Authors: Dallas Schulze
Kate was vaguely aware that something was not right. She'd been driving and then there had been lights coming toward her. She'd turned the wheel. She remembered that much, but after that things got hazy. Pain. She thought there had been pain. But if there had been, it was gone now. In fact, she didn't feel anything at all. She felt...peaceful.
She turned—or at least she thought she turned, though she couldn't feel her body moving—and there was a light ahead of her. It was white, but not a harsh, blinding white. It was soft and warm and so inviting. That's where she was going, she thought, and was surprised that she hadn't realized it sooner. Toward the light. That's where she was meant to be. She drifted toward it, content, at peace.
"Kate!" The voice rang in her head, hard and demanding.
She frowned fretfully and tried to move forward but the light wasn't getting any closer. In fact, it seemed to be a little farther away. She strove to get closer to it, but the voice was there again.
"Kate!" It pulled at her. She wanted to put her hands over her ears but the voice was inside her head and she couldn't block it out. "Come back, Kate. Come back."
Through the shattered windshield, Gareth could see his brother's face. There was something otherworldly about him, as if Nick was no longer there at all. Energy shimmered around him, an almost visible radiance that lined his profile with a glow that had nothing to do with the stark white glare of the work lamps.
Gareth sensed that Nick was literally willing Kate to live, breathing the essence of his own life into her, determined to either save her or die with her.
Kate didn't want to go back. If she went back, there would be pain and noise and fear. She wanted to go forward, toward the soft, peaceful light. But when she tried to do that, there was suddenly a new light in front of her. This one was a deep, warm red— the color of passion and love blocking out the cool serenity of the other light.
She started to flinch, half afraid of what it represented, of the demands it made even as it promised warmth but then the light surrounded her, bathed her in a soft heat. And she was suddenly aware of how cold she'd been, how alone. She held out her arms in instinctive welcome and the light flared higher as if in triumph. It sank into her, warming her, completing her, filling an emptiness that she'd carried inside her whole life.
She'd come home.
"Come back, Kate." She knew the voice now. Nick. It was Nick calling her, pulling her back from the white light. She looked for it again but it was faint and far away. She felt no regrets. Now was not the time. This was where she belonged.
She turned away from the light and walked into the healing warmth of Nick's love.
The word miracle is easily used and rarely respected, but now and again, something happens that defies all logical explanation—a real miracle occurs.
The people who were there that night knew they'd witnessed the real thing—a miracle born of love and desperation. It was something that none of them would forget.
When Kate stirred and opened her eyes, Gareth felt the last of his bitterness over losing Kate drain away. He might have loved her, but she was the other half of Nick's soul.
Five months later, Steven Joshua Blackthorne came into the world, a miracle of another kind entirely.
There were other children, another boy and a girl with her mother's fair hair and her father's dark eyes.
Harry refused to sell Spider's Walk. Instead, he gave the deed to Nick and Kate as a wedding gift, and the big house rang once again with the sound of children laughing and playing. The gardens were restored to their former beauty, offering food for the soul and plenty of places to play hide-and-seek.
Gareth eventually figured out what Brenda had known all along, which was that they were meant for each other.
Kate spent the rest of her life in Eden, but she'd long since realized that roots weren't a matter of place but of mind. She loved having a settled home, but as long as she and Nick were together, she could be happy.
Nick had at last found his peace. Kate and the children were his own private miracle.
As for the other miracle in his life—the night of Kate's accident was the last time his gift ever appeared. And that was fine with him.
He'd had more than enough miracles in his life.