Erin flicked her hair behind her ear and watched Caleb straighten his clothing. He took a deep breath and entered the hut. They followed right after him, drifting through the closed door as if it didn’t exist. Seth laughed, holding his hand up to Erin for a high-five – until he noticed that Caleb’s Gefallen had also wafted into the cabin with them. Even though he had no idea how to defend Erin from a ghost, he stepped in front of her to protect her. But the wraith ignored them and sailed over to Caleb.
A tall, blonde-haired girl with almond-shaped brown eyes was waiting for Caleb. For Erin, the recognition was instantaneous; it was Talitha. “She’s so beautiful!”
“She’s okay,” Seth replied, looking her over critically. “But I don’t think Caleb’s here for her looks.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You said yourself that Caleb’s a good-looking guy. I bet he could have any girl he wants around here.”
Erin frowned; then she smiled as understanding dawned. “So, in guy-talk, you’re saying he loves her?”
Seth chuckled as he picked up Erin’s hand and put it on his heart. “Tell me what you’re feeling?”
Erin gasped at a disconcerting pulse thrumming in Seth’s chest, over-riding his own heartbeat. “It’s . . . no . . . It’s not possible.”
“I’ll bet it is. It’s Caleb’s heart beating.”
“How do you know it’s him? It could be Talitha.”
“It started the moment I saw him. It’s like it’s there to stop me denying that he and I were once friends. And I was watching Talitha when he walked in. She smiled, and it felt as if someone had just shot a thousand volts through him.”
“It’s amazing you’re so connected that you can feel him.”
Seth wasn’t so sure he agreed; it made being here just a little too real.
Erin felt her own heart and could faintly discern Talitha’s heartbeat; it was nowhere near as strong as the thump in Seth’s chest, but then, she figured, she wasn’t in denial the way he was.
They fell into silence as Caleb opened his arms to embrace Talitha. She draped her arms around his neck, twisting the dark curls tumbling onto his shoulders. He kissed the nape of her throat and ran his lips up her neck, over her chin to her mouth.
“This is awkward,” Erin murmured, looking away.
“You don’t say. All this way just to watch them making out.”