loved me unconditionally. You had my best interest at heart and protected me from dangers I wasn't even aware of at the cost of your life you saved me and our son. If you were here I know you would dry my tears and say not to cry for you because you're happy now. You always carried me in your heart and now I carry you forever in mine my beloved mate I'll miss you."

Gem gently took off her ring and embedded it into the middle of the candle then lit it. Everyone fixed their gaze on the starry skies catching only a mere glimpse of a small star shining ever brightly down on them. "Thank you."

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