Chapter 20- Learning the Truth
I know that Charlie was just trying to say he would save someone alive, before someone dead, however the way he worded it made my heart flutter fondly. I've never known the protection of a brother. Hell, Conner was the only brother figure in my life and he was nothing like a brother was suppose to be. I always wanted that bond that you see in the movies where the brother and sister bicker but when things get serious or the sister gets bullied the brother stands up for her no matter what.
Looking at Charlie, I let the gratitude show. I nod my head and speak. "Okay. I suppose you can stay. But what about your job? I'm sure your boss won't accept you taking a few months off just because." Charlie laughs, shaking his head with humor in his eyes.
"Honey, I am my own boss. I can work from home mostly, and when I do need to go into the office, or meet a client- Arden can stay over or you can stay with him. I'm not letting anything happen to you though." He takes my hand in his and squeezes. I smile gently at him, before I furrow my eyebrows.
"Should we tell Arden about Cassy?" I look at him expectantly. If he thinks we should then we will. If he doesn't think it's the best decision then I'm not sure how to explain why he is staying. "Charlie, I don't want to hide this from him any longer. Also, I don't know what other reason we could give him for you staying with me. So should we tell him the truth?"
Our attention is drawn from the clearing of a throat at the doorway to the room. Arden is standing there with a bag in his hand, along with a drink carrier. "Well, and I'm just guessing here... But I think the truth would be much appreciated." His eyes glance between Charlie and I and finally come to rest on our conjoined hands.
I pull my hand from Charlie's and I motion for Arden to come sit on the bed. Charlie, rubs the back of his head before speaking, watching Arden as he slowly stands by my bed after placing the food and drinks down, but never sitting. "Okay. The truth... Are you sure you don't want to sit down for this?"
Arden turns a harsh glare on Charlie and he puts his hands up defensively. "Okay, okay. Fuck. The truth is, Cassy is a spirit that is connected to Abby's home and we have to help her move on." Arden stares blankly at Charlie before Charlie adds. "Oh, and Cassy pushed Abby down the stairs because she was jealous, and now I'm going to stay with Abby until Cassy crosses over to make sure nothing like this happens again."
Arden blinks at Charlie, before looking at me with the same emotionless stare. I bite my lip, nervous for what Arden must be thinking. Arden sits down on the side of the bed, staring at the floor with his elbows on his knees and his hands clasped together. When he finally speaks, his voice isn't but a whisper. "What?"
Charlie bends down in front of him. "Man, I know it is a lot to take in. Hell, I fucking fainted when I saw Cassy. She didn't mean for me to see her, but I did." Arden shakes his head and stands up, causing Charlie to stand fast and stumble back a step. When Arden's eyes met mine, my heart sunk.
"Were you even planning to tell me? All this time you let me believe you didn't know about Cassy and you even pretended you didn't?" His eyes held betrayal, and I could see the hurt swimming around in his eyes.
I blink the tears that are willing to surface down, I will not cry right now. Charlie clears his throat. "On that note, I'm going to head out and give you two some time to talk." Arden and I don't break eye contact as Charlie leaves, I mutter a goodbye but that was all.
We are staring at each other until the door closes. "Arden, I wanted to tell you, I just didn't know how... When I first met you I immediately felt this pull towards you and I knew I wanted to get to know you." I pause to swallow down the lump in my throat. "Then Cassy came to me, begging me to help her pass over. To help the two men she loved move on so she can also. I never meant to hide the truth from you, I've only ever wanted to help. Please believe me."
Arden sits back down on the bed, facing me before he lets a long breath out. He runs his hand through his hair, before meeting my gaze again. "Abby, you have to understand how this sounds. This is crazy that I'm even entertaining the idea that Cassy is a ghost, let alone that she's the one that put you in the hospital." I nod my head in understanding.
"Of course I know how crazy this sounds! Don't you think I was freaking out when I saw a girl literally appear in front of my eyes and walk through doors? It was crazy and it IS crazy." I look down at my lap, knowing I wasn't helping matters. "But, I understand this is completely different for you since I'm telling you that the girl you love is still spiritually here."
I'm twiddling my fingers together, not meeting his gaze when I feel the bed shifting. Arden moves closer and lifts my chin up till I look into his captivating brown eyes. "Loved. The girl I use to love." His thumb brushes over my jaw before he moves his hand down to mine. "Look, Abby. I'm hurt that you didn't tell me as soon as our relationship started to progress, but I understand why you didn't if it's true. I mean this is more on the impossible side of things, I don't think I can believe it without seeing it."
I sigh. "I understand, I wouldn't either." I squeeze his hand tightly. "I guess I'll just have to show you. Of course I mean when I can go home." His eyes darken as he gestures for me to scoot over. I oblige and make room for him. He lays down on his side, facing me as he strokes my hip through my gown. I lay back, laying my head against him chest.
"Speaking of... Is Charlie really going to be staying with you?" I whip my head around to stare at him. A smile crawls onto my face as the atmosphere lightens finally.
"Are you jealous, Arden?" I couldn't help the teasing tone, or the fact that my smile grows watching his expression. I wanted to laugh but I bit my lip to stop it. Arden looks me directly into my eyes with the most serious face I've ever seen.
"Yes. No man will be staying with you unless I'm there too."