One Life for Another

Chapter 2 Baby Ryder

Gem yawned, stretching out her stiff limps. She turned to the side of the bed and mentally smacked herself; her husband Andrew has been dead for months there no reason for her to continue wishing he still was alive. She sighed as her head collapsed in the bed pillow her brown hair flowing freely across the bed; words echoing in her head. "Even when I'm gone I want you to continue living for me, for our child, but mostly for yourself. If necessary find someone who will give you more love than I ever could."

A tear slid down her face;" No one will love me not in the way you did Andrew." Gem wiped the tear and walked over to the small coffin where her baby laid; she smiled he was still sound asleep. Her hand reached over stroking the baby's messy brown hair; she was right jr. favored Andrew, but her as well. She stared down at the infant for a few more minutes before going into the bathroom to soak in the tub.

Gem slowing settled herself in the warm water and began to relax; she was happy to be out of that dirty hospital gown as the bottom was caked in blood. Gem shivered, the woman hated blood but for some odd reason Andrew was fascinated by it; in fact the man loved it. That was the only thing that had disturbed her about her husband yet she loved him all the more and wished he was still here by her side.

"Alright no more thinking about that now first thing that matters is Jr's well fair." Gem looked around, she knew that since she escaped the hospital the doctors would waste no time in calling the police who by now were probably at her house. The woman rubbed her head her body leaning slightly against the tub's rim," This is the last thing I need to deal with after child birth."

She undrained the tub and wrapped herself in a towel," Looks like we are going to have to stay here until I am no longer wanted by the police." Gem went over to the closet to her disappointment, she saw nothing but long black robes with abnormally large sleeves." So this place is inhabited by a male mortician , who from the clothes lives alone. I assume since a proper woman would have made him throw these out years ago."

Gem decided to search the workshop, and hurried down stairs. To her surprise she was right there was a dresser filled with clothing that belonged to the dead. She searched impatiently finding a dark silver dress that was skin tight at the top, but lay perfect exposing her curved figure. Gem was almost overwhelmed at how attractive she looked, but thanked her lucky stars that she ended up finding the dress as she scanned herself in the mirror.

Gem only stopped gazing at herself when she heard the faint cries of her newborn;" Don't worry sugar, mommy's coming!" She ran to the coffin scooping the infant in her arms rocking him gently against her. His cries continued, by instinct she knew he was hungry and carried him down stairs in the little coffin. Gem scurried to the kitchen where she found some milk and began heating it on the stove; her son's cries ringing in her ears.

"Now now my little cupcake mommy's coming to feed you!" The woman yelled from the kitchen, quickly Gem grabbed a bottle filling it with warm milk. She began shaking the bottle, her mind more focused since the baby stopped crying." Wait, what?" Gem slowly poked her head out of the kitchen; immediately she pulled it back as she gripped the nearby wall.

A stranger was holding her son! She poked her head out again, so she could get a good look. He was tall, creepy looking, had long silver hair pass his hips and wore a dark black robe with a black top hat. The stranger smiled, cooing the small babe who gazed at him curiously; then proceeded to grip a string of his hair in his fist.

The stranger chuckled at this and held the baby close his chest; something about the moment made Gem's heartache. The stranger was being so gentle with her newborn, yet she saw him as a threat either way. She grabbed the broom and when the stranger's back was turned tiptoed to him; the broom extended above the brunette's head. Once she was at a close distance, Gem swung the broom aiming for the man's head; but with fast reflexes the stranger caught it easily.

He turned letting out a chuckle at Gem's shocked expression," Heh, heh, heh, I assume this is your mother little one." The stranger said to the child who just stared; he moved in front of Gem placing the child in her arms. She grabbed the baby hugging him to her," You know if you wanted your son back all you had to do was ask." Gem frowned," Excess me but what stranger randomly picks up a newborn child?

"He was crying." The stranger said simply." It's wrong and I was getting him food!" Gem walked to the kitchen, the stranger following her. He watched as Gem placed the bottle in the baby's mouth immediately he began feeding." It's not wrong if it's in your own house, heh, heh, heh." The woman froze and gulped as she glanced at the man," Y-you're the mortician?" The man grinned covering his mouth with his sleeve," That I am; Undertaker at your service!" he bowed making Gem blush slightly.

"I guess you're going to kick us out now." She said sadly. Gem moved to walk past Undertaker but was grabbed." Heh, actually no you don't have to; I have not had live people stay here before and-." He pulled out a poster with Gem's face on it," It looks like you need a place to hide for a while." Gem set jr. in his coffin, then snatched the poster from Undertaker's hand and glared at it," What the heck! All I did was escape the hospital is that such a crime!"

Gem collapsed in a nearby chair, her head pounding from stress." According to them it is dearie." He pulled up a chair next to her;" So why did you leave the hospital?" She sighed," If you must know for his sake." Motioning to the suckling baby. Undertaker leaned into the coffin for the first time beholding the boy's bright yellow-green eyes." My deceased husband was a grim reaper, we met on a night he was soul collecting with his brother. We kept in contact and eventually married; but one night a man attempted to kidnap me. Andrew fought to the death, but in the end the man killed him with his own scythe; at the time I was only five months."

Tears ran down her face as Undertaker listened intently," I reached the final stage in my pregnancy and I worried that since my child was half reaper would he be born with Andrew's eyes. After I had him, I convinced the doctors to leave me alone with him to check; when my confirmation was correct, I fled the hospital and ended up here." Undertaker remained silent absorbing her entire story; she had been through a lot. Times would be tough since the police were after her, but he knew that soon Dispatch would be after her too.

He gazed at the small coffin, the baby was a Halfling. It was not unusual for humans and reapers to mate, but it was dangerous because Halflings tended to be stronger and more powerful that a normal reaper. Undertaker tapped his chin in complete thought, the baby would be easy to hide from humans; but reapers were a different story. Grim reapers naturally had a strong sense of smell that told them whether someone was supernatural or not; Halflings give off an intoxicating and easily detectable scent that even the Undertaker could easily smell.

He turned to Gem who had stopped crying," You can stay here long as you want Ms. and I'll help to protect your child from the police and dispatch." Her eyes widened, she had forgotten about those uptight freaks; they would surely be after her child once his existence is revealed." But how you going to do anything you're human." Undertaker burst into a fit of laughter, salvia oozed from his mouth; with a little thought Gem mentally smacked herself.

"You're a grim reaper aren't you?" He stood up wiping the drool from his face," Yep, heh, heh I'm retired from soul collecting; but that doesn't mean I gave up fighting in general. So will you allow me to help you?" She sighed," As a widow and single mother yes; as a woman with morals no." Undertaker shrugged," That's good enough for now." He walked over to the baby who was sound asleep," Dearie what's his name?" Gem stood next to him and removed the bottle from the babe's grasp," I never thought of one; I had always expected Andrew to name him."

She placed the bottle on the counter then pulled the blanket over her son's tiny body," Ryder." Gem stared confused at Undertaker," What?" He smiled showing his teeth," Your son looks like a Ryder." She reached over stroking his hair," Ryder the half reaper; in some weird light I love it." Undertaker nodded leaned closer to her." And now your name?"

She shivered his was deep and seductive," Geminate; my friends call me Gem for short.

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