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Blue(14)
Danielle Steel

She walked the short distance to the shed. There was no one around, and she kept an eye out for anyone who might attack her. It was late, but there was no one in sight. The wind had come up again, and it was freezing. The cabdriver had said that it was ten degrees with the wind chill factor. She saw the railing where she had stood trying to get up the courage to jump the night before, and she walked straight to the shed and knocked softly, but loud enough to wake him up, since he was probably asleep. She had to knock several times before he answered, and he sounded sleepy when he did.

“Yeah? What?”

“I want to talk to you,” Ginny said, loud enough so he could hear her, and a moment later he stuck his head out the door, and made a face in the bitter wind.

“Shit, it’s cold out here,” he said as he squinted at her, still half asleep.

“Yes, it is. Why don’t you spend the night on my couch? It’s Christmas. And it’s a lot warmer in my apartment than it is here.”

“No, I’m fine,” he said. He had never thought about staying with her, and he didn’t want to take advantage of her, she had already been so nice. He didn’t want to abuse it, but Ginny had a determined look in her eye.

“I know you’re fine. But I want you to come home with me. Just for tonight. They say it’s going to be even colder by tomorrow. I don’t want you to turn into an icicle out here. You’ll get sick.” He hesitated, and then as though he didn’t have the strength to resist, he opened the door wide, stood up with all his clothes and shoes on, rolled up his sleeping bag, and followed her down the street to where she lived. He was too tired to argue with her, and didn’t want to anyway. The thought of a warm place to sleep was appealing, and she seemed like a good person, with good intentions.

They went back to her apartment, and she made him a bed on the couch with two pillows, sheets, and a blanket. It was the closest he’d had to a bed in months. She handed him a pair of her own pajamas, and told him he could change in the bathroom. And when he came out, he looked like a little kid in his father’s pajamas, as he stared at the neat bed she had made him on the couch.

“Will you be okay here?” she asked, looking concerned, and he grinned.

“Are you kidding? This is a lot better than my sleeping bag.” He couldn’t understand what had happened to him, and why she had appeared to shower bounty on him. It was beyond his wildest imagination. But he was going to enjoy it while he could. She watched him slip under the covers, and then she turned off the lights and went to her own room to change and read for a while in bed. It was strange how comforting it was to know that there was someone in the apartment with her, another human presence, even if she couldn’t see him from her bedroom, but she knew he was there. She peeked out once, and saw that he was sound asleep, and then she went back to bed, smiling to herself. It had turned out to be a very nice Christmas Eve after all, the best in years. And for him, too.

Chapter 4

Ginny was making herself a cup of coffee the next morning, when Blue wandered into the kitchen, still wearing her pajamas, and looking like one of the Lost Boys from Peter Pan. She turned and smiled when she saw him.

“Did you sleep okay?” she asked him.

“Yeah, like a baby. Did you wake up really early?”

She nodded. “I’m still on some other time zone. Are you hungry?” She hadn’t stopped feeding him since they met, but he looked as though he needed it, and he was a growing boy.

He looked embarrassed when he answered. “Kind of. But I’m okay. I usually only eat one meal a day.”

“Out of necessity or choice?”

“Both.”

“I make fairly decent pancakes, and I have some mix here. Do you want some?” She had bought it one day in a fit of nostalgia and never used it. She tried not to think of the Mickey Mouse pancakes she used to make for Chris. The last time she’d made pancakes had been for him. She knew she’d never make the Mickey Mouse ones again.

“That sounds good,” Blue admitted, and she got out the mix and made them for him. She had butter in the freezer and maple syrup in the cupboard. And when they finished them, she called Becky to wish them all a merry Christmas at the house in Pasadena. Alan answered and she talked to him for a few minutes, and then Becky got on.

“Should I speak to Dad, or will that just confuse him?” Ginny asked her sister. She wasn’t sure her father would know who she was, and if he did, she didn’t want him to get upset, asking her to come out.

“He’s a little scrambled today. He keeps thinking I’m Mom, and that Margie and Lizzie are you and me. He won’t know who you are on the phone, or even if he saw you today.”

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