On the other side of the world at the Temple of Tiamat, Dan sat in the cafeteria with Mary and Dennis at one of the tables, taking a break from their routine. “How long has it been since you lost contact with Hannibal and Harry?” Mary asked.
“It’s been almost a week,” Dan replied. “I’ve tried to contact him for the last three days but have been unable to. It’s as if he’s just not there. The only thing I can figure is that they are inside the dead zone around the mountain, or maybe even in it. If that’s the case, we won’t hear from them for a while.”
“I hope they’re all right,” Mary said with a hint of concern on her voice.
“I’m sure they’re all right,” Dan returned. “They’re all very capable of taking care of themselves. Still, I would feel a little better if I knew something. The last time I spoke with them was when we took the extra packs and supplies to the hangar after the new people joined them. I’ve heard nothing from them since then.”
“I guess all that we can do now is pray that the Lord will keep them safe wherever they are,” Mary said with a hint of discouragement in her voice. “I still miss them.”
Dan reached across the table and held Mary’s hand. “So do I, and the rest of us,” he replied. “They’ll be all right. You’ll see.” He looked her in the eye when he said it and his confidence strengthened her.
“Thank you,” she said gratefully. “It helps to hear that. I’ve had Harry go off for weeks and months at a time on police business, but it still doesn’t make it any easier. You’d think I’d be used to it by now.”
“It’s always hard to see someone you care for go off for one reason or another,” Dan said. “And no matter how many times it happens, you never get used to it. You keep thinking is this the time he doesn’t come back. We must trust in the Lord that He knows what He’s doing. They’re in His hands. What better hands could we ask for?”
“You’re right,” Mary said. “The Lord knows what He’s doing. All we have to do is believe.” Tears began to well up in her eyes and Dan saw it. “It still doesn’t make it any easier,” she sobbed softly.
Dan rose and came around to her side of the table. Dennis saw what was happening and hugged her. “Don’t cry, mama,” he pleaded. “Dad will come back. He promised.”
Dan sat beside Mary and put a comforting arm around her shoulders, consoling her. “It’s all right,” he cooed. “Dennis is right. They’ll be back. Hannibal has yet to break a promise. They’ll return. You’ll see.” She turned and cried on his shoulder. He merely sat there and let her weep; telling her repeatedly that is was all right. While this was going on, angels gathered around and witnessed the display. Her guardian angel took notice and touched Mary on the shoulder, whispering in her ear. The touch strengthened and comforted her. She stopped crying and managed to calm herself, confident in the belief that Harry, Hannibal, Selina, and Nathanael would be coming back to them. Dan looked at her compassionately. “Are you all right now?” he asked.
Mary wiped the tears from her eyes and said, “Yeah, I think so. Maybe I should get back to work.”
“Sometimes it’s good to get things like that off your chest,” Dan reassured her. “Crying is good for the soul. It cleanses it and gets rid of things that need to be gotten rid of.”
Mary squeezed his hand. “You’re a very dear friend,” she murmured. “I don’t know what I would do if you weren’t here.”
“I’m just glad I could help,” Dan replied sincerely. “Come, let’s get back to work.” She nodded and they left the cafeteria, heading for the library.