Spring Rain
his parents but knew they were going to
be occupied with the equinox crowd.
    “Grandpa Louis!” he exclaimed as he entered
the kitchen and wrapped the small, dark-skinned man with curly
white hair in a tight hug. He had spent the entire previous day at
school with Amber and had yet to eat a home cooked meal or talk to
his family.
    “My lumberjack,” his grandfather said
affectionately.
    Beck smiled as he released him. “It’s gone.”
He motioned to his cheeks. Grandpa Louis had been the only one in
the house to see his full beard.
    “Breakfast?”
    Beck considered, eyes on the heated pans in
the buffet line for visitors. “I’ll have whatever’s ready.”
    “And cookies.” Grandpa Louis went to the far
counter to retrieve a plate of five, each one a different
flavor.
    “I love you!” Beck said and took them.
“Thanks for sending me food in the forest.”
    “Someone has to keep you all fed.” Grandpa
Louis went back to monitoring the pots on the stove and contents of
the oven, while Beck took a seat at the breakfast table.
    He looked around, loving everything from his
mother’s rustic chic décor to the plates of food. He hadn’t known
how much he missed everything until he was back in the middle
again.
    “Are you back from the wilderness for good?”
Grandpa Louis asked.
    Beck focused on the cookie he was breaking
in half. “I don’t know.” He was still raw and being in the
schoolhouse where Morgan’s memories were more intense yesterday
didn’t help take his mind off anything. He hadn’t wanted to return
until he had a chance to heal.
    But it was looking like he would never heal
from losing her, and it disturbed him to think he’d spend his life
in pain.
    “Did you notice I
quoted Nacho Libre ? The wilderness?”
    Beck looked up, startled. His normal stoic
grandfather rarely cracked jokes. “No, but I do now,” he said with
a laugh. “Run out of serious British shows or World War Two movies
to watch?”
    “I can enjoy a comedy from time to time.”
His grandfather smiled warmly. “Decker had a fight with Summer,
short circuited like he and your mother do when they’re upset, and
melted my favorite movies. I had to watch what you boys watch for a
week until he’d replaced everything.”
    Beck grinned, not surprised to hear about
Decker’s meltdown. The dynamics of his family were often strained,
given he and Decker sat on opposite sides of the good-evil fence,
but they were always united when it came to their calm, wise
grandfather.
    Despite his noncommittal response about
breakfast, he soon had a full plate of food in front of him. Beck
wolfed it down, surprised by how hungry he was and how wonderful
real food tasted after three months.
    “Where’s Decker today?” he asked when he’d
finished.
    “Went to fetch Summer and take a day trip
somewhere.” Grandpa Louis shrugged. “Said he’d be back for
dinner.”
    “Big dinner for the equinox?”
    “Huge. Dinners for the next week are being
hosted at the club.”
    The club overlooking the lake where Morgan
died was the last place Beck wanted to go. Ever. His temporary
cheerfulness faded, and he stood. “I’m going on a day trip, too.
Probably won’t be at dinner, though,” he admitted.
    “I’ll leave you a plate in your room.”
    “Thanks, Grandpa. Can I get cookies to
go?”
    “I assumed you’d be leaving early.” Grandpa
Louis held out a plate with a baggie of cookies on it.
    Beck smiled. He snagged the remaining
cookies from his plate and walked down the hallway. Long before he
reached the front door, he had summoned his magick. White fog
billowed out around him, and he directed it to take him where the
call had originated from.
    Within a moment, the clouds had swept him
away.
    They cleared at the side of a large, blocky
hospital in the grassy area under a tree. The spring in Nevada was
much warmer than that of northern Idaho, and he immediately
regretted wearing a sweater. With a quick glance around, Beck
pocketed his

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