Never leave me

Authors: Dallion

Hosted by VendrediAntiques.com


1: Nightmares

Ryan stood between Jack and Johnny as the priest gave a final prayer, and the casket slowly began to lower. Looking out, at the never ending hills of the cemetery, Ryan felt his heart slowly sink down to his stomach. It was late November, and the sky was dark and overcast. A chill was to the air, and everything seemed so gray and dull. Having been nearly in a dazed state the last couple of days, He finally got hit with what was going on. Feeling his legs slowly begin to shake, he felt for nearly a moment his knees would buckle and he would fall to the ground. Almost as if he saw he starting to shift balance, Johnny's strong arm was holding him, making sure he wouldn't fall.

About thirty people in total had showed up for the funeral. Only a few of Micki's old distant friends showed up, along with people who had helped out at the store before. Rashid stood across Jack, his eyes serious and watching the casket. Finally the priest finished and said amen. Everyone made signs of the cross before slowly moving to their parked cars. Ryan stood silent, as people past them, muttering hellos and how sorry they were.

Come on...

Johnny said to him, but he couldn't. Standing there for a second hhe felt the awful wave of emotion hit him all over again. The pain wouldn't go away...not even for a second.

But Johnny silently lead him away, helping him to the car.

But he pulled away.

No...

Johnny glanced at him, in the distance cars were pulling away and heading to the store. Jack decided everyone would meet back there for some coffee.

Ryan looked up at the sky and saw it was starting the rain. Huge drops began to patter down around them, freezing cold and hitting the white casket.

Johnny went to lead him away again, before Ryan's worn out and old looking face kept looking at the grave.

Come on Ryan...

Ryan acted as if he couldn't hear him, slowly walking to the casket he took a deep breath and placed one of his hands against the cool feeling metal. Rain fell around them as Johnny hurried beside him.

Come on to the car where it's warm.

Ryan then looked over at Johnny, his eyes empty.

I can't leave her alone like this...not in the rain...

He tried to finish but he broke down again, barley able to contorl himself Johnny was there telling him everything would be all right.

Then...
__________________________________________________________________________

Ryan woke up with a start.

He was in his own bed.

Taking a second, his heart raced as he gasped for air. It took a second to focus on the darkness around him and know with almost an awful heavy feeling that it was just a nightmare.

He had been getting alot of them lately.

Wearing his yellow Illinois shirt and boxes, he glanced at his alarm clock and saw it was nealry three in the morning.

These dreams wouldn't quit.

They were always of Micki dying or dead. Awful images of her beautiful body laying lifeless on the ground. Dreams of being at her funeral with a man he had never met before. Everything was so blured, the the nightmare always stayed the same.

His Micki was dead.

Feeling an awful chill go up his spine, he glanced at the window across the room and saw it was raining.

Micki...

Slowly getting up, he walked across the room. Taking a second, he pressed himself up against the glass windows that lead to her. Feeling the cool feel of the glass against his skin, he stood there for a second sighing. Looking off into space he finally turned the door knob and opened the two french doors that lead into Micki's room.

She was sleeping peacefully.

Walking over, he checked if she was all right. Laying there ontop of her sheets, dressed in one of her thin short nightgowns. Looking at her smooth and beautiful body, he sighed.

Her window was open a bit, just enough to cool off the room.

Then...

He knocked into her nightstand by accident, just enough to make Micki's eyes flutter open and stare at him, half asleep.

Ryan?

Ryan froze.

Sorry Micki...just closing your window, it's raining.

Micki squinted before looking at her clock.

What time is it?

Late, go back to sleep...

Micki eyed the clock before rolling over.

Sighing, Ryan crossed the room and shut her window. He kept putting off trying to fix the AC for up here. Knowing he had most of tomorrow to mess around, he thought maybe then he would get to doing it.

Jack was away for the week searching for a cursed dress, sold a few cities over. He left the two of them in charge until he got back.

Walking across the room, he eyed Micki one last time before leaving and going back to bed. Before settling back down he felt a strange feel of unease.
__________________________________________________________________________

JESUS!

Ryan didn't think he had hurt himself that bad.

It was three days later, and they now just recovered the cursed radio. Both were worn out and a little shaken by what had just happened. An hour ago the two of them stored the radio away, before getting the creeps and going upstairs.

Ryan had promised Micki to take her out to eat, but ever since last night his inner thigh had been killing him.

Thinking back to the electric fence he shook his head the the warm water from the shower slowly poured over him. He had only glanced at it, thankful that he hadn't killed himself. Now over the last twenty-four hours the slight burn mark seemed worse.

Ryan?

He heard Micki's voice over the running water. Hissing again in pain he turned the shower off, still dripping wet.

Yeah?

You okay in there?

Yeah...fine...

He had been worried about her, she seemed pretty shaken up from this. Looking at his leg, he turned it a bit and felt his stomach roll. It looked pretty bad, if it kept hurting like this he might have to go to the hospital.

Ryan?

This time Ryan shut the water off, still dripping wet he yelled out that he would be out in a second. Grabbing his towel, he dryed himself off and combed back his hair. Looking at himself in the mirror, he faintly smiled and then began looking for the first aid kit. Jack had bought two, along with a few icepacks a few months ago. Ryan remembered him saying about some gel that helped burns.

A few minutes later, Ryan walked out dressed in jeans and a dark T-shirt. Micki was sitting on his bed flipping through a comic book.

Ready?

Yeah, let me just get my wallet.

Ryan went over to his nightstand and began searching through all his junk. Glancing at Micki for a second he smiled. She was dressed in slacks and a white blouse. Grabbing his wallet he stood up and helped her up from his bed.

Let's go.
__________________________________________________________________________

At the pizza joint downtown, Micki and Ryan shared a booth and ate a large cheese pizza. Micki ordered a diet soda, and Ryan had beer. Both found this place one afternoon before going back to the store. It was nice and the food tasted great. In the background the jukebox began to loudly play a rock n roll song. The two of them like always, talked for hours about nothing. Often they got each other laughing so hard, people sitting next to them would look over.

Tonight the two of them felt much better. The gel for Ryan's leg felt as if it was working, and Micki finally decided to herself she wouldn't tell him about that man at the mental hospital trying to rape her. She had escaped, and didn't want to worry him. Both sat across from each other, finishing their pizza and laughing.

Then...

Michelle?

Micki stopped before looking up, Lloyd stood there. Right away Ryan looked up and saw Micki's face. She looked frozen solid. After a few seconds of awkward silence, Micki blinked a few times and slowly cleared her throat.

Lloyd?

Just then a woman about Micki's height with long black hair walked over and stood beside Lloyd, her arm went around him and Micki's eyes dropped.

What are you doing here?

We got lost, we're heading over to town hall.

Oh...

Ryan looked across at Micki and saw her face as turning red. Lloyd stared at the two of them before slightly nodding to Ryan.

How are things?

Micki looked up again before forcing a smile.

Fine...

I ran into your father last week.

Did you?

Yes...

Micki then looked up at the woman who stood beside Lloyd.

Oh, I'm sorry...this is Lisa.

The woman reached out and shook Micki's hand for a second.

Hi, I heard alot about you.

Ryan stayed silent before seeing where this was going.

Micki tried to smile again, but it wouldn't come.

So, why are you heading to town hall?

We're getting our marriage license.

Micki's jaw nearly dropped.

Your...what?

Lloyd stood up straight before holding Lisa's waist.

Yes, we're getting married this fall.

It had been nearly two years since Lloyd broke off his engagement to Lloyd. Ryan had known how badly she had taken it. She had tried to explain everything to him, but he just didn't understand. Since then the past year or two had been hard. Any relationship they became involved with always ended with tragedy.

Ryan knew it was their job to stay here and recover the objects. But Micki was right, they were wasting their lifes on something that might very well kill them.

Micki had almost left before, but finally when things ended with Lloyd, she knew this was her lease in life until things went back to normal. She was the reason Ryan had decided to stay after meeting Laura. He knew she was right about everything.

From time to time, this harmless crush on her became stronger. But he knew the truth, he wouldn't ever be good enough for her.

So here they were, trapped.

Lisa then shot Micki a grin, a grin that only Ryan caught before she leaned over and kissed Lloyd's cheek.

I'm going to ask for directions hon.

With that Lisa walked away, leaving the three of them in silence.

Lloyd cleared his throat before shoving his hands in his suit jacket's pockets. Glancing at Ryan for a second he started down at Micki.

I may need to stop by the store at the end of the week.

What for?

The...the ring I gave you, it was my grandmothers and...

Before he could finish Micki looked white as a sheet.

Excuse me...

Micki slid across her seat and nearly bumped into Lloyd getting up. Ryan went to get up, before he watched her run to the restroom, most likely holding back tears.

Ryan and Lloyd stood in silence before Ryan felt his blood begin to boil. He hated Lloyd, he hated everything about him. All he was, was a stuck up, no good lawyer who only cared about money and country clubs. He didn't understand how he could of gotten somebody as good as Micki, and then throw her away.

Your a real jerk you know that?

Lloyd looked stunned.

Excuse me?

Ryan looked up at him.

What did she ever go to you huh, what?

I don't think this is any of your...

No, it is...

Ryan then stood up, nearly knocking the table over. Lloyd stepped back a bit as some people sitting at other tables watched.

I know things ended badly between you guys, but why do you have to treat her like that.

Listen here you art school dropout idiot! It was her choice to throw her life away at that dirty little store, and talk crazy! Everyone knows it, even her own family!

Ryan then went right into Lloyd's face.

Well your the type of people who don't care about anyone but yourself.

Lloyd laughed.

Please, you should hear what people are saying about you two...Micki's own parents want to disown her!

Just then Lisa started walking over.

Lloyd wouldn't stop, his voice began to raise.

She's a loser, just like you!

Ryan then used all his force and shoved Lloyd as hard as he could. Somebody screamed in the back as Lloyd lost his balance and nearly fell over a table. Plates crashed as he stood up looking stunned.

YOU SON OF A BITCH!

This time it was Lisa that screamed as Lloyd charged towards Ryan. Right away both men were on top of each other before swinging their arms and trying to get in a good punch.

Seconds later, Ryan felt himself being shoved. Most likely the owner of the place was trying to get them to take it outside. Before he knew it, he was on the sidewalk, rolling around, kicking and punching.

People gathered out and watched.

RYAN!

He heard Micki's voice in the background.

Rolling over on top of Lloyd, Ryan gave one final good punch to his face, making sure his nose bleed.

Sore and throbbing, Ryan slowly got up, his own face bleeding. Trying to catch his breath he looked down at Lloyd laying there as Lisa went to him.

Lloyd stared up at him.

You have alot of nerve!

So sue me.

Ryan went to turn before he looked back at Lloyd and Lisa on the dirty sidewalk.

And another thing...go next to Micki again and I'll kill you.

Turning around, Ryan limped away as Micki ran after him. Once then walked down two blocks, she finally caught up with him.

Ryan!

Ryan stopped to check if anyone from the pizza place was behind them. Standing under a streetlight he took a deep breath before glancing at Micki.

I'm sorry that happened.

Are you all right?

Micki's slender fingers went to touch Ryan's face but he hissed. Lloyd had gotten a few good hits in, and his leg was killing him now. Micki looked over his face, worried and on the verge of tears.

What happened?

Ryan shook his head.

Doesn't matter, he won't bother you anymore.

Oh Ryan, I'm so sorry...

She touched his face again before looking around. They were on a side street. Buildings around them looked dark and still. A muggy feeling was in the air, and it looked like rain. Ryan didn't want to move at that moment. His face hurt too much. Leaning against the streetlight pole he took in deep breaths.

You okay?

I'm fine, oh God I'm such an idiot.

Why?

For even loving him...how could I? Lloyd is so empty, so mean...he's not like you.

Ryan raised an eyebrow for a second before Micki softly began to cry. Ryan's arms went out and held her as she buried her face into his shirt, saying she was sorry over and over again.
__________________________________________________________________________

By the time they got home, it was a little after eleven. Ryan sat at the kitchen table, as Micki got the icepack and looked over his face.

You don't look that bad...

Micki said before handing him it. Faintly smiling Ryan rolled his eyes.

Thanks...

Sighing Micki sat down before digging in her pocket, opening her hand she showed Ryan the ring. Something Ryan could never afford in years.

Well here it is...

Ryan slowly took it out of her hands and looked at it.

So, you wanna give it back?

Micki reached over and took the ring from him. Sighing she glanced up.

I guess it finally hit me, how much I've hated my old life.

With that Micki chucked it as hard as she could. Seconds later they heard it hit the wall across the room and fall to the floor. Smiling, Ryan took her empty hand.

He didn't deserve you.

Micki smiled back at him before leaning over and looking at his face.

I don't think your even gonna bruise...

That's good.

Smiling Micki leaned over and kissed his forehead.

Thanks again.

For what?

For always being there for me.

Ah, it was nothing.

Both laughed before Micki ran her fingers through his hair.

Hey...you tired yet?

No, not really.

Ryan lowered the icepack and took her hand.

Then let's go...

Where?

For a walk, come on...it's too hot up here.

Before getting up, Ryan walked across the room and picked up the ring.
__________________________________________________________________________

Micki and Ryan walked side by side downtown. Most of the stores and nightclubs were still open. It was a beautiful summer night, and somehow even after everything that happened, both seemed happy and relaxed.

Just then they walked by a tattoo store. Micki gazed in the window before smiling.

Hey Ryan?

Ryan stopped.

Yeah?

How about I treat you for saving me tonight.

Huh?
__________________________________________________________________________

Ryan looked at his reflection in the mirror. His left ear was now pierced. Micki stood beside him laughing before Ryan turned around.

So, does it make me look cool?

Micki walked forward before taking his hands.

You look great.

Both began to laugh before leaving.

It was getting late now, and both seemed in a much better mood. Ryan kept playing with the small hoop on his ear.

You sure this makes me look tough.

Oh yeah...

Micki hid her giggles before Ryan playfully hit her behind. Both walked together down the street before Ryan spotted a homeless person laying against a building.

Hold on a second...

Micki waited as Ryan walked over to the man.

Hey buddy?

The man looked up.

Here, maybe you can cash it in for a hot meal for something...

Ryan handed the man the ring, right away the man's jaw dropped.

Is...is this real?

Well it's safe to say you'll get more then fifty bucks for it.

Smiling, Ryan turned back around to join Micki. Smiling she took his hand and they walked home.
__________________________________________________________________________

It was nearly one in the morning by the time they got home. Ryan was feeling ten times better and couldn't seem to stop laughing with Micki.

Once they reached upstairs, Micki opened a few of the windows to let some air in.

God, your right it is hot in here...

Ryan rolled up the sleeves of his T-shirt before walking over to the open window.

Micki and him started out it, looking at the back alley. Then, she slowly looked up at him and smiled.

Before he could say anything, Micki leaned forward and softly kissed his lips.

Breaking apart, Micki looked at the very stunned Ryan and smiled before walking to her bedroom.

Goodnight Ryan...

Ryan was speechless, and watched her close her bedroom doors. Smiling to himself he went and laid back on his bed. Smiling like a teenager, he flicked off his light and put on his headphones.



2: A future?

After the funeral the rain had started building up. Driving back, Jack eyed Johnny and Ryan sitting silently in the backseat. A few people were planning on stopping by the store for some tea and coffe before heading out again. Jack asked Ryan if he wanted to just go straight upstairs and take something to sleep. Ryan slowly shook his head before they pulled up to the store.

A few hours later, about fifteen people showed up. Everyone standing around in small little groups downstairs. Ryan sat on the couch the entire time as distant friends past him and told him how sorry they were. Ryan felt like all these people were strangers, people who didn't really know the real Micki, nor cared that she was now dead. He counted how many times people said that she was with the angels now, that they hoped she didn't suffer, and that she was in a better place. Ryan knew what they were all thinking, and just started off without saying a word.

Micki's sister showed up for only a few minutes. She explained how bad the traffic was, and how her boyfriend was waiting in the car. JB had showed up, dressed in his best shirt and slacks. He slowly went over to Ryan and hugged him.

After she left, Ryan thought that was all of Micki's family that would show.

He was wrong.

Right before the last of the people began to leave, a few of Micki's old girlfriends from college came, their eyes filled with tears as they hugged Ryan saying how sorry they were. Looking for Jack, Ryan saw that he was across the room talking with Rashid.

That's when Micki's mother and father showed.

Ryan had only heard about Micki's parents from time to time. In the past she explained to him that growing up, they never had the best relationship. At age seven she was sent off to school, and always forced to live the life they wanted her to lead. He knew they were outraged about her leaving Lloyd, and taking for the store. He knew she barley talked with them since they always reminded her of how she was throwing away her life.

Micki's mother had graying hair, which was done up in a tight bun. She wore a black peacoat and her eyes were cast downward. Micki's father was an older man, with glasses and a serious look to him as he marched over towards Ryan.

Right away Johnny eyed them and got up.

Ryan Dallion?

Ryan slowly looked up at the two of them.

Yes?

Just then, Micki's mother reached out and slapped him right across the face. The slap was so sudden, it made a loud cracking noise that made everyone turn around and look.

Ryan sat there as his cheek began to turn red from her hand.

Micki's father shook his head.

I told her, and I told her again that if she stayed here she would die an old maid...and old maid with no future, poor and alone!

Jack and Johnny started to walk forward with a few of the other guests.

I told here you were nothing but a loser, your entire family was too!

Micki's father then leaned in so close to Ryan's face, he could feel his breath.

You killed her you bastard, you killed her!

That's enough!

Jack said as the older couple looked up, Jack walked forward.

If your not here on your own daughter's sake...then just leave.

Micki's father shot Ryan another look.

Fine, we'll leave...but I just want that little bastard to know what he did!

Turning around, they began to walk out of the store. Ryan felt his legs shake as he stood up, his eyes bloodshot and worn.

YOU DIDN'T LOVE HER!

Ryan screamed across to them, right away everyone stood back stunned. Micki's father slowly turned around.

What did you say?

YOU HEARD ME! SHE KNEW YOU DIDN'T LOVE HER...WHY DO YOU CARE IF SHE'S ALIVE OR DEAD!

YOU BASTARD!

Micki's father went to run after Ryan, but some of the guests were on him. Holding him back. Johnny stood across the room holding Ryan's shoulder.

Within seconds, Micki's parents were forced out.

Everyone stood around in silence.

That's when Ryan began to cry, Johnny held him as Jack walked over.

Shhhh...it's all right.

Ryan shook his head.

He's right, I did kill her!
__________________________________________________________________________

Ryan woke up again.

Another nightmare.

His headphones still blasted loud rock music, slowly slipping them off he looked around and saw it was morning. He heard the shower running. Taking a second, he slid out of bed and walked towards Micki's room.

The door was open and her bed was made. Faintly smiling, he touched his ear and remembered last night.

Did it mean anything?

Ryan?

He heard Micki's voice over the running water.

Yeah?

You up?

Yeah...

Just then the shower turned off, Ryan walked over to the kitchen counter and saw that Micki had made coffee. Pouring himself a cup, he nearly choked when Micki came out, wearing only a towel.

Brushing back her hair she smiled at him.

Morning...

Ryan gave a faint smile, he knew his face was turning red. Micki walked over and took her own coffee cup before brushing against him. Ryan stood back half way amused, knowing he hadn't ever seen this side of Micki before.

Was she being forward?

Taking her cup she walked into the bedroom and shut the door behind her.
__________________________________________________________________________

A little while later, Micki came out with her hair dry and wearing a white sun dress.

Jack called this morning.

Ryan was sitting at the kitchen table reading the paper.

Yeah?

Yeah, early...I grabbed it before it woke you, he said he'll be back this evening.

Tell him about the radio.

Only the basic details.

Micki smiled before sitting beside him.

Bad dreams?

Ryan looked up from the paper at her.

Huh?

You were tossing and turning this morning, talking in your sleep.

Ryan shrugged.

Guess these objects are getting the best of me.

Micki smiled before leaning over and brushing Ryan's bangs out of his face. Ryan smiled over at her before Micki glanced at the closet which stood beside the kitchen.

I was looking for the broom when I found some of your art stuff.

Oh yeah?

Yeah, your pretty good...

You mean was...

Come on Ryan, why don't you do it anymore.

I don't have the time...

Come on, some of that stuff was really good!

Ryan smirked before sighing and looking down at his newspaper and coffee mug.

I don't know...I guess art was my escape growing up, my dad hated it and called me everything in the book, once I got into college I thought it would be easy.

When did you leave?

A year before we got the store, I really couldn't afford it and I had others things going on in my life, I mean I loved doing it...but things didn't go my way.

Ever think about going back?

Maybe, someday.

Well you should keep doing it, I mean if it's what you love.

Ryan smiled before leaning back in his chair.

I've been putting around with starting a few new things, in fact a few months ago I bought two pounds of molding clay and haven't used it yet.

Then do something, I mean it's Sunday, all we're gonna do is mess around the store waiting for Jack.

Ryan grinned before getting up and heading to the closet. Opening it, he sorted through some of his supplies before finding two white boxes. Taking them to the table, he opened one which had small little knifes to sculpt and carve. The next was the brown colored clay.

Micki watched as Ryan took everything out with care, finally she smiled before standing up a little.

So...what are you thinking about doing?

Ryan thought for a second before smiling.

How about you.

Me?

Come on, it will be just like in that Hello music video.

Micki began cracking up before she lifted the heavy clay and looked at him.

Fine, but I want this to be an amazing piece of artwork.

Ryan laughed before putting the things away.

I'll mess around with it tonight downstairs...

Micki helped him pack things away before he looked at her.

So what are you going to do?

What?

After this is all over...

You mean the objects?

Yeah.

Well I don't know, like Jack said we don't know how long it will take us.

What did you study in school.

I went to finishing school, then rode horses for awhile.

Oh yeah?

Yeah, blue ribbons and everything.

Ryan smiled.

Well what did you wanna do for a career?

Well, you see...I came from a family of money, all your jobs were to marry well.

Ah, so that's why your father isn't thrilled with the idea of you being a shop keeping?

Micki smiled.

Yeah...but the all honest turth, all I've ever wanted to do was be a mom.

Ryan was struck by this.

Really?

Yeah, ever since I was little.

Ryan smiled at Micki before they heard Jack coming through the door downstairs. Looking at each other, Micki smiled before heading down the stairs.

He's early...
__________________________________________________________________________

That evening, Micki and Ryan had finished telling him the whole story about the cursed radio, and how they nearly got killed trying to get it. Jack simply patted them on the back and reminded them to be more careful.

You need to watch out, if anything happened to one of you...getting these things back might get even harder.

Micki and Ryan simply glanced at each other before Jack went upstairs to make tea. There Micki told him to bring out the molding stuff, she felt like posing. For the next hour, Micki sat on the stool across from Ryan laughing and fooling around and he tried to shape the clay. By the time Jack came downstairs with his tray he was pretty inpressed who quickly it took Ryan to get started.

You know...it's a real shame.

What?

Well you have all this talent and can't do anything about it.

Oh Micki, this isn't going to last forever.

Ryan looked over his shoulder at Jack and smiled.

Yeah, anyways this is the most relaxing evening I've had in awhile...I plan o enjoy it.

That's when the phone rang.

Moments later Jack got his jacket on and told Ryan to get the keys.

What's wrong?

Micki you stay here in case there's another call, we're going to the bus station.

Should I come?

No, just stay here by the phone...I think something has happened.
__________________________________________________________________________

A little awhile later, Jack and Ryan returned. Micki had waited, walking back and forth looking at the mold of her face Ryan had started. Faintly smiling, she looked at the clay and saw all the great detail he had put into it.

That's when they came through the door.

Holding out an envelope they began to search through what was inside.
__________________________________________________________________________

That evening, all was forgotton about trying to relax and spend time together. Jack looked over the photographs that this reporter had sent him, and looked worried.

That's where he looked up in the manifest and read about the cursed coin.
__________________________________________________________________________

The next day would forever stay in Ryan's mind.

He had slept through the night, most likely too worried about this coin Jack had spoken about, and woke up early with Micki and searched through the newspaper clippings at the kitchen table.

They saw a link to the taxidermy shop, in which the reporter had taken photos of. Now knowing that he was dead, the three of them got a strange feeling of unease that they were using this coin to bring back the dead.

When Jack and Ryan went there, the owner seemed very to himself and was barley able to answer any questions. Before leaving, Jack asked Ryan to visit the museum and see if he could find anything out. Jack decided to return to the store and see if Micki had found anything else.
__________________________________________________________________________

When Ryan returned, it was dark out and had just lightly rained. Shaking off his light jacket, he threw it over the counter before opening up one of the books he had borrowed from the museum.

Jack and Micki still weren't back.

That's when Jack came in, nearly slipping from his wet boots.

Hey Jack, your not going to believe what I found...

Jack stood there, half out of breath and a look of pure terror spread across his face.

Where's Micki?

Ryan looked up.

Wasn't she with you?

Jack shut his eyes for a moment and shook his head. Just then Ryan had an awful turning feeling in his stomach. Freezing his eyes grew wide.

What's wrong?

We went back to taxidermy shop, there's a damn coven under there. They found us and the coven of witches chased after us...we split up to throw them off.

Ryan could barley breath.

She's still down there?

I'm afraid not, lets go!

Ryan nearly fell as he rushed around the counter and ran in front of Jack. Racing out the door, he ran out onto the wet sidewalk and began running as fast as he could with Jack barley able to keep up behind him.

His heart racing, he gained speed before crossing the next block.

Ryan wait up!

Jack was struggling and finally took a second to catch his breath.

Both were in the parking-lot of the taxidermy shop.

Looking around, Ryan spotted the car and felt his heart begin to beat faster.

Look the car, she's still around here someplace...

Ryan then saw the lights, the police, and the ambulance.

Jack...

Ryan then saw the police men standing around, they had the entire area marked off. Ryan stood there for a second before feeling his entire body go numb.

JACK!

Please gentlemen there's nothing to see...

But Ryan pushed the police officer to the side as Jack ran after him.

Please don't let it be here, please.

Ryan prayed.

3: Somebody told me

Ryan...

Johnny tried to find the words, but there weren't any. Takking in a small breath he looked over at his friend and knew that this exact moment, there wasn't anything he could do for him.

Ryan had at the kitchen table upstairs. His tie was loosened and his eyes started off into space, looking empty and blank.

The two of them had gone upstairs after the last of the guests left. There really wasn't a big clean up and Jack stayed to wish to others off. Now sitting here alone, the two of them didn't say a word. Johnny started down at his half empty beer bottle before sighing.

Ryan...I just...

He fell silent again as Ryan kept looking off, finally Johnny rubbed his face with his worn hands and held back from crying. He had felt this same exact way when his father died. Helpless and alone.

This is such a fucking mess.

Ryan slowly nodded in agreement.

Do you need something to sleep?

Ryan slowly shook his head.

I think I'm going to run a hot bath and try to forget about today.

Johnny looked up as Ryan slowly got up and pushed his chair back. It seemed almost as if Ryan was acting half way normal again. Johnny gave Ryan a look of unease until Ryan reached over and took Johnny's beer. Gulping it down, Ryan sighed.

Thanks man.

Johnny barley nodded as he watched Ryan go into the bathroom, shutting the door behind him.

Sitting there alone, Johnny decided while he was there he might as well crack open another beer. Reaching over to the fridge he took another bottle and began to open it as Jack came upstairs.

Hey...

Where is he?

Taking a bath.

How's he doing?

Johnny shrugged.

As good as he can be.

Jack took a seat across from him and sighed.

So what's the plan?

Jack looked up.

I really don't know...It's for real this time, and I feel like I can't find anyway to fix this.

What about Ryan?

Johnny pointed to the closed bathroom door.

Jack started down at his old looking hands.

I guess just take it one day at a time.

Johnny nodded before leaning back.

I can't believe she's really gone...

Jack sighed before looking over at the bathroom door.

Did you ask him if he wanted anything.

Johnny nodded, but Jack still got up, crossing the room and lightly knocking on the door.

Ryan?

There was silence.

Johnny kept drinking his beer.

Jack knocked again.

Ryan...

This time Jack opened the door and stood back.

Ryan...

Johnny this time turned around.

Jack looked at Ryan, sitting on the edge of the bathtub, a razor in one hand, and his right wrist bleeding.

A puddle of blood was slowly forming on the ground.

Ryan...what have you done to yourself?
__________________________________________________________________________

Ryan's thoughts raced through him faster then his own heart beating. Just in seconds he saw blue and red flashing lights, police men, and ambulances. He ran thinking to himself that it couldn't be, it had to be something else.

MICKI!

Ryan ran behind the ambulance and nearly fell to the wet pavement when he saw her.

She was laying there, dressed in peach colored slacks and a blouse. Her body laying there like a doll thrown without care. There were people around her, taking photographs.

She's sleeping...

Ryan thought for a second before he heard his own voice scream...

NO!

He pushed past another officer and heard Jack calling after him. Falling to his knees hard, Ryan grathered Micki up in his arms.

Right away all control he had was shattered. It felt like a million bricks hitting him all at once. Almost the same exact and shocked feeling came to him years ago when he saw Jimmy's body laying in the street. He remembered how his mother held his lifeless body, screaming and crying as he watched, totaly helpless.

No, not Micki...she couldn't be dead.

She can't be dead, she can't be dead!

Ryan cried out as he held her tighter, rocking back and forth he felt hot sticky tears fall from his face as his chest shook. His entire body hurt as he cried out in pure pain for Micki to wake up.

She'll just open her eyes and everything will be all right.

Jack slowly came behind him, slowly taking off his hat as one of the police officers walked over to him.

Excuse me, do you know this woman?

Jack kneeled down beside Ryan before softly saying yes. He watched as Ryan held Micki's body, kissing her forehead which was burned by the mark of the coin.

Please Micki, please wake up.

Ryan was in a total date of hysterical. His eyes darted back and forth as he rocked Micki back and forth. Kissing her so softly that only Jack knew how much this killed him. The two of them just started at her body as the police officer began to speak again.

Do you have any idea what she was doing here at this time of night...

Please officer...later.

Jack waved his hand to him, he knew there would be questions. But not now. Ryan was having a breakdown, and he himself was in a complete state of shock. Their friend was gone...killed.

The officer put his small notebook and pen away before nodding.

Yeah...sure.

Ryan was shaking all over as he held Micki. Just then the officer bent down and went to touch Ryan's shoulder.

Son why not you...

Ryan snapped back like a wild animal.

LEAVE HER ALONE! DON'T TOUCH HER!

The cop qiickly drew back and looked at Jack with a nervous way. Ryan meanwhile went back to holding Micki, crying to her to just wake up. Jack slowly stood out and took out the store's card he had made up early last fall.

Officer? If you need to reach us, here.

He handed him the card.

Ryan was still taking in deep breaths, crying to himself as others watched.

Okay...after the hospital takes a look at her we'll discuss funeral arrangements.

Jack shook his head before lowering himself to Ryan, who still wouldn't let go of Micki's body. Slowly he touched his shoulder as Ryan looked at him. His eyes as big as china, glassed over with tears.

I'm not leaving her!

Ryan bent his head to cry against Micki when Jack said...

Look at me...LOOK AT ME!

Ryan looked as tears ran down his drained face.

We have too...we can't do anymore here.

Ryan looked at Micki, his heart breaking as he leaned down and kissed her again. Slowly and with care he began to lower Micki to the ground.

There she laid, silent and still.

Jack held Ryan as he helped him stand. Slowly he lead him away to the car.
__________________________________________________________________________

Once they were in the car, Jack found the spare keys. Starting up the engine he looked over at Ryan.

Ryan sat in his seat, his head lowered in his hands and still softly crying. His entire body was shaking.

Ryan?

Before Ryan could answer he threw open his door and began throwing up. Jack sighed as he reached over, slowly patting Ryan's back as he strained himself and began to cry out. After a few moments he stopped and sat back up. His eyes empty.

Ryan?

Ryan looked as if he was going to be sick again, taking deep breaths he began to break down all over again.

Jack waited another moment before reaching across Ryan and shutting his door. After another second he put the car in drive and drove away from the crime scene.

Ryan the entire time stayed silent.
__________________________________________________________________________

A half an hour later they were in the store. The only sound was the old grandfather clock slowly ticking in the background. Jack opened the book Ryan had been looking at and flipped the pages in silence.

The police hadn't called yet.

Ryan meanwhile stood in front of the clay mold he had started earlier of Micki's face. Looking at it his heart began to ache and hurt again. Everything about her was so perfect.

You didn't tell me what you found at the museum?

Does it matter anymore?

Of course it does...

Jack slowly turned around to face Ryan. He knew he was doing bad. There was silence.

Ryan?

Ryan started at the mold, his eyes filling with tears again.

She never had a chance at life Jack. So beautiful...

Ryan held in another cry as he began shaking his head.

She didn't deserve this!

Jack turned around sighing.

She knew our luck would run out one day...

Well where does it say she had to keep doing this? Where does it say she had to throw her life away chasing some damn coin!

Jack couldn't find the words, simply shaking his head he looked up.

She knew what had to be done Ryan...

WHY? AND WHY DID YOU RUN OUT ON HERE?

Ryan paced back and forth pulling at his hair. He was having a full blown nervous breakdown.

I didn't run out on her...I bought her all the time I could.

Ryan started at Jack as if he was mad. Slowly he crossed the store and faced him.

It wasn't enough...you let them get their hands on her, you BASTARD!

Ryan went to attack Jack, but he was quick with his movements and held him back.

Ryan for God's sake!

Jack and Ryan started at each other before Ryan broke down in his arms, crying as hard as he could as Jack held him.

Oh Ryan don't you know I loved her too...

I know this wasn't her job...it isn't yours and it sure as hell isn't mine. But who's going to stop what began here?

Ryan looked at him.

If we don't do it...what's going to happen to other people, other people love?
__________________________________________________________________________

Jack?

It was an hour later.

Jack turned to face Ryan. The two of them had looked over the books and figured out what these people were planning on doing with the cursed coin. Ryan had destroyed the mold of Micki's face and had it rolled into a ball beside the open book.

Jack was on his way to get the car, every moment they wasted added onto the risk of this plan not working.

If this doesn't work...I'm finished after this.

Ryan...

I made up my mind, I can't do this.

Jack took a deep breath and started at the back of Ryan.

I can't go through this when you die.

Jack slowly nodded as Ryan gathered up the rest of his things.

Let's go make them wish they were never born.
__________________________________________________________________________

Fifteen minutes later they were at the hospital where Micki was taken.

Jack stood out in the dim corridor keeping watch.

Ryan meanwhile slowly walked in the mourge. The lights flicking, and a freezing ice cold feeing in the air. His sneakers slowly going across the cement floor, he looked at the wall made of metal draws.

Jane Doe.

One of the lower draws read.

Ryan took a deep breath looking at it.

Micki...

He whispered under his breath. Slowly reaching out he pulled it open.

She laid there, still in her clothes. Her skin snow white and her lips a blue gray color. Her beautiful fire red colored hair laying like dead wire.

Ryan stared down at her, and for a complete second he really did feel like he had lost his mind. Somehow he began to see images of Jimmy, his father, all of those awful lost souls that were killed by these objects.

There Micki was...dead.

The last two years flashed before him and he thought back on that little harmless crush he still had deep in his heart.

Why didn't he tell her?

She was his best friend. She was his family, she was his partner, she was...the only thing that seemed good in his life.

Now she was gone.

Please God...please let this work.

He cried deep in his throat.

Gonna take you home Micki...

He leaned down and picked up her body. The dead freezing stiff weight against him made his stomach roll.

Don't look at her...

Ryan told himself and he stood up straight, now facing the door.

Thoughts of holding her, thoughts of that small kiss they shared.

He loved her.

If this worked, he promised himself that he would hold her this way on their wedding day. He wouldn't keep hiding, he would finally tell her the turth.

"All I've ever wanted to do is be a mother."

He remembered her say. As Ryan began walking across the room he heard himself say deep down inside, that he wanted to be the person to make Micki a mother.

He wanted to spend his life with this girl.

Opening the door he went towards the back exit where Jack now waited for him.

It would be over soon...
__________________________________________________________________________

In the car, Ryan sat up front with Jack. In his arms was Micki, now dressed in the rags they found while cleaning the store a few months ago. His arms tightly around her, and the mask now covering her pale and peaceful sleep.

Before they parked, Jack eyed him for a second.

It had to work...
__________________________________________________________________________

Ryan held his breath as the clay mask broke apart. There Micki laid, dazed and stunned...but alive.

The priest screamed in anger as the room began to shake.

There was Micki...his Micki.

GET MICKI QUICK!

Ryan raced towards her, and without a second thought he grabbed her and began to run.

Death wouldn't have her again, he was going to make sure of that.
__________________________________________________________________________

Barley able to stumble upstairs of the taxidermy store, Jack, Ryan, and Micki ran as fast as they could.

JACK! I DROPPED IT!

NEVER MIND RYAN, WE'RE CAVING IN!

Seconds later, they were upstairs as everything fell into darkness.

Dragging eachother, they walked out into the cool breezy early morning light and took deep breaths of fresh air.

Jack saw the car parked, and the city around them still sleeping.

Ryan held Micki as her eyes rolled back and forth in her head.

MICKI!

Ryan screamed, shaking her.

Micki slowly opened her eyes and looked around, her face weak and pale.

What? Where am I?

Ryan's eyes which were bugging out of his head started at her before laughing. Grabbing her he held her, so tight that she couldn't move. Tears of joy ran down his face as he held her.

Jack watched them and smiled.
__________________________________________________________________________

At dawn they finally got home.

Ryan carried Micki upstairs before undressing her and putting her in a nightgown. With so much care, as if she was made of glass, he lowered her in her bed and made sure she was warm.

Jack came in and sat beside her with Ryan.

Micki's eyes fluttered looking at them and smiled at Ryan as they explained how they used to coin to bring her back. They told her everything they planned.

Micki at first seemed to weak to talk until she smiled back at them.

You shouldn't of taken the risk...using that object was dangerous.

But Jack reached out and held her hand.

All that mattered now was that she was home, safe with them.

She barley remembered what happened.

Finally Jack got up for Micki to have her rest. They had been through a lot and seemed worn out.

Ryan stayed with Micki.

She looked up at him.

Was I really...

She couldn't finish...Ryan just shook his head before holding her hand even tighter.

Shhh...it doesn't matter.

Micki took a deep breath before lightly laughing.

Real shame that I blacked out on if there's a heaven or hell?

Ryan grinned at her.

Micki, I think we of all people know there's such places.

Micki smiled back before sighing.

I guess this shows us to watch out more...life is too short.

Ryan took a deep breath before looking at their hands together.

That's something I wanted to talk to you about.

Huh?

Life being too short, how awful our lifes really were before this all happened. How we're doing something good...something we're going to be doing together for a long time.

Yeah?

Well...Micki alot has happened to us together, and I haven't ever felt his way about someone ever, you seem to be the only thing I can look forward to seeing when all this awful stuff is happening.

Micki stayed silent.

I guess I wanted to tell you is that, I couldn't ever loose you again, and I don't wanna now?

What are you talking about?

Before Micki could get another word in, Ryan leaned down and with all his might kissed Micki deeply on the mouth. Their mouths began to slowly open and close as Micki reached up and held him by the sides of the face.

Moaning deep through the kiss, Micki finally broke them apart.

Ryan caught his breath as he looked down at her.

Micki was speechless before she reached up and touched his face again, slowly locking eyes.

Ryan?

She smiled.

Ryan smiled back before leaning down and kissing her.

I love you too...

Both looked at each other before Ryan brushed back some of Micki's hair. Smiling Micki laced her hands with him before tugging him down to kiss her again.

Slowly Ryan leaned in closer and closer before he pushed the chair he was sitting in to the side. Micki brought him in as he laid himself down on top of her. The only thing between their bodies was a blanket. His arms going around her as they keep kissing.

Finally she pulled back and looked up at him laying on top of her. His earing dangling down in front of her. Smiling she looked up at him.

This is crazy...it's never going to work.

Ryan smiled down at her.

We should at least give it a try.

Laughing, Micki pulled him back down on top of her and deeply kissed him.

Just then Jack opened the door and was in the middle of saying...

Micki would you like some hot tea.

Ryan and Micki froze looking at him.

Jack stood in the doorway for a moment before laughing and rolling his eyes. He shut the door, his laughs still heard from the kitchen.

So that's what Ryan and Micki did...they laughed.



4: Dancing in the moonlight.

Jack spun around and darted towards the phone. Johnny meanwhile stood up so quickly, his chair fell behind him. Rushing to the bathroom, he saw Ryan.

Ryan?

Ryan looked up, his eyes blank and wild. His breathing heavy as sweat dripped off him. His right wrist dripping blood which fell on the white tiles below him.

Ryan dropped the razor before looking up at Johnny, his face in pure agony. Then he fell to the floor, blood squirting onto the walls. Johnny rushed to Ryan's side as Ryan started up at the ceiling. Johnny was at his side before Ryan snapped his eyes shut and moaned.

Ryan?

My heart...

Ryan was barley able to mutter before holding his chest. Johnny leaned down and saw Ryan was shaking too much, he was in the middle of having a full blown heart attack.

JACK!

Johnny yelled as Ryan began to shake even harder, his eyes darting back and forth. Within seconds Jack rushed in.

The ambulance is on it's way!

Jack fell to his knees before trying to keep Ryan's body from hitting anything. Holding him down he looked at his bleeding wrist.

MICKI!

Ryan screamed. Jack looked across at Johnny as Ryan thrashed about in their arms, half in a dazed state.

MICKI!

He screamed again, in the next bedroom Johnny heard crying.

Jesus...

Just then Ryan looked up at Jack, his eyes wide as the pain spread across his face.

Jack...

Ryan was barley able to gasp.

Jack held him.

Don't...don't...try to bring me back...

Ryan's eyes shut in pain again as the crying became louder. In the faint distance they heard the sound of the ambulance speeding down the street.
__________________________________________________________________________

Micki laughed as she threw back her head and looked up at the ceiling.

"Dancing In The Moonlight." played over the radio as Ryan picked Micki up and began to spin her.

Micki couldn't help but laugh as they spun around, her legs off the ground. Looking at Ryan he tried to sing to words to her while laughing. Micki leaned in before kissing his neck.

Cracking up, both threw themselfs back on Ryan's bed before rolling to face each other, still laughing.

They had just gotten back from the symphony playing downtown. Ryan cracked one of his many piggy banks to pay for the tickets and surprise Micki while she was still on bedrest.

Ryan really wasn't into that sort of music, but decided to give in and treat Micki after everything that happened. The date went well, and both enjoyed themselfs. Micki nearly caused a scene from laughing when Ryan took out his glasses to see.

On the way back, many people on the street that late summer night, turned and smiled as Micki and Ryan laughed, holding hands and looking happy. Somehow it fix, it seemed perfect.

Once they got home and Ryan took his jacket and tie off, he softly put the radio on and told Micki the only music he liked was the kind to dance too.

Micki looked at him as the song played and smiled, leaning forward she held onto him and they began to kiss.
__________________________________________________________________________

A half an hour later, after making-out for what seemed like lifetime, Micki felt something lightly pressing against her leg. Something she was starting to notice. It had only been a few weeks since everything had happened.

What were they?

Girlfriend and boyfriend? Dating? Everything sounded so strange once spoken out loud. Both knew the risks and how everything they were doing was stupid. They weren't alike at all...almost living in different worlds.

But they both were in charge of getting these objects.

And they had each other.

But really, what were they now?

Micki knew it was so much to think about, but ever since the coin happened something had changed in the way she looked at Ryan.

He made her feel so happy.

Was it love?

Micki, nor Ryan knew.

But Micki still needed time.

Ummm...I think I'll go to bed now.

Ryan moaned before rolling his eyes and getting off her with a grin.

Micki smiled before getting up, her hair a mess. Standing up she leaned over and kissed him. Taking in a deep breath, she pressed herself against him and smiled. Micki remembered once and awhile, in the back of her mind always drifting at the thought of what Ryan looked like naked. She had seen him millions of times without his shirt, and noticed for such a slim tanned man, he had nice muscular arms.

But tonight wasn't the night.

Putting her arms around him she kissed him again before looking straight in his eyes and smiling.

Pulling away she went to her bedroom and closed the door. Catching her breath she smiled and felt dizzy. Falling onto her bed, she sighed.

She was in love.
__________________________________________________________________________

The next afternoon, the two of them walked together in the park. Hand in hand, and watching everyone running around or laying on the lush green grass. Since the coin they had gotten two more objects back. Ryan deep down inside felt scared both times, thinking that at any moment, something could happen...

He knew Micki was strong, maybe even stronger then him. She had gone through alot and still went forward knowing what they had to do.

But ever since the coin, he got chills thinking of how cold and lifeless Micki's body felt in his arms.

It was a nice summer afternoon and both enjoyed the time they were spending together. Ryan looked down at their hands holding each other and smiled.

Excuse me?

Ryan and Micki turned to a slightly older man sitting on a bench, in his hands was a camera.

Yes?

The man smiled before getting up, offering his hand.

My name is David Peterson, I just opened a photo store across from your antiques store?

Right away Ryan knew who the man was, smiling he shook his hand.

Yeah sure, we saw the movers a few days ago...new to the city huh?

David smiled while shaking Micki's hand.

Yeah, been a pretty good change...but I still need to get used to things.

Well if you ever want we would love to have you over for dinner.

David smiled.

I might take you two up on that...but I wanted to ask you something, I know it's going to sound weird...

Micki waved her hand.

Please I'm used to weird.

Looking at Ryan, she smiled and playfully punched him in the arm. David smiled before holding up his camera.

I've seen you two walking in and out of the store, you two make a very beautiful couple.

Micki and Ryan eyed each other before Micki blushed, there David held up his camera.

I'm trying to frame some photos I'm taking around the city...people mostly to hang up in the store, if you two wouldn't mind I would like to take your photo...even bring over an extra print free of charge?

Micki smiled.

Oh that sounds nice, thank you.

David smiled before holding up his camera, right away Micki went to Ryan's side. David backed up a little.

The lighting is perfect, now lean in a little closer.

Ryan and Micki held each other before smiling, in just a flash the camera went off.

David lowered it before smiling.

Perfect.

Ryan and Micki thanked him and shook his hand again before he told them he might come over in a few days. Waving goodbye, Micki and Ryan walked on.

Did you hear that?

What?

We make a pretty good looking couple.

I thought I heard the word beautiful...

Ryan laughed before taking Micki's hand again and kissing it.
__________________________________________________________________________
The next day, Ryan recived some upsetting news.

Micki was going away for the weekend.

Ryan sat on the edge of her bed, acting moddy as Micki crossed the room and got a huge handful of clothes from her closet. Her suitcase sat in the middle of the bed as she kept crossing the room to pack.

The entire weekend?

Ryan asked.

It was early morning and both had just woken up. Over breakfast the phone rang. It was an old college friend of Micki's, asking if she wouldn't mind visiting her. She had just had a baby and couldn't wait to catch up on old times with her. Micki talked on the phone for about a half an hour before hanging up and telling the guys the news.

Jack was pleased to see her getting out more, and took his morning tea downstairs to look over old papers. Ryan meanwhile stayed with her while she packed.

Strange she wants you to spend the whole weekend after just having a kid...

Micki laughed before folding her clothes into the suitcase.

We used to be best friends, anyways we've written each other over the last couple of years...her husband is over seas and she sounds like she needs some time to relax.

Ryan sighed before Micki walked over, she reached out her hands and put them in Ryan's.

Anyways I have a new boyfriend to talk about while I'm there.

Ryan grinned.

That's who I am?

Micki nodded before pushing him back on the bed. Laughing the two of them began to kiss before they knocked the suitcase off the bed.
__________________________________________________________________________

An hour later, Micki was packed and standing with Ryan on the sidewalk, waiting for the taxi to come.

Ryan had his hands around her waist, both looked out at kids running down the street in their bathing suits. It was another hot sticky day in the city, and somehow Ryan had yet again forgotten about putting in the AC.

Finally the taxi pulled up.

Ryan loaded her suitcase into the trunk before Micki faced him, looking straight into his eyes.

When I get back...

She looked at him with a small smile coming into her face.

I wanna...

She leaned in and whispered in Ryan's ear. Ryan stood back, his cheeks a little red and grinning. Micki leaned foreward again, kissing him and got into the taxi. Ryan stood there watching her go.

He all ready missed her.
__________________________________________________________________________

Once inside, Ryan paced back and forth and shook his head as Jack sat at his desk.

What's the matter?

Ryan shrugged.

Nothing...just I got tickets for Micki and me to go to the carnival as a surprise and she made these other plans...

Ryan drifted off and sighed.

It had only been a few weeks since they finally started acting this way Somehow things seemed better now and not as dull and dangerous. Ryan hated having Micki leave his sight.

He loved her...and couldn't loose her again.

He now thought about it and smiled for a second. They really were together now.

I'm sure you two can go next weekend...

That's the thing it isn't in town next weekend...

Ryan missed Micki, and thought of them together once she got home. He needed to take his mind off it. Grinning he faced Jack.

Hey Jack?

Jack looked up knowing just what he was thinking.
__________________________________________________________________________

It was two days later, and another object was recovered. Both Jack and Ryan returned home later that evening, tired and worn out. Jack went downstairs to put the cursed handkerchief back in the vault.

It seemed like everywhere they went there was a cursed object.

Ryan threw himself on his bed, his entire body ached and it couldn't make the awful smell of burning wax get out of his nose.

Then he thought of that man, as crazy as he was...he really did do it all for love. To keep her alive...to keep her with him.

Ryan then knew how dangerous these objects were...it seemed to easy to use them for those you loved.

He had with Micki.

Just then he heard footsteps, looking up he saw Micki dragging her suitcase.

Micki?

Ryan sat up as Micki laughed and dropped her suitcase.

I'm home early.

Ryan laughed before getting up and holding her, right away both began going at it like wild animals. Ryan held onto Micki tight as he began sucking on her neck.

I missed you...

Me too...

Micki sighed before looking at him.

Downstairs is a mess...looks like someone with an ax...

Ryan laughed before putting his arms around her.

I'll explain later.

Both leaned in kissing again before Ryan pulled back.

Have fun?

Micki rolled her eyes.

It was fine...missed you though...

Oh Yeah?

Ryan grinned.

Yeah, but I kept talking about this guy I just started seeing...he's an artist you know.

Ryan laughed before pressing his forehead against hers, both breathed deeply.

Ryan?

Yeah?

You...you wanna spend the night with me?

Ryan looked at her.

You sure?

Micki slowly nodded.
__________________________________________________________________________

The next morning, Ryan laid beside Micki, watching her sleep. It was still early and Jack wasn't up yet. Laying there, tangled in her bedsheets, Ryan glanced at the window and saw it was going to be another warm summer day. It was August now...

Thinking at how fast time had gotten by him, Ryan looked down at Micki again.

Last night had been...well there were really no words to describe it. Micki had brought him into her bedroom, turning around and lifting her hair off her shoulders. Ryan walked behind her and slowly began to unzip her sundress.

Once it fell down to the ground, she turned, looking completely perfect. She leaned up against him and slid her arms around his neck. Slowly she helped him work his T-shirt off before laying back on the bed.

Micki worked on pulling Ryan's belt off before gazing down at him. Softly smiling, she leaned down and began kissing his neck, working slowly down to his chest and flat stomach. Ryan laid there before reaching down and undoing his jeans. Taking his hands, he held her smooth face and began to kiss her.

He then rolled over with her, holding her thin body as he laid on top of her. Smiling he looked down at her.
__________________________________________________________________________

Now here he was, laying beside her...feeling her smooth back against his chest. Sighing he leaned down and softly began kissing her face. Slowly her eyes fluttered open and she looked up at him.

Morning...

Micki smiled before turning over and facing him. Taking her into his arms he kissed her before brushing back her hair.

How are you doing?

Perfect...

Ryan smiled before he began drifting his fingers across her smooth skin. Micki laid her head against his chest before looking up at him.

I love you.

Ryan smiled.

I love you too...

Micki then felt Ryan pressing against her, smiling she reached up and kissed him. Laying herself back down, she let him slowly slid under the sheets and lay on top of her. Leaning down he kissed her.
__________________________________________________________________________

Micki closed her eyes before softly sighing to herself. She faced the shower head as steaming hot water poured over her body. Ryan stood behind her, his hands placed on her waist. Micki leaned back before laying herself against him.

Turning her around, Ryan smiled seeing that Micki's hair was soaking wet and laid slicked behind her. Ryan leaned forward and began softly kissing her before he leaned her against wall of the shower. Micki laughed as he nuzzled against her. Slowly, he used his hands and enetred her. Micki gasped out before clawing into his shoulders. Moaning, both stood there as the water poured down on them.
__________________________________________________________________________

Ryan was re-dressed in a T-shirt and shorts as he walked over to the kitchen and found a note left by Jack. He was going to be out of town for the next couple of days having found a lead on a few objects.

Smiling, Ryan showed the note to Micki as she came out of the bathroom drying her hair.

Jack's out of town.

Why?

Says here he got a lead on a new object, Rashid and him are going to go check it out.

Micki took the note from Ryan's hand before sighing.

I guess this means we're in charge of the store.

Ryan smiled before going over to fix some coffee. Micki meanwhile used the towel to hold up her hair before going into her bedroom to dress. Ryan stood at the counter before glancing over his shoulder.

His heart was racing.

He loved this woman...
__________________________________________________________________________

While downstairs checking the mail, Micki found a letter from an old friend of hers who was getting married. Gabrielle had been another college friend of Micki's and asked if she wouldn't mind visiting her. Smiling she showed Ryan the letter and how Gabrielle was getting married to a man who was an ventriloquist.

She says here in the letter she wants to have me over the club to see his act.

Ryan was standing at Jack's desk looking over junk mail.

You wanna come?

Please, ventriloquist creep me out...isn't normal for guys to be talking about themselfs.

Micki blushed before leaning over and kissing his cheek.

Might be as well, you wouldn't be able to get a word in edge wise with all the catching up we have to do.

Ryan smiled.

Have fun.

You know...

Micki leaned forward, dropping the letter.

Your going to have to think of things to keep me here with you...

Her arms went around him as he laughed.

Yeah it seems like all your old girlfriends are coming out of the woodwork.

Micki laughed before laying her head on Ryan's shoulder.

Ryan?

Yeah?

I'm really happy...for the first time in awhile.

Ryan eyed her before slipping his arms around her.

Yeah me too.

Thanks for last night.

Ryan leaned down and kissed Micki's head.
__________________________________________________________________________

I'm telling you Ryan, he acts as if Oscar is alive! He even made it have an argument with Gabrielle!

I told you ventriloquist are creepy people.

Micki sighed.

She won't hear anything either, she's crazy about this guy.

Ryan looked up, he had been sitting at Jack's desk looking through some of his old books trying to pass the time.

Well it's easy to become crazy about someone.

Micki smiled at Ryan before he winked at her and leaned back.

Maybe you should just stay out of it...I'm sure their going to work out their own problems...

Micki sighed before picking up the newspaper that laid on the desk.

I hope so...

Micki then saw the headline.

"Body found in back alley, chopped into pieces."

Oh God...at least Gabrielle doesn't have these problems...
__________________________________________________________________________

After the next murder, Ryan decided to swing by the nightclub and check out the alley where the latest body was found. It seemed too close.

But there wasn't a dummy in the manifest.

Coming home to Micki, he began to tell her about how maybe this Edgar guy might be linked to another cursed object of Uncle Lewis. Micki tried to tell Ryan that her friend and would be husband were working things out...

But it seemed like there was something else going on.

Finally Ryan decided to go to Edgar's bachelor and check things out.
__________________________________________________________________________

Three days later the boutonniere was placed into the vault.

Micki seemed pretty upset. Everyone that entered their lifes around here were either harmed or involved with these damn objects. Edgar would never be the same again...

Sighing, Micki sat on the couch before rubbing the back of her neck.

Ryan walked over, his headphones around his neck.

You okay?

Micki slowly nodded.

Yeah...I guess so.

Ryan sat down beside her, before holding her in his arms. Softly kissing the top of his head, the two of them stayed like that most of the afternoon.

Thinking to himself, Ryan then knew.

This was the woman he was going to marry.
__________________________________________________________________________

Around eight, Micki was fast asleep in his arms. Ryan slowly lowered her down as he got up, and grabbed a blanket to put over her. Going upstairs, he checked his stash of extra money he had been saving up. Lately he had been selling his comics to different stores around the city...and got a pretty good chunk of change from them.

Counting the money, he stuffed it in his wallet, where he looked at the photo he kept of Micki. Smiling he grabbed his leather jacket and snuck out the back door.

It was cooling off now as Ryan walked down the sidewalks.

He knew he was crazy for doing this, but it seemed right.

Finally he reached the jewelry store and walked in. Stuffing his hands in his pockets, he looked around and then felt guilty.

What if she said no, what if she thought he was moving too fast. Jesus, they had only slept together once for far.

Ryan tried to keep these thoughts from coming into his head. Thoughts and worries of Lloyd being able to give her the lifestyle she was used to. Ryan really didn't have much, in fact he hadn't even finished college.

But he loved Micki, and had promised himself that night when the coin got her.

He was going to spend the rest of his life with his woman.

Finally someone came over to help him, a middle aged woman wearing a dress suit. She walked with Ryan over to the counter before taking out at least twenty different rings for him to look at.

And what is this for?

Engagement.

The woman softly smiled.

That's nice.

Yeah, she's the best thing that ever happened to me...

Just then, Ryan saw it.
__________________________________________________________________________

Leaving the store, Ryan wasn't worried that now most of his money was gone. He raced home holding back from laughing...he was really doing this.
__________________________________________________________________________

He hid the ring in his dresser, looking down at it he knew he would have to wait until the perfect moment to give it to her. He felt scared to death, yet excited he was really doing this.

Then the doorbell rang.

Racing downstairs he saw David standing there, Micki meanwhile was just waking up on the couch.

Opening the door Ryan smiled.

Hey David.

David walked in.

Sorry is this a bad time?

No not at all, I was just about to fix dinner...you like pot roast?

David smiled.
__________________________________________________________________________

An hour later the three of them sat upstairs eating. David was a friendly and interesting man who had traveled alot in his lifetime.

Micki and Ryan barley went into the details of running the store, only that they were given it once their uncle past away and their friend Jack now helps then run it.

They talked for awhile over wine before laughing. Finally before David went back home he handed Ryan a large envelope and told them next time his place. Seeing him off, Micki walked him downstairs while Ryan cleaned up.

Once Micki came back, she looked relaxed and worn out.

What's that?

Ryan had the envelope laying on the counter as he finished the dishes. Drying his hands he opened it and then smiled.

Micki walked over to him.

It was their photograph together.

Micki laid her head on Ryan's shoulder.

We really do look good together, don't we?

Smiling, Ryan leaned down and kissed her.


5: No second chances

SOMEONE GET THE DOCTOR QUICK!

One of the nurses yelled as the front doors to the emergency room flew open. Right away a group of paramedics came running in, pushing Ryan on the stretcher. One held up an IV bag which was now hooked into Ryan's arm, and another pressed down on the blood soaked wrap they put around his bleeding wrist. Ryan started up at the ceiling as the lights above rushed past him. His eyed bugged out in pain before slowly closing.

Right away the doctor ran along with the stretcher, yelling for him to be taken into one of the side rooms. Right away they loaded him on the table, nearly a million people stuffed into this little room yelling things to each other. Ryan could barley hear, he saw the nurses and doctor rush around, then the sound of beeping.

Male...mid twenties to early thirties! Ryan watched as the doctor grabbed his chart.

Attempted at his home?

About ten minutes ago, the men who called him in were right behind us...

The doctor then eyed the monitor before leaning down and listening to Ryan's heart. Right away he gazed down at Ryan before raising an eyebrow.

His heart...

Right away the nurses came forward before Ryan saw everything begin to blur. His chest was hurting too much now. Looking at all the faces around him, slowly things began to dim.

Micki?

Just then he flatlined.

Johnny and Jack raced down the corridor before looking in at the room where they worked on Ryan. Right away Jack turned away.

Jesus...

They were shocking Ryan, his limp body barley jumping. Johnny watched as the nurse pumped down on his chest while the doctor gave him oxygen.

There wasn't a heartbeat.

"Please...please God..."

Johnny prayed to himself.

Then he heard the doctor yell...

We have a pulse!

Jack turned as they placed an oxygen mask over Ryan's face. His pulse was weak, but still there. Both men stood side by side until a nurse walked over.

She had a baby in her arms, who was lightly crying.

Shhhh...honey, it's all right.

Jack and Johnny faced her as she walked over. Right away Johnny let out a deep breath before softly smiling and reaching out.

Come here honey...

The baby cried as the nurse handed over to Johnny. Right away, he held the baby and tried to sooth her. Lightly rocking back and forth he looked at the nurse.

Thank you...

The nurse smiled back at him before looking in at the window where Ryan was being worked on.

I'm sure they will wanna talk with you.

That's fine, as long as he's okay.

The nurse eyed the room again before nodding.

I'm sure he will be, is she his?

Johnny nodded before the nurse shook her head.

Mother just died?

Jack nodded.

I didn't know Ryan was this bad...

The nurse leaned over before touching the baby's head.

Shock is all...hits you pretty fact when you loose someone you love.

Johnny and Jack eyed each other.

Listen, why don't I get her a bottle or something...I'm sure you two will want some time to speak with the doctor about your friend.

Johnny looked uneasy before the nurse smiled.

It's okay, I'll be at the front desk with her.

Slowly Johnny handed her over to her.

The baby was no more then two years. She was half asleep and was dressed in a one piece. The nurse held her as she rested her head on her shoulder and winked at the two men before walking away.

Turning back, they watched as the doctor kept working on Ryan.

He didn't even care about his daughter Jack...

Johnny softy said.

Jack sighed.

He does care...he just wanted to be with Micki is all.

Johnny glanced at Jack before sighing.

He almost did it.

He thought to himself.
__________________________________________________________________________

MICKI!

Ryan woke from his nightmare, sitting straight up in bed he screamed out before Micki flicked on the light on the nightstand. Sitting up, she leaned forward before putting her hands on his shoulder.

Ryan's eyes were wide and filled with terror. He stared off space as sweat dripped off his body. Taking a few heavy deep breaths, he finally glanced over at Micki.

Are you okay?

Ryan looked at Micki before his face crumbled up.

I...I dreamed you were dead!

Ryan could barley finish what he was saying before he lowered his head and began to sob. Micki held him closer as he shook, she never saw Ryan like this before.

Shhh...it's all right, it was just a nightmare...

Ryan slowly lifted his head, his face looking so aged and worn just then. Micki started at him before faintly smiling.

It's all right, I'm not going anywhere.

Ryan leaned forward without any warning and covered Micki's mouth with his. Micki laid herself slowly backwards before Ryan darted his tongue deeply inside her. Moaning, she pulled apart before looking at him.

Are you all right?

Ryan slowly shook his head.

I can't stop having these stupid dreams...

Of what?

Of you...dead.

Ryan...

Ryan looked down at Micki before sighing. Reaching over he switched off the light. The two of them laid together in the darkness before Ryan shook his head.

It doesn't matter...

Have you had these since...the coin?

Before.

Ryan...

No, it's all right.

Ryan leaned down before kissing Micki again.

I don't wanna think of loosing you.

Micki smiled through the kiss, before she felt another throbbing erection going against her leg. The two of them had been going out for nearly two months now, and Micki never felt more happy before in her life.

Seconds later, Ryan was on her, using his hand as he slowly began to go inside her. Micki shifted before laying back and feeling him enter her small frame. Catching a short breath she watched him, as serious and direct as usual. Ryan slowly began moving as Micki held onto him.

Ryan thrusted in and out, thinking to himself that it was just nightmares...nothing more.
__________________________________________________________________________

The next morning, Ryan was locked in the upstairs bathroom. In his hands he held the small diamond ring he had bought nearly five weeks ago in his hand. He was still trying to figure out a way to finally do this.

He never felt so nervous in his life.

They seemed pretty serious. In fact Ryan had overheard Micki on the phone a few nights ago with one of her girlfriends. Taking about her boyfriend Ryan, and how amazing he was.

Since then, Ryan felt pretty good about himself.

Jack told Ryan a few days ago while driving that they seemed like good matches for each other, even though they were so different. Somehow it brought more life into them.

Looking at the ring he knew it was going to be now or never pretty soon. He just wished he didn't feel so nervous about it.

Putting the ring into his pocket, he walked out and looked for Micki.
__________________________________________________________________________

All was soon forgotten by the end of the afternoon when Ryan learned of the cursed pocket watch.
__________________________________________________________________________

A few days later, Micki laid soaking in her bubble bath relaxing, as Ryan stood by the sink and shaved. Today had been as interesting as it came. The watch was now back in the vault, their friends who helped them were brought to shelters, and the car was yet again broken down.

Micki had her hair pinned up before raising one of her slender legs up from the water. Ryan eyed her in the mirror before smiling.

If you keep doing that I might have to join you.

Micki laughed before laying back against the warm water and sighed.

That might be nice...

Ryan kept shaving, before he threw his razor into the water of the sink and turned to Micki. Grinning he went down on his knees and leaned against the tub. Splashing the water at her, Micki reached out and felt his smooth neck and face.

Bringing her in for a kiss, Ryan slowly sat back before smiling.

Micki then slowly stood up, her entire body dripping with water as Ryan looked up at her, smiling.

Micki slowly stepped out of the tub before grabbing the towel. Ryan watched as she wrapped it around her thin body and began heading to her bedroom. Smiling, Ryan got up and followed her.
__________________________________________________________________________

Micki sat at her vanity, dressed only in a towel as she let down her hair and slowly began to brush it. Ryan came in before leaning against the doorway.

Your beautiful you know that?

Micki eyed him in the mirror before smiling.

Your not too bad yourself Mr. Dallion.

Ryan walked over before placing his hands on her bare shoulders. Sighing, Ryan began to slowly rub them. Micki sighed before Ryan noticed how pale she looked.

You okay?

Micki eyed him before shrugging.

Guess I'm just tired...maybe we should go away someplace for the weekend?

Ryan smiled down at her.

That sounds nice...

Ryan then began to slowly think to himself, maybe next weekend he might give her the ring...maybe then it might be the perfect time.

Micki placed down the brush.

I'm tired...

She turned around and looked at Ryan. Reaching out she held his hand.

Stay with me for a little while?
__________________________________________________________________________

That afternoon, Micki fell asleep beside Ryan. It seemed as if seconds after her head hit the pillow she was fast asleep. Ryan laid across from her, his hands tightly around her.

Finally after awhile, Ryan woke up from their nap and saw Micki still sleeping. Smiling he slowly got out of bed before crossing the room and grabbing his Illinois shirt and taking it over to Micki. Taking the towel from around her, Ryan slipped his shirt over Micki's thin body. Barley moaning in her sleep, Micki turned over and was asleep again.

Ryan decided to go downstairs.

Shutting the door, he found Jack downstairs. Crossing off the latest items they had recovered.

Jack?

Jack looked up, lowering his glasses.

Yes Ryan?

Ryan struggled to find the words.

You know how Micki and me are...well...

Jack smiled.

Something on your mind Ryan?

Ryan slowly took the ring out of his pocket before smiling.

Yeah...I guess I do.
__________________________________________________________________________

Micki?

Micki was still sleeping when he came back upstairs an hour later. Walking over to the bed they now shared, Ryan gently shook her shoulder.

Hey Mic, you still sleeping?

Micki muttered in her sleep before opening her eyes.

Hummm?

Ryan laughed.

You've been asleep for nearly three hours, you ready to start the day?

Micki faintly smiled before trying to turn over.

I'm too tired...

Ryan laughed before kneeling down.

Jack said he's opening the shop for a little while, you wanna stay up here?

Micki slowly nodded before turning over. Smiling, Ryan got the blanket to cover her before heading back down.

That afternoon Dominic Fiorno came into their store looking for something to give to his son.
__________________________________________________________________________

Ryan was awoken nearly a week later by the sound of the bedroom door flying open. Turning over, he saw that Micki was no longer on her side. Glancing at the alarm clock, he saw it was a little after five in the morning.

Looking around at the dark bedroom, he slowly rubbed his face before he heard what sounded like someone choking. Taking a second he laid there before the sound came again.

Micki?

Slowly getting up, he pushed the sheets to the side before walking out of the bedroom. Shuffling his feet, he walked out into the kitchen and saw the area that used to serve as his bed. Most of his clothes and stuff were now thrown on it, almost like a second table. Walking over to the bathroom, he pushed open the door.

Micki was laying there, throwing up.

Micki?

Right away Ryan snapped awake before going down and holding her. Micki's face was pale white as she leaned over the toilet, gagging and straining her entire body. Ryan's eyes filled with concern grew wide as he held onto her. For nearly ten minutes straight she threw, an awful ugky noise coming from the back of her throat.

Finally after a few dry heaves, Micki spit and reached over and flushed.

Micki?

Micki took a few heavy breaths before turning towards him. Trying to sit up, she shook her head.

I'm sorry...I just got really sick and had to run in here.

Ryan's hand went to her forehead.

You sick?

Micki's skin felt feverish and sweatly. Ryan looked over her face before Micki's eyes filled with tears.

I don't know what's wrong with me...

The day before hand they had gotten the bee hive, Micki the entire ride home from the farm laid in the backseat with Ryan, her head on his lap as she slept. At first she brushed it off saying it was the flu...but Ryan saw something was wrong.

I'm going to call the doctor...

Micki shook her head.

No, it's too early...I'm fine really, just a bug.

Then I'm waking Jack...

Micki reached out and held Ryan's arm.

I'm fine really...I just wanna get back in bed okay?

Ryan looked at her pale face before sighing.

Okay...you want some tea or anything.

Micki made a face before shaking her head.

No thanks...

Micki took Ryan's hand as they began getting up, softly Micki hissed in pain.

You okay?

My back, it's killing me...

Ryan helped Micki back to the bedroom before helping her lay back down. Making sure she was comfortable, Ryan flicked off the lights before laying beside her.

Micki stared at him in the darkness.

Reaching over, she rubbed the side of Ryan's face. Smiling she slowly shut her eyes.
__________________________________________________________________________

The next morning, Ryan woke to the sound of Micki throwing up again. Opening his eyes, he saw it was light out. Getting up, he right away raced to the bathroom where Micki was.

Micki yet again was just finishing.

Ryan right away went behind her and held back her hair.

You okay?

Micki laid back before slowly nodding.

Maybe I'll take you up one that tea.

Smiling, Ryan helped Micki to the kitchen table. Getting her to sit, Ryan went to the counter before Micki sighed out loud.

I'm really worn out...God I can't afford being sick now.

Ryan brought over her tea before sitting beside her, his sleeves rolled back. Watching her slowly sip from her cup, he smiled before leaning in and kissing her neck.

Who says? Everyone can get sick once and awhile...

Micki sighed before looking straight at Ryan.

Could you do me a favor?

Yeah sure, anything.

Could you get my planner, it's on my dresser.

Ryan nodded before getting up and grabbing it, coming back it placed it in front of Micki before getting back up and getting a cup of coffee.

Micki opened her planner and began looking at something.

After a minutes, Ryan heard Micki say...

Jesus...

Ryan turned.

What is it?

Micki looked back down at her counter again, slowly counting in her head. Ryan watched her before leaning against the counter, drinking his coffee.

Micki?

Micki kept looking at the planner, slowly shaking her head in disbelief.

Micki?

Ryan nervously laughed.

Micki then looked up at him.

I'm late.

Ryan just looked at her, still laughing before he fell silent.

Your...what?

Micki looked at the planner before shaking her head, half way in shock.

I guess we've been so busy I didn't notice...

Micki began counting the days again before Ryan nearly dropped his coffee mug.

Micki then sat up straight, slowly pushing the planner away before shaking her head.

Shit.

I...

Ryan couldn't find the words, he felt as if he couldn't breath.

I...I thought you were on the pill?

Micki looked up at Ryan before taking a deep breath.

I think we better buy some pregnancy tests before I call my doctor.

Ryan then dropped his coffee mug, making it shatter across the floor.
__________________________________________________________________________

An hour later, the two of them paced back and forth in the upstairs bathroom. Ryan was the one who had raced out to the nearest drug store and bought as many tests as he could find. The entire time his mind was blank in panic.

It was nearly Halloween now and the entire city had cooled down. The trees were changing and the crisp chill to the air had came.

Ryan really couldn't think, all he knew was that he needed to talk with Micki.

Now here they were.

Ryan kept checking his watch, seeing if it was time or not. Both had scrambled on opening the tests and reading the directions before they waited. Now here they were, terrifed and scared, waiting for the news.

It couldn't be...

Micki sat on the edge of the tub, looking down at the ground. Finally Ryan's watch beeped before both jumped to read the results.

Blue.

Ryan and Micki kept looking at the tests.

All of them were blue.

Micki's face seemed blank. She kept looking at the test as if it was going to change. After a few moments of silence, she cleared her throat and looked across at Ryan.

Both stared at each other.

I'm...I'm pregnant?

Micki looked at him before dropping the test on the sink. She looked stunned, and shocked at the same time. Ryan looked at her, his mouth open a bit, totaly speechless.

Both looked at each other, waiting for somebody to say something.

Finally...

Ryan grinned.

Micki then broke down, a nervous laugh slipping out from her. Ryan looked into her eyes before stepping forward. Putting his arms around her, he smiled.

Oh Micki...

Pressing his lips against her, both stood there for a second holding each other. Pulling away, Micki began to cry while laughing. Brushing back Ryan's hair she took a deep breath.

I'm...pregnant?

Ryan laughed before slowly nodding.

Oh Ryan...what are...

Ryan cut her off before kissing her again, slowly lifting her up the two of them laughed.

We're going to have a baby Micki!

Micki laughed before laying her head on his shoulder.

It was everything she ever wanted.
__________________________________________________________________________

How far along am I?

Micki asked while laying back on her doctor's table. Ryan sat across from her, his hand reached out held with hers. The last few days since they received the news had been pretty interesting. Jack was beyond happy when he heard their happy news.

Now Micki's doctor moved the plastic monitor on her perfectly flat stomach.

Your about five weeks give or take...morning sickness been bad?

Micki rolled her eyes.

Awful.

Well that's a good sign, shows your hormones are kicking in.

Then the fuzzy image came across the tiny screen. The doctor moved the monitor before nodding.

Fetus looks healthy and normal...growing just fine.

Is it a boy or a girl?

Ryan asked smiling while leaning in closer. The doctor laughed before flipping the machine off.

Far too early to tell...but everything seems normal.

Micki smiled before looking at Ryan.

Great....

Now I'll give you some vitamins, and I want you to keep off your feet as much as possible.

Is something wrong?

Oh no, just your a very small woman Micki...a pregnancy is going to strain you and you'll need your engery, now let me print out a photo of the sonogram while you get dressed.

I'll see you in your office.

The doctor nodded before Ryan shook his hand.

Once he left, Ryan looked down at Micki before laughing.

We're really doing this?

Micki laid there before sighing.

The store isn't the best place to raise a baby...you know that right?

Ryan nodded, he knew where she was coming from. This was unplanned.

And the lifestyle we live...I mean we both know how dangerous it is...nobody should be born into it...

Well if things get dangerous, you'll just go away with the baby for a little while.

Ryan...

I'm serious...I mean if you are about this thing.

I am Ryan...and I'm very happy...it's just alot at once.

I know, but I have a strange feeling it's all going to work out. Anyways...we'll figure something out when the time comes.

But...

Ryan leaned over and kissed her.

Micki...be happy, you deserve it.

Micki softly smiled before nodding and holding his hand.

We'll figure something out.

Right.

Both smiled before Micki sat up and began getting undressed.
__________________________________________________________________________

On the ride home, Ryan used his free hand to hold the sonogram photo. Smiling he eyed Micki.

You okay?

Micki looked over at him before smiling.

I'm in shock...and a little scared, but I'm happy...I really am.

Me too...

What did you mean if things got to dangerous after the baby came?

Well, we both know these objects aren't going to get easier to find, and we both know what happens...

He drifted off before looking at Micki again.

We'll take it one day at a time...and if things get too bad I'll make sure you and the baby have enough money and see if you can stay at a friend's place...you'll come back when it's safe.

I just don't wanna leave you alone...I mean everything seems so hard to think about now...

Ryan pulled up to the street where the store was.

Do you want this baby?

Of course I do Ryan...

Pulling into the garage, he parked before looking at her.

Then we'll make it work.

Smiling Micki nodded before Ryan held up the photo...the photo of their baby.

This has to be a sign anyways for us to stay together.

Micki took the photo before smiling.

Yeah...I guess so.

Laughing, Ryan reached over cupping his hands across her face.
__________________________________________________________________________

That night Micki laid fast asleep beside Ryan. It was early, but Micki felt exausted. Laying their, nuzzled up against Ryan, he slowly brushed back her hair from her peaceful sleeping face.

Softly smiling he leaned down and kissed her.


6: There will be blood

Jack decided to stay at the hospital that night and see if there was any new news on how Ryan was doing. Sitting in the waiting room he watched as fewer and fewer people walked in. It was getting late now and the only other person around were the nurses doing their rounds. Sitting back he sighed knowing what a mess this really was. Things had gotten out of control and here they were. Micki, a woman who he had grown to love as a daughter was now dead. He knew all that time ago that Ryan would never be able to handle himself if he lost Micki.

She was his soulmate.

Sighing he sat back and waited.

Inside Ryan's room, he simply laid there with an oxygen mask over his face. His weak body barley able to stay alive. Deep in his sleep he muttered Micki's name and kept throwing his head from side to side.

The nurse who was checking on him happened to glance over.

Shhh...

She leaned over taking the man's arm.

It's all right...

But Ryan began to see something deep in the abyss he was stuck in. There seemed to be a warm feeling and a light starting to drift towards him. He had seen this light before, and this time it felt closer.

Ryan?

Ryan heard Micki, her soft voice calling his name.
__________________________________________________________________________

Ryan woke with a start.

He had been dreaming again. Snapping out of nightmare, he blinked a few times and found himself on the couch downstairs with Micki. Micki was sitting beside him, a blanket thrown over her as she finished the bowl of popcorn they were sharing. Micki was watching TV and didn't even notice that Ryan was awake.

Holding his head for a second he felt his insides ache.

These dreams wouldn't quit.

He had tried talking to Micki about them, but she thought he just had them because of that time with the coin. But it wasn't...they started before that.

Looking over, Micki smiled before laying her head on his shoulder.

Glad your awake...

Slowly one of Micki's hands crept up his T-shirt, her fingernails dancing across his chest. Smiling, Micki leaned over before softly kissing his neck. Smiling, Ryan lifted her chin before kissing her back, his mouth opening and closing. Finally the two of them broke apart, nearly out of breath and laughing.

Hey let's go upstairs, relax and watch TV up there.

Micki smiled.

Now your talking...
__________________________________________________________________________

Micki sat on what used to be Ryan's bed. Ever since the two of them had gotten together, most of Ryan's things were moved into her room. Having changed it into a "Sitting area", Micki spent alot of afternoons laying there either talking on the phone or resting her sore feet.

Making sure there were plenty of pillows behind her, she sat up before getting the remote and clicked on the TV. Ryan meanwhile stood in the kitchen fixing himself a cup of coffee, and getting salt crackers for Micki. Lately her morning sickness had turned into a non-stop thing. Every two seconds you looked for Micki, she was either in the upstairs or downstairs bathroom throwing up.

Waking over Ryan handed Micki her box of crackers.

Micki thanked him before opening the box. Ryan smiled before asking her to push over. Laughing Micki moved to the side as Ryan slid in, laying against the wall, One arm around Micki, the other holding his coffee mug.

Micki wrinkled her nose.

Is that coffee?

Ryan nodded before remembering the smell of it lately was even making her sick.

Shit! Sorry Micki...

Ryan slid the coffee mug on the shelf above the window. Smiling he faced her as she ate her second cracker. Smiling he leaned up and kissed her cheek before laying his head back and watching the TV with her.

Micki chews on her crackers before looking over at Ryan. The two of them lock eyes for a second before smiling.
__________________________________________________________________________

Ryan was fast asleep when he heard the sounds of Micki throwing up in the bathroom. Cracking open an eye he saw the clock on the wall read that it was a little after two in the morning. Seeing the TV now switched off, Ryan took a second to look around at the darkness of the kitchen.

A few feet away he saw light coming out from the half open door to the bathroom. Sighing, Ryan rubbed his face before getting up. Stretching his back, he stood up and walked towards her.

Micki you all right?

Pushing open the door, he saw Micki leaned over throwing up. Her free hand held back her huge head of hair as she choked and gasped for air. Right away, Ryan kneeled down taking her hair back and slowly rubbing her neck. This morning sickness made Micki nauseated almost every hour of the day. Somehow the doctor still found this normal.

Micki began throwing again, her entire body arching as she gaged. Ryan sat behind her until finally she finished, crying lightly before leaning back.

I feel like such a mess!

Ryan faintly smiled before reaching over and flushing for her. Sitting there on the bathroom floor he held her hand.
__________________________________________________________________________

Oh Jesus I feel like I'm going to throw again...

Micki was now back in their bigger bed. Ryan had made sure she was surrounded by pillows before taking her paper basket that usualy stayed by the side of her desk upstairs.

Need to?

Ryan held the bucket in front of her while sitting on the edge of the bed. Micki took the basket before trying to throw again, all that came were dry heaves.

I think I'm good...

Micki muttered before she laid back.

Lately she had been spending time looking after the store, while Ryan and Jack took trips outside of town in search for more objects.

I'm going to get you some ginger ale...

Getting up, Ryan left the room before pausing.

Glancing at his nightstand, he opened the draw and looked down at the tiny box.

It had been awhile since he bought that.

Taking it, he shoved the ring into his pocket. He still wanted to make the time right.
__________________________________________________________________________

An hour later, Ryan had turned off all the lights upstairs and Micki had stopped throwing. Laying in their bed, Micki gave a weak smile as Ryan began to undress in the dark.

Looking pretty busted up Mr. Dallion.

Ryan looked down at himself before laughing.

It was true. Within only a year he had gotten himself more hurt then his entire life. First there were his cracked ribs a few months ago, along with a pretty good scar underneath his hair from getting the cursed pocket watch. Then the scar on his inner thigh from the cursed radio. There were cuts and bruises over his body, and all showed the sign that he had put himself through alot doing this.

Throwing back the blanket he wiggled under the covers beside Micki. It was cold out and snow was coming soon.

Micki reached out before laying her head on his chest. Hearing his heartbeat she slowly fell asleep.
__________________________________________________________________________

The next morning, Ryan and Jack had gone a few towns over to pick up a cursed lighter that had been spoken about in a letter they received a month or so ago.

On the ride back, Ryan saw this was his chance alone with Jack for some good old fashion advice. Things were moving fast with Micki, and after a few months his entire life was going to change.

You don't think we're rushing into this...do you Jack?

Jack was driving on the backroads, looking at peace and at ease.

Not at all...you two are very young, but I think you've gone through more together then any other couple has before.

Ryan smiled.

Got that right...just seems so strange, us a couple...

And parents.

Ryan smiled.

Yeah...even though that wasn't planned, I don't know...I feel like, well a different way about this entire thing.

Like how?

Well before this was my escape, I really messed up my life and liked the idea of serving a purpose, after things got serious with Micki...I don't know, the objects don't get to me that much anymore.

But it has taken alot out of you.

Well yeah, that's dead given...I just want to give Micki the life she deserves, the life our baby deserves.

I'm sure you will Ryan, I'm sure you will.

Smiling Ryan sat back and then knew...tonight he would propose to Micki.
__________________________________________________________________________

When they returned, Jack placed the lighter back in the vault. Micki was dressed nicely and doing some cleaning downstairs. Walking over, Ryan wrapped his arms around her.

He had wanted to talk to Jack about these nightmares he had been having.

Pushing that towards the back of his mind, Ryan smiled before looking down at the tiny bump Micki now had on her stomach.

You look cute.

Micki rolled her eyes.

I'm just cleaning around the house, not like I'm ready for a fashion show.

Ryan laughed before looking her straight in the eye.

Micki I...

Smiling she waited before Ryan shook his head.

Nothing...

Jack was heading upstairs, Ryan smiled at Micki before kissing her on the cheek and rushing up behind Jack. Micki stood there puzzled before switching on the TV to watch the evening news.
__________________________________________________________________________

Once Ryan and Jack were alone upstairs, Ryan showed Jack the ring.

Jack smiled at Ryan before taking him in for a hug.

That's great Ryan...Micki is going to be thrilled.

You think so?

I know so.

Smiling Ryan looked at the ring before sighing.

What is it Ryan?

I'm worried?

About what...you shouldn't be nervous.

Ryan shook his head.

It's not that...I keep having these awful nightmares, for months.

About what?

Ryan struggled to find the words.

I...I keep having these awful dreams about Micki dying.

Jack gave Ryan a serious look.

Ryan...

It's been going on even before we became involved, they just won't quit.

Maybe your worried about this pregnancy...I mean Micki is having a hard time.

Ryan didn't want to hear that. Deep in the back of his mind, everytime Micki had a cramp or felt sick he was almost sure she was going to loose the baby.

They were only a few months along and Ryan feared for the most.

But that wasn't it...

Ryan sighed before putting the ring back in his pocket.

I guess it's just nerves.

Jack smiled before patting him on the shoulder.

It's okay Ryan...really it is.

Smiling the two went downstairs.

There they found Micki watching a report on all the missing children in the area.
__________________________________________________________________________

The next day they found out about the playhouse.
__________________________________________________________________________

Ryan would always remember this cursed objects for certian reasons. The first were simply that, those days around the time they finally got the playhouse back had been happy ones for him and Micki.

Even though she was having a hard time with the pregnancy, he really began to see them as really making it. Things were going fast, but maybe...just maybe things would work out.

Then how the playhouse, as scary and amazing as it all seemed...it took something away from them.

Something they could never give back.

Ryan didn't blame the children who used the playhouse. They were mistreated and had nobody that loved them...but he always kicked himself for taking Micki along.

She was three months pregnant.

She should of never came along.

Ryan remembered going into the backyard with Micki that night. Seeing the playhouse and trying to figure out a way of getting it out of the yard. Then they went inside, puzzled on how such a small thing could be used as a cursed item.

Then the playhouse began to shake as a blinding light came.

Ryan!

Then there was darkness.
__________________________________________________________________________

When Ryan woke up, they were now inside a huge room...a room that was inside the playhouse. A room that the children were using for evil. Micki and him were tied together on a huge over sized chair.

Ryan struggled to get free.

Then the children appeared.

Micki sat beside Ryan, terrfied as the lights and things flashed before them.

Let us out of here kid!

Ryan screamed.

But all the children did was laugh.
__________________________________________________________________________

A few hours later, the children turned their backs on the evil playhouse. And everyone was finally released.

As they walked out, the stunned police officers watched.

Jack smiled walking forward.

I believe you have some very happy calls to make sir.

Ryan and Micki glanced at each other smiling in the freezing cold night.
__________________________________________________________________________

Later that morning, they finally arrived home after hours of being questioned. The children were safe and the playhouse couldn't hurt anyone else.

What time is it anyways?

What would you like for breakfast?

Micki teased as she went into the other room to throw off her jacket. Ryan spoke with Jack for a little while before he went downstairs to finally get to bed. Sighing, Ryan looked around. It seemed that these things were getting stranger by the day.

Walking into the bedroom, he began to pull off his boots. Micki meanwhile changed into sweatpants and a hoddie. Slidding under the covers, she watched him change into sweats and a T-shirt before going in beside her.

Gathering her up in his arms, both sighed with relief before shutting their eyes.
__________________________________________________________________________

This time Ryan didn't wake from a nightmare.

He felt Micki shift beside him, and finally mutter to herself. Cracking open an eye, he saw Micki sitting up in bed, still half asleep and looking bothered.

Micki?

Ryan yawned before looking at the clock.

It was only nine in the morning.

Bad dream?

Ryan asked before Micki slowly shook her head.

Yeah...I guess so...

Then Micki's hand went up, her fingers covered in blood. Ryan right away snapped awake.

Oh Jesus I'm bleeding!

Ryan shot up, his heart pounded.

The first thing he thought of was...the baby.

I'll get Jack!

Ryan jumped out of bed before racing down the stairs yelling Jack's name.
__________________________________________________________________________

By the time Jack had gotten his robe on and rushed upstairs behind Ryan, Micki had thrown the covers to the floor and was crying. There was a huge blood stain in the sheets under where Micki slept. Her sweatpants were soaked through and she looked white as a sheet.

Jack went to Micki as she cried.

It won't stop bleeding!

Jack grabbed the phone that was on Micki's nightstand and called the hospital.

The entire time Ryan stood in the doorway speechless.

She's loosing the baby...

He thought.
__________________________________________________________________________

Fifteen minutes later the ambulance came and took Micki away. Ryan asked if he could ride with her, but they thought it was better if he followed behind with Jack.

The entire ride to the hospital, Ryan started off into space.

This couldn't be happening...
__________________________________________________________________________

By the time Ryan and Jack reached the hospital, the doctor walked out and informed them that Micki was in fact having a miscarriage.

Jesus...

Ryan shook his head before looking down at his shoes. Jack simply sighed before the doctor looked at Ryan.

Were you the father?

Ryan slowly nodded, he hadn't felt this numb since his father had died.

I'm very sorry...

Is she okay?

The doctor looked at Ryan before nodding.

She's fine, you can see her in a little bit...she needs rest.

Will she...will she be able...

Yes, she can have more children in the future.

With a simple nod the doctor walked away. There Ryan broke down crying in Jack's arms.
__________________________________________________________________________

Later that afternoon, Ryan was finally able to see Micki.

She laid in the hospital bed with that seemed like a million blankets ontop of her. An IV was hooked into her arm, and her eyes were worn from crying.

The second she saw Ryan slowly come in she began crying again. Ryan walked over and sat beside her, taking her hand.

Shhh...it's all right.

Micki shook her head.

Back in the playhouse last night I started getting these awful cramps, I didn't want to tell anyone...oh God how could I have been so stupid!

Micki lowered her head and began crying even harder.

I knew it was a boy...I could feel it.

Ryan sighed as Micki cried, her head lowered.

Hey...

He reached out holding her hand even tighter.

The doctor said we can try again...as long as your okay...

Ryan I lost the baby!

Micki cried.

I knew it was too fast, I knew it.

Don't say that...

Micki kept crying as Ryan reached out and held her.
_________________________________________________________________________

Two weeks later, things still hadn't of gotten better at the store. So far no leads on any other objects had come forward. Jack himself thought it might be best for a break since Ryan and Micki were going through so much right now.

But Micki had been distant.

She explained to Ryan she had just finished telling everyone she knew about the baby, now it was gone. She knew her family would find out somehow, and laugh right in her face. She thought she was cursed...unable to even have a full term pregnancy.

She cried alot, and spent most of her time in the bedroom.

Ryan really didn't know what to say.

He was hurting too.

Walking downstairs, he saw the vault door open.

Micki was inside it, standing there with her arms crossed from the chill. All of the objects around her, looking off the shelfs shelves like millions of evil little eyes. All of this time and hard work had gone into his vault.

Yet it still seemed so empty.

Micki was looking at the playhouse, shoved further in the back.

The police had released it to them a few days ago. One of Ryan's friends let him borrow his truck to bring it over here.

Micki now started at it as Ryan came up behind her.

What are you doing in here?

Micki then looked over her shoulder at him before sighing...

Nothing...

Slowly she walked out of the vault, Ryan following her and shutting the door behind him. Once they were upstairs, Micki paced. It was another peaceful afternoon at the store and the first signs of winter showing.

Ryan needed to talk with her.

Micki?

Micki turned.

Ryan took a deep breath before walking over to her.

Micki...

He took her hand into his.

I think everything happens for a reason, I think us getting this store and meeting each other happened for a reason. I know alot of awful things have happened to us, most of all dealing with these damn thing, but I don't want to lose you over this.

Micki began to cry.

I know...

Micki, we have our entire lifes to live...please don't give up yet.

Micki slowly nodded before Ryan reached into his pocket and took out the ring.

Micki gasped.
__________________________________________________________________________

Three months later.

Jack was doing some research on an antique dealer specializing in Civil War memorabilia. He planned on seeing of this man had anything that Uncle Lewis might have sold before.

Micki meanwhile was upstairs, stretched out and reading some bridle magazines. Things had gotten better since the miscarrige. Ryan had stuck things out with Micki, and now the only thing left to do was really move on.

Micki was pleased to find out that her entire family along with Lloyd now knew about her engagement. She knew how everyone was talking behind her back, but somehow it didn't matter.

Ryan and Micki were focused on living life together.

Micki also wanted to get pregnant again.

Ryan didn't think it was such a good idea. It had only been a few months since they lost the first baby, and right now he wanted to think just about them. They had a wedding to plan, along with getting cursed items back from the devil...what could he say? Life was busy.

But Micki longed for another baby, even when they were out somewhere and Micki spotted a baby, she would spend forever gushing over it and grabbing Ryan's arms, smiling and talking about how much she wanted their baby someday to look just like him.

Ryan needed more time.

Micki was happy enough through, she was planning her dream wedding.

Yet...a baby was what she really wanted.

But Ryan was being safe, he used condoms now. Sitting there, as Micki marked off another page, she still had a million calls to make. And next week she was going dress shopping. Even though she didn't have the tons of money before to spend of every last detail.

She still wanted to make this perfect.

In the meanwhile, they had finally gotten the cursed compact back. Seeing it now in the vault made Micki felt somewhat better. Time was supposed to heal things, but still there was that awful feeling deep down inside of Micki's head.

Someone telling her she would never have the normal life she ever wanted...
__________________________________________________________________________

Your throwing your life away, just like your sister did!

Micki's mother said as the two of them sat together having coffee one overcast afternoon. Micki had been getting calls from her mother ever since the miscarriage and knew that most likely her sister had opened her big mouth and told her side of the family everything.

Micki knew the wedding was just in a couple of weeks, and knew she had to be a better person and yet again try to patch things up with her parents.

But as usual, her mother turned a deaf ear towards what she really wanted to say. She sat there, her fur coat thrown over the back of the chair as she slowly stirred her coffee. Micki decided she wouldn't get herself upset. That she was going to be rather direct towards her mother without letting herself loose control. All she cared about were dinner parties and high priced fanshion. Micki meanwhile risked her life everyday getting objects back cursed by the devil.

She knew if the coin had gotten her that time...her parents might not have even come to the funeral. Since the breakup with Lloyd they disowned her.

Mother please...

Micki sighed, she no longer wanted to be here with her. The last two hours of lunch had been awful. She stayed calm as her mother made little snips about Ryan and the idea of getting married to her second cousin.

Daddy and you are invited to the wedding if you would like to come.

Micki raised her eyes and glanced up at her mother.

I mean...if you two could make it.

Her mother shook her head.

I will do no such thing, and either will your father.

Micki rolled her eyes before throwing down her napkin.

Really mother, what did I do to deserve this...I've done everything you've ever wanted me to do. I went away to boarding school, I rode horses like you did, I kept my grades up, I always worried about what others were thinking...

Then you broke up with Lloyd, who was a successful handsome and wealthy man who could of given you the life you were supposed to lead!

Mother, Lloyd didn't love me...all he cared about were the things you and daddy love!

He was a good match for you...you should hear what their calling you at the country club!

And have you stuck up for me? Even once...your own daughter?

That is beside the point, here you are...not even thirty yet and your running that dirty little store Leiws owned. It killed him, and it will kill you.

If you only knew...

Micki mumbled under her breath as her mother went on.

You barley make any money, living there with that crazy old man and your lose cousin who's entire family is messed up!

And our family isn't?

Michelle...all I'm trying to do is something I should of done with your sister. Your rushing into things, your never going to have the life you had before running that store and getting married to Ryan, you never will.

Yeah well maybe I didn't like my life before.

Micki...your used to the finer things in life, how is that man going to ever be able to support you.

Money isn't everything mother.

I heard about the baby you lost...not even married and you got pregnant?

Micki lowered her eyes, still thinking about that pregnancy hurt.

Mother...

No, you need to hear this...you lost the baby because it wasn't right...

I lost the baby because I pushed myself too hard and was too stupid to take care of myself.

No, you pushed yourself because that's the way your going to have to live married to that man, getting married so soon...and I'm sure your all ready thinking of getting pregnant again.

Mother...

Micki shook her head, holding back tears.

I'm happy...and I wish you could be happy for me, but I guess that's never going to be the case. I love Ryan, and you would never know how much we have gone through together...if you won't be my family, then Ryan will be.

Micki then stood up, grabbing her purse before her mother could say another word. Storming out of there, she finally reached the car and cried behind the wheel.

It was true...Jack and Ryan were the only people that loved her.
__________________________________________________________________________

When she got home, it had started raining.

Micki climbed the stairs to find Ryan sitting at the kitchen table. His address book open as he finished his last call. Smiling he winked at Micki as she pulled off her coat.

Yeah Danny...you can bring a date, okay the 11th...yep, I sure will...bye.

Ryan hung up the phone before looking at Micki as she threw her purse down and sighed.

So...how did it go?

Well, I wouldn't save a seat for my parents...

Micki...

Ryan got up right away and held her, Micki laid her head on his shoulder before sighing again.
__________________________________________________________________________

You look amazing!

Micki's friend Leigh stood back in the dressing room as Micki walked out in her wedding gown. The two of them had taken a day trip into the city a few weeks ago and started searching for the perfect dress.

Micki looked at herself in the mirror before turning around and laughing.

Her entire life, ever since she was a little girl she had dreamed about her wedding. Wanting to make every just perfect. Now here she finally was. Looking at herself in the mirror, she smiled before flipping her hair back.

When she was engaged to Lloyd, every detail was up to her mother. In fact she didn't have any fun planning the wedding, nor looked forward towards it. The entire thing seemed rushed, and forced. Micki had awful nervous and sick feelings as the date drew closer.

But not this time.

Micki had a good amount of money in the bank, and was using as much as she could, along with Ryan's input to make this a special day. Looking at herself, somehow the last few months of depression and cursed objects lifted off her shoulders.

What are you going to do with your hair?

Leigh asked as she walked forward. Micki smiled before holding her hair up.

I'm having in done...nice and straight and then putting it up.

You look great...has Ryan seen the dress yet?

Micki shook her head.

Oh no...waiting till the big day.

Both women laughed as Micki looked at herself in the mirror again.

She was happy...she was really happy.
__________________________________________________________________________

Five days later they had gotten the cursed syringe back.

Micki was depressed since, yet another one of her girlfriends who was in the area for the wedding...was now dead. She had also risked her life and stayed up in her bedroom recovering the entire time. Crying knowing her mother was somewhat right.

Ryan had said it before...

Everything they touched died...they were cursed.

Micki's face was and neck were sore, and Ryan had even asked if she wanted to hold off the wedding, which was in another week.

Micki slowly shook her head as Ryan handed her a fresh icepack.

She wanted this wedding more then anything...

Ryan leaned over, kissing her forehead before sighing. Yet again another object had almost taken her away from him.

She acted like an animal when the syringe had gone into her neck. Clawing and hissing at Ryan as they were thrown around the room. Finally Ryan did the one thing he hated to do...

He hit Micki and knocked her out.

Jack told him it was the only thing to do...at that moment Micki was danerous to herself and others. But Ryan felt guilty...these objects wouldn't leaver her alone, and always teased him into thinking they had gotten her once and for all.

It scared him to death.

Micki placed the icepack on her face before sighing and taking Ryan's hand.

I love you...

I love you too.

Micki smiled before looking down at her sparking ring. She wanted to be happy more then anything. Looking at him she sighed before leaning in for a kiss.
__________________________________________________________________________

The night before their wedding, they had invited a few close friends to share some drinks at the store. Jack for most of the evening was with them before going to bed early.

Tomorrow is a very important day.

Jack winked at the two of them, before giving Micki a kiss on the cheek and heading down for bed.

Danny, Mark, and Sam...all friends of Ryan's had come. Leigh, Sara, and Lisa came for Micki. The eight of them sat around the kitchen table, drinking wine and laughing.

Micki took her girlfriends into the bedroom for awhile, most likely showing off her dress.

Danny leaned forward, they were passing around beers and playing cars.

We should go to a pub or something, it's still early.

I don't know about that, hate to get a bad hangover tomorrow.

Danny waved his hand as he finished what seemed to be his 100th beer.

Please, just a few drinks...I mean you need to make this up towards us buddy...not having a stripper and call.

Ryan laughed as he drank his beer.

Just then Micki and the girls walked out, laughing and holding their wine glasses.

Mic?

Micki walked over, putting her arms on Ryan's shoulders and slowly rubbing his back as he drank his beer.

Yeah?

Before we head over to Sam's we're going downtown and grab a few more beers...you wanna come?

Micki smiled before leaning over and kissing Ryan's face.

I need my beauty rest, sorry.

That's it then, come on Mark grab that case of beer...we're out of here!

Mark, Danny, and Sam all cracked up before heading downstairs. The girls all took seats around the table, pouring fresh glasses of wine. Micki walked Ryan to the top of the stairs before leaning in close and kissing him.

Ryan was spending the night over his friend Sam's. Jack was going to meet them there in the morning and drive them to the church. Micki meanwhile was staying at the store. Lisa, Leigh, and Sara were spending the night and helping her get ready in the morning.

She still had to have her hair done, get her dress on, and then rush over to the church before eleven. Micki was stressed, but the wine was helping.

I guess I'll see you in the morning?

Yeah I'll be the one with the big white dress on.

Ryan laughed before kissing her again.

Watching his rush down the stairs, she heard the guys laugh before slamming the door. Turning around she smiled and joined her friends.

He's such a great guy Micki...your lucky.

Micki smiled to herself.

He's like having a big kid...he's fun.

Laughing, all of the women toasted for Micki and Ryan.
__________________________________________________________________________

The next morning, Ryan was in the middle of having another nightmare when Danny shook him.

Hey man, come on...it's your last few hours of freedom!

Ryan cracked open one eye before seeing Danny, he hoped he didn't look as bad as he did. Smiling he pushing he away, he sat up...his head all ready hurting.

Jesus, how much did we have to drink last night?

Danny was across the room opening up the blinds just as Sam walked in with fresh cups of coffee.

Don't worry man, you have alot of catching up to do tonight.

Laughing, Ryan sat up rubbing the back of his neck before taking the coffee.

This was really it...this was the day.
__________________________________________________________________________

Micki was all ready awake and going by the time Ryan woke up. She was at the hair saloon and was in the middle of getting her nails finished.

Leigh, Lisa, and Sara were also getting their hair done. They were part of the wedding.

So what's his last name?

The woman asked as Micki chose the color of her nails.

Dallion...

Oh that's a pretty name.

Micki then smiled to herself and for the first time felt really nervous.

Micki Dallion.

Smiling to herself she took a deep breath.

Ryan and Micki deserved this.
__________________________________________________________________________

Ryan stood dressed in his tux at the head of the church as the music began to play. It was a small wedding, about fifty or so people, mostly friends were guests. Still...everything looked perfect. Micki had really put time into her dream wedding.

Now here it was.

The back doors open as Jack and Micki began walking up the aisle. Right away Ryan's mouth opened, totaly stunned.

He had never seen Micki look so beautiful before.

She walked down, her arms locked with Jack's as she smiled at Ryan. Finally Jack gave her away, and she stood across from him. Both of their hearts pounding.

This was really it.

Less then two years ago, Ryan had jumped out behind a counter to scare whoever had entered the store. Thinking it was his cousin he had never seen before Mike.

Now here she was, the woman he loved.

He was making good on that promise.

He loved Micki, and planned on spend the rest of his life with her.

The priest began to speak as Ryan grinned at her.
__________________________________________________________________________

The church doors flew open as everyone on the steps cheered. Ryan and Micki laughed as they slowly walked down the stairs. Micki holding up her dress so she couldn't trip. Holding hands and overcome by joy, they waved to everyone before getting into the limo.

With the door shut, Ryan right away went to Micki and began kissing her.

They now had wedding bands on.

They had finally done it.
__________________________________________________________________________

At the reception, Micki and Ryan walked out as everyone cheered again. The wedding singer announced them as Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Dallion. Micki looked stunning and seemed to glow as they began their first dance.

She felt like a princess. This was finally her day. Looking at Ryan straight in the eye, she laughed as she leaned in to kiss him.

Everyone ended up having a great time. Nobody seemed unhappy for once and there was a mood to the air that showed that this really was a good day. JB had even made Ryan crack up when he asked him if he didn't mind if he danced with Micki for awhile. Jack made a toast on how much these two had really gone through together, and it showed that good always fought through evil.

Somehow Ryan and Micki, as they sat together holding their glasses, fully understood what that speech meant.

By the end of the night, Danny had nearly past out in the men's room, and Jack impressed everyone with his bartending skills. Dancing one of the final dances, inbetween the wedding photos, Micki held Ryan tight and looked him straight in the eye.

She didn't care that her parents didn't show.

Ryan right now was all the family she needed.

I love you.

She said before kissing him.
__________________________________________________________________________

Everyone clapped and cheered again as Ryan and Micki waved goodbye. Micki was dressed in a cute going away suit, and kissed Jack thanking him.

Then they were off in their limo, for a nice and long awaited honeymoon.

They planned on going up to the country again. They had rented out a cabin, and looked forward to a whole week of peace and being just with each other.

Shutting the limo door, Micki put her arms around him and laughed.
__________________________________________________________________________

That night, Ryan rolled off Micki as she gasped for air. Even through it was still early sping it felt like a million degrees in the room. Ryan laid beside her, softly kissing her naked shoulders.

Micki then looked at Ryan in the darkness.

Her husband.

Smiling she looked up at the ceiling again before looking at him.

You know what I want Ryan?

Ryan kissed her hand.

What?

I want to try for another baby.

Ryan looked at her through the darkness as she smiled.

7: Life's Too Short

The doctor came out a little after three-thirty that morning to tell Jack that Ryan had past away. Jack sat in the waiting room, which only had one other person, a middle aged woman who has fallen asleep in the chair...waiting on news on her husband who had just suffered a heart attack. The second Jack saw the doctor he knew something was wrong. Walking in he simply shook his head before walking towards Jack and offering his hand.

Mr. Marshak?

Jack stood up and shook the doctors hand.

Yes, is everything all right?

The doctor lowered his eyes for a moment before shaking his head.

I'm very sorry...but Mr. Dallion flatlined twenty minutes ago, we tried everything we could.

Jack just stood there. The same exact feeling had hit him when his only son died so many years ago...and when Micki herself had died. Now here he was, an old man feeling totaly alone. Taking a deep breath he looked at the doctor.

Ryan...died?

The doctor nodded.

I'm very sorry, it seemed that his heart fluctuations caused him to flatline...also his body was rejecting the blood transfers we were giving him.

Jack then thought of Ryan.

The playful, happy go lucky guy he had met at the store. The guy who always stood by Micki, and somehow made things seem better then they really were. He brought life to the store, and Jack enjoyed every moment with him as he did with Micki.

Those two young adults were almost like his children.

Now they were both gone.

The store didn't do it, either did Lewis' objects or the devil himself. Sighing he felt a heavy stone replace his heart before he slowly nodded.

Thank you doctor...

If there is anything I could do...

Jack looked up.

I need to make a few phonecalls...

The doctor nodded before leaving him.

Standing there, Jack fought back tears before heading to the payphone.

"Jessica..."

He thought shaking his head. Picking up the phone, he waited until he heard Johnny's tired voice on the other line.

Yeah?

Jack took a deep breath before speaking.
__________________________________________________________________________

Ryan snapped awake.

He was laying in bed, his hair sticking up and still dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. Taking a deep breath he looked around before rolling his eyes. Another nightmare. His insides began to ache before he glanced at the clock. It was seven now. Stretching, he slid out of bed before heading over to the kitchen.

Opening the fridge, he took out the orange juice before hearing Micki faintly humming to herself in the bathroom. Smiling he walked over before slowly opening the door.

Micki was in the bathtub, having herself a nice relaxing bubble bath. This afternoon they had started fixing up downstairs. In Ryan's mind it was really all upkeep. The place really was falling apart, and taking some time to make it look better didn't do any harm.

Micki had looked cute dressed in baggy white paint clothes earlier. She had even finished off the look with a polka dot baseball cap. Smiling he glanced in as Micki was laying under the soap suds, candles lit around her.

Hey babe.

Micki smiled.

Hey...

Ryan walked in before sitting on the edge of the tub.

You let me sleep this whole while you had a nice warm bath alone?

Micki laughed before laying back.

You looked tired, thought you might need to rest.

Yeah or lack of...

Ryan mumbled under his breath. Micki caught this before raising an eyebrow and looking at him.

Bad dreams?

Ryan snapped out of it before shaking his head.

No, nothing...hey you wanna join me in there?

Micki smiled before reaching out and touching his hand.

I'll be in soon.

Smiling, Ryan got up and headed to the bedroom.
__________________________________________________________________________

A few minutes later Micki stood in her short bathrobe and dryed her hair.

Micki?

She heard from the bedroom.

I'll be there in a second.

Micki said before looking at her reflection in the mirror. Smiling she opened the draw before taking out her birth control pills. She had gone on them shortly before the wedding.

Looking at her sparking wedding ring, she softly smiled before thinking back to what she asked Ryan on their honeymoon. She wanted another baby...as soon as possible. Loosing the last one had been hard on her, and now married and being with Ryan, she found it the best time.

Ryan on the other hand told her that they should wait. Alot has happened and he didn't want to risk loosing her. Micki had tried telling him she was fine, that this was all she wanted. But he told her it was better to wait. There were still objects to be found, and that they should spend some time together as a couple before making a big choice like that again.

It had been a month since they got married, and Micki couldn't of been more happy.

Looking at the pills she sighed.

Opening the case, she walked over to her bath which was draining and bit her bottom lip. Without thinking she threw the rest of them down the drain.
__________________________________________________________________________

Walking into the bedroom, Micki leaned again the doorway smiling at Ryan who was just getting into bed. Looking at her, he smiled. Whistling as she walked in, Micki laughed and opened her robe.

See anything you like?

Ryan began to laugh as she dropped the robe to the floor, showing off her perfect figure.
__________________________________________________________________________

By the end of the week they got back the cursed camera and the ring.
__________________________________________________________________________

A month later, Micki stood in the bathroom smiling. Holding the test up she kept reading it.

Positive.

Thinking for a second, she sighed. As happy as she was...would Ryan feel the same? The miscarriage had been tough on him. In fact, right before the wedding Ryan had stumbled across the old sonogram photo of the baby they lost. Micki remembered him looking at it for a long time before slamming the bedroom door and not talking the rest of the evening.

He explained to her that they still had all these objects to find. It was a dangerous life, and this time they had a chance to plan things out. He didn't want there to be any more risk for her...so he told her to wait. Within time, maybe soon things would get easy and then maybe they could start thinking about their future. He even showed her how much he trusted her when he told her it might be better if she switched back to the pill.

Now here she was...pregnant.

Jesus Micki, what have you done?

She thought to herself. Sighing she thought of the last two months she's spent as a married woman. Life was looking up for her. She prayed Ryan would keep an open mind...that he would understand how much she wanted this.

Placing the test on the counter, she slightly smiled and walked out to the kitchen.
__________________________________________________________________________

Ryan just walked out as she started the coffee. Holding his clothes in one hand, he smiled at Micki before leaning over and kissing her cheek.

Morning.

Micki smiled before feeling his scruffy neck and sheek.

Hey, somebody feels like they need a shave.

Come on, you love me like this...

Micki laughed before pushing him away.

Not with a beard.

Ryan grinned before heading to the bathroom, all the meanwhile Micki glanced over feeling excited and nervous at the same time.
__________________________________________________________________________

Micki?

Micki was sitting at the kitchen table having tea and toast. She had been sitting out there alone for nearly ten minutes. First she flipped through the morning newspaper, then waited to see if Jack was up yet. Drumming her long fingernails against the table, she waited.

Finally the door opened, Ryan stood there, freshly shaved with the pregnancy test in his hand. Micki nearly choked before looking up at him. She couldn't tell if he was anger, upset, or shocked.

The two of them just stared at each other for a moment before Ryan shook his head. Now Micki could tell he was upset.

Your pregnant?

Micki gulped before slowly nodding.

I just took the test this morning.

Ryan looked at her in disbelief before looking back at the test. He let out a nervous and not so happy laugh before shaking his head.

I thought you were on the pill?

Micki felt her stomach twist in knots.

Sometimes they don't always work...I mean that's what happened the first time.

Ryan quickly shook his head before walking over, his eyes still on the test. Micki knew he was angry, in fact she felt pretty awful just then. She hated lying to Ryan, and most of all going behind his back. Still...she wanted this baby, she wanted Ryan to be the one to give it to her. Sighing she looked at him with wide eyes.

Are you...angry?

Ryan took a seat across from her before putting down the test. Slowly he sighed before placing his head in his hands. Micki sat there, tears rolling down her cheeks.

Ryan didn't look at her.

No...I'm not angry, I mean it took two of us for this to happen.

Ryan, look at me.

Ryan slowly looked up, he then saw Micki was crying.

Micki...

He reached out and took her hand.

I'm not mad, it's just alot to take in...I wanted us to wait, with everything going on with the objects and...

But we were going to do it before...

Yeah but, you know how dangerous these things are, and how we have no idea when we're ever going to finally get all of them. You said it yourself that store wasn't a place to raise a child...

But Ryan, we could make this work...it might be hard but we're married now...we're supposed to work things like this out.

Ryan sighed before looking back at the test.

It isn't that...I'm just worried, I mean I want to take care of you. Alot has happened and I just don't wanna loose you.

Ryan, I want this baby...please want it like me.

I don't know if I could loose another one with you...or if you could.

Don't think like that...

Micki, it's still early...you were three months when we lost the last one...

Ryan, I'll take care of myself this time...if we really want this baby we can make this happen.

Ryan looked at her flat stomach.

I just don't want anything to happen...

We're figure something out Ryan, as long as your with me for this.

Ryan faintly smiled before nodding.

I'm here with you.

Smiling, Micki leaned in and kissed him.
__________________________________________________________________________

A week later, Micki and Ryan decided to go after the Shard of Medusa. Since that morning, when Ryan discovered Micki was pregnant...they hadn't talked about it. In fact, both hadn't even told Jack yet...who was away for the week. Micki knew deep down inside Ryan was worried and upset. And as happy as she really felt, she still felt guilty.

The subject was something they just didn't talk about, even though Micki knew in time she would have to get Ryan alone and try to be as serious as they could about the entire thing. What were they really going to do? Nine months wasn't that long...it wasn't that long at all.

But Ryan was distant, the night before hand he spied on the artist who had bought the Shard a few years ago from Uncle Lewis. There Ryan saw a poor helpless woman get turned into stone right before his eyes. The next morning he explained the story to Micki, before she shook her head.

I guess it's my turn then...

Ryan sighed.

I'm sorry Micki...

Both were thinking the same thing, Micki even though it was still early shouldn't be taking such big risks. But it seemed like the only way to get the Shard back.

She only sculpts women, she needs another model.

Micki and Ryan began going down the stairs as Micki threw on her jacket.

That's all right I was going through those letters...

Find anything with them?

Ryan grabbed his leather jacket off the hook.

Well nothing concrete...we did send them to some pretty weird people...

Just then Micki opened the store door and JB stood, a suitcase in one hand.

JB?

It wasn't my idea...

Micki raced out, but it was to late...her sister's car was all ready speeding away. Yet another weekend of boyfriends and drugs. She thought
before turning around. Ryan stood in the doorway beside himself. Micki knew he was moody, most of all ever since he learned of the pregnancy. But the last few times since the wedding, Micki's sister had really been screwing up. Each time they got stuck with JB...most of all when they were trying to get another object back.

Micki shook her head before leaning in to JB.

JB, where did she go?

Off with her new boyfriend...

Ryan rolled his eyes.

She'll be back in a couple of days...

Great, just great.

I can go to a motel like last time.

Ryan looked.

What?

She couldn't get hold of you, so she left me at the motel...it's okay they got cable.

Oh God...

Micki picked up his suitcase.

Give me this, come on inside.

JB walked forward before Ryan leaned in close to Micki.

He can't stay here...not now.

Ryan what do you want me to do, she's my sister and after the divorce she's been a little out of control.

A little, she's got a new boyfriend every week and no phone number...

Micki cut him off.

Ryan, please...let's just try to find something to keep his busy...

Turning away from him, Micki walked back into the store.

JB?

Ryan stood in the doorway looking at JB. Now of all times, wasn't when Ryan wanted to be around children. He had enough problems as it was.

Ryan has something very special for you!

Micki went into the store as JB stared at Ryan.

Just then Micki sounded the small horn on the bike Ryan and Jack had restored.

Isn't she beautiful? Jack and Ryan just fixed it up.

Micki...

Micki shrugged. JB meanwhile crossed his arms.

Kind of junky looking...my mom just bought me a new bike. Streaming, full works.

Oh yeah? Sure she did...

Ryan mumbled under his breath.

Listen, why don't we just try her out...

Ryan helped Micki as they loaded the bike down on the ground and then out on the sidewalk. JB walked over rolling his eyes.

Well at least I won't be stopped for any speeding tickets...

Micki tried to smile before shutting the door behind them.

Why don't you check out the park while Ryan and I are out.

Ryan held the bike as JB climbed on top of it.

Just take care of it. Ryan said as JB sat down trying to steady himself. Micki then dug into her pocket.

Here's my key and if you get hungry there's food in the fridge, just be home before dark.

As Micki finished for her key, JB looked at Ryan's hands and made a funny face.

I thought boys don't wear rings...

Ryan looked down at his hands before shooting a look at JB. At times the got along with the kid, but most of the time he was a complete pain. Ryan only hoped his kid wouldn't be that bad. Freezing for a second he thought of what he just said and looked at Micki before pushing the thought away.

It's my wedding band.

Oh...

Jb made another funny look before Ryan helped him push off.

Be careful! Ryan yelled as JB rode off. Shaking his head he looked over at Micki.

You really need to talk with your sister...this isn't fair on anyone, most of all JB.

Micki took Ryan's keys before locking up.

I just don't want him to feel unwanted.

He should quit making up those stories...

Micki flipped the close sign.

He knows as well as I do that his mother wouldn't buy him a bike.

Sighing, Micki took his arm.

Let's go.
__________________________________________________________________________

That night they went to the art show to meet with the woman who was using the Shard of Medusa to kill young models with. Ryan kept his distance while Micki worked her magic speaking with her.

Ryan smiled watching her.

He was still just in love with her as he was when he first met her. There she was, stressed and worried...pregnant and most likely feeling totaly alone. Ryan wanted to kicki himself for how he had been acting, but he couldn't help it. He worried about her and wished they had planned this. Last time it just happened...and he was ready to dive forward without even thinking. Now here they were, married and ready to take the same risk.

Heading back, the artist had given Micki a time in which she could meet her at the studio. Ryan drove feeling worried the entire time. When they got back, JB wasn't there. Most likely still fooling around somewhere. Going up the stairs, Ryan gave a nervous glance at Micki.

You sure you wanna do this?

I'll be fine, just be there when I'm ready.

On the ride back they had planned out how Micki was going to get the shard back without getting hurt. They went over it a few times before it seemed right. Still, Ryan thought back to when they got the playhouse and worried about Micki.

Anything could happen.

I just need to fix JB dinner...

Just order a pizza.

He needs a good healthy meal, with people to eat it with.

Ryan rolled his eyes before JB came running in.

Aunt Micki! Aunt Micki!

Ryan and Micki looked at him as he raced up the stairs.

Whoa, what did you see?

The ghost, Ricky!

Whoa, where did you put my bike?

Bike...

Yeah the bike I loaned you...

The bike...it got stolen...

This time Micki felt a small pang of anger fill her.

JB no...

What happened?

We rode out to this big old house...

Who's we?

These guys, I was going to join their gang...but first I had to take something from the haunted house...

So while you were in a haunted house seeing ghosts, you let those kids steal my bike.

It's true!

You need to quit telling these stories...

But it is true!

That a ghost stole my bike?

No the guys!

JB was then on the edge of tears before racing past them.

Nobody ever believes me!

JB!

Standing there in silence, Ryan sighed.

Micki we need to get him out of here.

What would you like me to do, put him in a kennel?

Micki rolled her eyes before going past Ryan.
__________________________________________________________________________

While tucking JB into bed, she tried to explain that Ryan really wasn't mad at him. That he just had alot on his mind and that he did like him. JB only shook his head and turned over in the bed she made upstairs for him. Siging she looked out at the stairs.

She needed to talk with Ryan. This stress was killing them.

She had to make sure he was totaly on board with this. Somehow she felt alone thinking of this baby. Maybe the time wasn't right.

By the time JB was asleep, Ryan drove her out to the art studio. The entire time they didn't say a word to each other.

An hour later, they walked through the door, Ryan's leather jacket thrown over Micki's shoulders.

I thought I would freeze to death by the time you got me!

Closing the door behind them, Ryan held the Shard of Medusa.

Ryan turned around and smiled.

Next time don't leave in such a hurry.

Looking at her, he knew things were all right between them. They just needed time to talk. As soon as JB went home he wanted to have a serious talk about the baby, and what they were going to do.

After all, they were still a team.
__________________________________________________________________________

At the end of the weekend they had finally gotten the coffin which held the ghost of Ricky, JB's friend. It was a very confusing story, yet JB seemed understanding. Both Ryan and Micki knew within time he would forget. Anyways, who would believe him.

Smiling, Ryan walked JB to his taxi and helped load in his brand new bike. Both Ryan and Micki had been through alot, but understood that JB was just a child, and needed love.

See ya later buddy.

JB smiled at Ryan before hugging him.

As soon as the taxi pulled away, Ryan walked inside. Dressed in a T-shirt and torn jeans, he walked back in before seeing Micki wasn't there anymore.

Micki?

There he heard her in the downstairs bathroom. Sighing he rubbed the back of his neck before walking over and opening the door. Sure enough Micki was throwing.

Micki...

Micki waved her hand.

Please, I look awful.

Ryan kneeled behind her, holding back her hair before smiling.

Micki threw again before finally spitting. Ryan kissed the back of her neck while she reached over and flushed.

This the first of it?

Micki slowly nodded.

I guess I've just been on my feet too much...

Before she could finish she leaned over and threw again. Slowly rubbing her back, Ryan knew he wanted this baby too.
__________________________________________________________________________

After Micki had stopped throwing, she sat on the bathroom floor looking at Ryan. The two of them smiled before Ryan took her hand.

So...how's our baby doing?

With that Micki smiled.
__________________________________________________________________________

A few months later, Micki found herself looking at different shawls to wear. She was going on five months all ready and her perfectly round pregnant stomach stuck out from her thin frame. Lately she had been trying to hide in, always feeling awful about her weight gain. Ryan on the other hand found it cute, even the doctor told her that the weight was a good sign their baby was healthy.

The last few months had been good.

Ryan opened up to Micki and explained that he wanted this baby too, and didn't care about all of the risks and problems they were going to have to face in the future. Jack was the only other one who knew about the pregnancy for the first few months. At first Micki's girlfriends kept hinting towards the idea of her being pregnant, but she decided to wait until everything checked out all right.

There was the morning sickness, and then her ankles and back aching. But Ryan was by her side through the entire thing. In fact he had been pretty cute about it all. In fact Micki rolled her eyes whenever he rubbed her stomach and began talking to it.

This is is going to be read comics for bedtime stories.

Rolling her eyes Micki laughed.

Great...

The doctor visits were once a month, after the first sonogram Ryan started to get really excited. Micki smiled whenever she went to open the fridge and saw the photo of their unborn baby hanging off it.

Finally they told people, everyone seemed happy for the couple. Everyone...but Micki's parents.

Micki's mother called when Micki was in her forth month, telling her she would most likely loose it and how their baby was going to be born a bastard no matter what. Emotions and hormones high, Micki began to cry through the phone call. Ryan walked in on this and grabbed the phone from her. Here he screamed into the phone to leave his wife alone and if her side of the family wanted to be a bunch of jerks, that was fine with him. With that he slammed down the phone and took her in his arms as she began to cry.

He watched out for her.

Whenever she had trouble sleeping, had a craving, or felt too tired to do anything, Ryan was always there. He was enjoying this pregnancy, and really was looking forward to their baby.

Finally one afternoon they met with a lawyer. There Jack, Micki, and Ryan sat around and talked about wills and who gets what in case anything bad happens. Ryan of course didn't want to talk about it, but Micki told him that it was important. There they decided that if anything happened to either one of them, their child would go to the surviving spouse. After that Jack was next in line. There they decided where money should go, who would end up owning the store.

Which had brought up a question before the lawyer came.

Would they ever tell their child, or children about the store?

It was too far into the future right now. Micki nor Ryan really didn't know. They wanted their baby to have a normal childhood, without risk or danger. Here they decided in case anything happen, or things got too dangerous, Micki would take the baby and stay at her friends Leigh until things straighten out. Ryan felt uneasy about this, but Micki was telling the turth. The store really wasn't that safe of a place...and taking the baby away from it, if things ever got that bad might not be that bad of an idea.

For all they knew...the objects could be all recovered within the next few years.

Right now it was too out in the open.

They would have to wait and see what they would decide in telling their child...or children in the future. It was so weird to think of telling anyone else about what they really did.

Micki and Ryan decided to wait, and to try their best in giving their baby a normal life.

The store was in their names until anything changed.

Now here Micki was, looking at herself in the dressing room before holding up the shawls. Smiling she decided to buy all three of them. Walking out to the counter, the sales woman smiled at her.

How far along are you?

Going on five months, I know I'm huge.

Micki laughed.

Boy or girl?

My husband and I decided to wait a little awhile...in fact our next sonogram is this week, so we're going to find out then.

How exciting.

Micki smiled before taking her bags.

On her way home from the store, she stopped by the nursey store and fell in love with a wooden rocking chair. Smiling, she knew what she was going to hint about towards Ryan tonight at dinner. Stopping by she got her prenatal vitamins and then took the car back.
__________________________________________________________________________

When she got home, she found a note on Jack's desk telling her he was having lunch with a few old friends. Smiling she began walking upstairs. In another hour she would flip the closed sign to open.

In the last few months she had mostly stayed at the store, doing book keeping and fixing up the place while Ryan and Jack ran around looking for any new leads on the objects.

Micki had come along once or twice, as long as she wasn't on her feet too long, and as long as it wasn't that dangerous.

She was happy staying here, getting ready for the baby.

In fact, her friends were planning on throwing a baby shower for her next month. Rubbing her stomach she finally made it up the stairs, nearly out of breath and looking for Ryan.

He was in their bedroom, trying to put the crib together. Smiling she threw her bags on their bed.

Hey...

Ryan smiled before trying to screw in another leg.

Don't you think it's too early to put that up?

Are you kidding? Your ready to pop!

Micki laughed watching Ryan work. Both really didn't know where they would have room for a nursey. So until they figured things out, the crib would just stay in their room.

So we have the doctors in two days.

Is that when we find out if we're having a little Micki or Ryan Jr?

Micki laughed before laying out on the bed, smiling she waved Ryan over.

It's kicking, come feel.

Ryan walked over grinning before he placed his hand on Micki's stomach. Laying back she looked at him and smiled.

Feel?

Oh yeah...

Laughing Ryan bent down and kissed her before rubbing her stomach.

Quit giving your mother a hard time buddy. Laughing Micki sat up as Ryan went back to the crib.

So any ideas on names yet?

What no Micki or Ryan Jr?

Micki rolled her eyes before sitting back, her hands on her stomach.

We should switch it...I make a list of boys names, you make a list of girl names and we narrow it down.

That sounds good...but nothing too weird, I don't want to get getting beat up on the playground.

Smiling Micki stood up.

I'm going to crack open that thing of ice cream, care to join me?

Ryan kneeled down towards the crib before nodding.

Yeah just a second...

Smiling Micki walked out to the kitchen. Her hair up in a ponytail, and her face really glowing.
__________________________________________________________________________

That night Micki laid beside Ryan, his arms around her.

Micki muttered in her sleep before throwing back the blankets.

It's too hot!

Ryan barley opened his eyes before nuzzling his head into her neck.

You okay?

Micki had been having trouble sleeping lately. Rolling her eyes she looked around the dark bedroom.

I just keep having...ouch!

Ryan snapped awake.

What's wrong?

His face full of concern.

MICKI?

Micki shook her head before feeling her stomach.

I'm fine, the baby is just laying a weird way...

Ryan's eyes were huge before he leaned over.

You sure? It might be contractions?

I'm fine, just a cramp...I need to pee.

Micki got up and shuffled out, Ryan laid there breathing hard, his heart was racing. The turth was, he was on edge through this entire thing. Moments later Micki returned looking tired.

God does my back hurt...I'm so uncomfortable

Come on back.

Micki slid into her place as Ryan put his arms back around her.
__________________________________________________________________________

On the ride to the doctors, both were tossing around names.

Gage?

Emily?

Will?

Jennifer?

Cal?

Jessica?

Oh, I like that?

What?

Ryan glanced over at her before pulling into a parking space.

Jessica for a girl.

Okay...you want that to be your pick?

For a girl?

Yeah.

Micki smiled before looking down at her stomach.

Jessica...

Looking at Ryan she smiled.

And for boys?

Well we narrowed it down from Jason, Warren, and...

Steven.

Ryan smiled before both got out of the car.
__________________________________________________________________________

An hour later, Micki laid on the table as the doctor moved the paddle around on her stomach. Finally the small screen lit up and Ryan who was standing beside her looked over.

There is the fetus, looks healthy...good size, seems to be developing just fine.

Ryan smiled before holding Micki's hand.

Would you like to know the sex?

Ryan and Micki looked at each other.

Sure...

The doctor moved the paddle around a little more before nodding.

Well Mr. and Mrs. Dallion...looks like your going to have yourself a little girl.

Micki right away gasped. The doctor smiled as Ryan laughed, looking at Micki before leaning over and kissing her.

I guess it's Jessica after all...
__________________________________________________________________________

A few minutes later, Ryan and Micki sat in the doctor's office. Holding hands and smiling.

They were having a baby girl.

Just then the doctor came in with the results from Micki's blood tests. Sitting behind the desk she looked them straight in the eye.

I would like to do an amnio.

Ryan and Micki froze, within seconds their happy moment was shattered.

A...what?

We found some things in the blood tests, now I wouldn't get worried...95% of these tests that are positive usualy aren't the true result when the baby is born.

Result, result like what?

The doctor looked at Ryan and Micki before sighing.

Downs, along with cancers and other problems with the child's blood stream.

Jesus...

Ryan looked down for a second. The room was spinning. Just seconds ago he learned he was going to be father to a baby girl, now this doctor was saying something was wrong with their child.

I didn't even want to take those stupid fucking tests!

Micki was crying now, Ryan looked over, somewhat in shock.

I don't want to alarm you, but I should go through the risks of this test...your primary concern is for your baby‚€™s health.

Ryan squeezed Micki's hand as she began to talk.

After the doctor listed off the reasons, both Ryan and Micki shook thei heads.

Micki wasn't even thirty yet, there were no health problems on either side of the family...nor anyone who suffered from down syndrome.

If you or Ryan has an autosomal dominant disorder such as Huntington‚€™s chorea, an amniocentesis will be able to identify if your child will be affected by the disease.

But we don't!

There's so way to test it on you guys now...but an amniocentesis might be for the best.

Are you saying something is wrong with my baby?

Micki rubbed her stomach, her eyes filling with tears.

No, not at all...it's just being safe with taking this.

Both Ryan and Micki looked at each other before Ryan felt himself begin to shake. The nightmare has just gone away too...
__________________________________________________________________________

Later that evening, Ryan had made a call to Jack explaining what was going on at the doctor's.

Is there anything I can do?

Jack asked on the other line. Ryan looked around the doctor's office before shaking his head.

No Jack, thanks anyways...I'll call with an update.

Hanging up, he went to the room Micki was in.
__________________________________________________________________________

Micki was dressed in a hospital gown, laying on the table where they had the ultrasound done. She looked nervous, and her lower stomach was showing. Just then the doctor along with the nurse came in.

Ryan went over and held Micki's hand while the doctor told her to stay very still.

We just need the fetus and placenta are located...

Just then the nurse swabbed Micki's lower stomach before they took out the needle. Micki drew in a quick breath before they told her to lay still. Ryan meanwhile watched, holding Micki's hand. He watched as they inserted the needle into Micki's stomach. Right away she began stiff, as the nurse smiled down at her saying it would be over in just a second.

Your doing a real good job...

Just don't hurt my baby...

Micki muttered, Ryan held her hand watching, feeling his insides shake.

Okay...we're going to go through the abdomen and into the uterus...

The doctor said...just then the needle began to fill with what looked like yellow water.

That's a small amount of amniotic fluid and it's being withdrawn...

Micki gasped as the needle was taken away, her eyes filled with tears as Ryan looked down at her.

Your fine baby...your fine.

Did they hurt her?

No...see, she's right there.

Ryan pointed on the screen and Micki saw the fuzzy image of the baby. Crying she held Ryan's hand. The two of them had never been so scared before in their lifes.
__________________________________________________________________________

After the procedure, Micki's vital signs and the fetus‚€™ heart tones were monitored to ensure no complications were experienced. Ryan filled out paper work and began thinking to himself.

What were they going to do if something was wrong with the baby?

It was going to be hard enough.

Feeling a chill go down his spine, he looked at his wedding band. He felt too young for all this. He wished Micki and him had waited until the store was taken care of. Here they were waiting to see if their unborn baby was all right, while objects of the devil still were floating around.

Abortion?

No, he shook his head.

He couldn't do that...and somehow he knew Micki wouldn't either.

Right now he felt totaly alone.
__________________________________________________________________________

When he brought Micki home, Jack helped her to bed.

Ryan stayed up with Jack having coffee, telling him everything that happened.

I guess we'll see...

Ryan said, sighing and looking in at Micki. She was exausted after this entire thing.

Ryan, when my son died...I felt helpless, I'm sure your daughter will be just fine. Your a parent now...and your just worried.

I nope so Jack...
__________________________________________________________________________

An hour later, Ryan went to bed.

Laying beside Micki, he felt himself unable to sleep.

Feeling tears come on, he prayed to God to keep his wife and unborn daughter safe.



8: You Never Know

A week later, Jack found himself at Ryan's funeral.

An even smaller group of people gathered around as the wind began to blow hard against their faces. It was getting chilly out and snow seemed to be in the air. Standing around in a huddle of a group, the priest finally finished and made the sign of the cross.

And may he rest in peace.

Jack looked around and saw how strong the wind was getting Nearby trees swung dangerously back and forth. Everyone held their coats closed and struggled to walk up the hill towards their parked cars.

Johnny stood holding Jessica, who had just started falling asleep. Holding her in his arms, he sighed and looked at the two graves.

Ryan and Micki.

Shaking his head he gave a slight nod to Jack before walking back. A few people stood around, talking and shaking hands. Johnny walked by a group of Micki and Ryan's friends.

Johnny?

Johnny stopped before faintly smiling, looking down the hill he saw Jack was standing by Ryan's grave and speaking with the priest. Finally a young couple walked over, the woman trying her best to hold onto her hat before it blew away.

Hi, I'm Micki's friend Lisa...I heard alot about you.

Johnny used his free hand that wasn't holding Jessica and smiled.

Nice to meet you.

She shook his hand before glancing at the car.

You help out at the store?

Yeah for the last year or so.

Well I'm sure Micki and Ryan would be pleased to see how much your really helping out.

Johnny tried to smile again, but couldn't find the strength.

Thank you...

Lisa then reached over and patted Jessica's back.

How is she doing?

Sleeping alot...a little confused.

Yeah...she's a little sweet heart of a thing.

She sure is.

Have Jack and you contacted their family?

Johnny shook his head.

We couldn't find anyone close enough on Ryan's side...and Micki's family wanted nothing to do with her.

Lisa sighed.

What a shame...I'm sure one of us would be more then happy, I mean this is a hard time for everone.

Johnny held onto Jessica tight, he knew what this woman was thinking.

Well Jack and I need to discuss some things, until then she's going to stay at the store with us.

Just the two of you?

We;ve helped raise her since she's been born...

Well in case you ever need help, your want to drop her off for an afternoon...please call me.

Lisa handed over a card, Johnny took it before nodding towards her and her husband.

Well I better go, don't want her to get a chill.

Lisa faintly smiled as Johnny turned away and hurried towards the car.

A few minutes later, Jack finally joined them in the car. Johnny had turned the heat on and had placed Jessica in her carseat. Jack climbed into the driver's seat before sitting behind the wheel for a moment.

Jack?

Jack sighed before looking in the rearview mirror at Johnny.

He couldn't stand being without her.

Johnny looked down at Jessica who was all ready asleep.

No...I guess not.

Jack sighed before starting the engine. Johnny sat there for a second before reaching over and touching one of Jesscia's tiny hands. He loved her like she was his own.

Jack?

Yes Johnny?

What are we going to do?

We'll figure that out when the time gets there...let's just focus on getting home.

Yeah, okay.

They began driving away when Johnny spoke again.

Jack?

Yes Johnny?

Do you think Micki would of done the same thing?

Jack sighed before pulling onto the highway.

Ryan loved his daughter, more then anything in fact...but I think Micki has always been a part of him. When she died, he knew he was only half there.

Maybe it's for the best...maybe their together.

I hope so...but I know Micki would of lived, as hard as it was.

Huh?

Ryan always told her to live no matter what...he on the other hand couldn't see a life without her.

Nodding, Johnny looked back down at the baby.
__________________________________________________________________________

Ryan?

Ryan stirred for a second before opening his eyes.

Micki stood there, dressed in slacks and a shawl. Her pregnant stomach stood out in a perfect round bump. Ryan took a second before seeing that he was awake from another dream of his. In fact the closer they got to the baby's due date, the more dreams he was having. On the side he had began taking things to sleep, trying his best not to worry Micki.

Humm?

He was laying on the couch downstairs, a pile of the store's paperwork in his lap. Looking around he saw a few lights were on, and Jack was reading at his desk.

Come on, I wanna show you something.

Micki tugged on his arm smiling.
__________________________________________________________________________

Once they were upstairs, Micki walked behind Ryan. Her arms stretched out and covering Ryan's eyes. Both laughed before she finally stood him in the doorway of their bedroom.

Okay...look!

Micki drew her hands away and Ryan looked into their bedroom. Half shocked, and half amazed.

Ever since the baby shower, Micki had been working non-stop on turning half of their bedroom into the perfect nursey for their little girl. Ryan on the other hand had been nervous. Ever since the test, he began worried of what was really going to happen with the pregnancy. He was scared something might be wrong with the baby, something that could make Micki loose it. Something that could hurt Micki...

He was nervous about the entire time. Jumping whenever Micki got a cramp or looked in pain. She tried her best to tell him that everything was normal and not to worry about anything...but he couldn't help it. He didn't know what Micki would do if she lost this baby.

She seemed to be putting too much energy into it.

But anytime Ryan would even bring up the idea or chance that something might go wrong, Micki would either brust into tears or become angry. So here they were...a few months away before seeing if their daughter was really going to be born into this world.

Since then the doctors said everything was okay. But still...Ryan felt uneasy.

Laughing, he looked at everything Micki had set up. She had indeed turned half of their bedroom into the perfect nursey. Every last detail looked perfect, almost as if waiting for the baby to fill it up. Smiling, Ryan walked over and looked at everything. Looking down at the empty crib he felt his insides shake a little before turning towards her.

It looks perfect.

You really mean it?

Ryan smiled as Micki came over and hugged him.

Ryan took a seat in the wooden rocker he bought for Micki as a surprise for the baby shower. Micki laughed and sat on his lap before kissing him. Smiling she looked down at her stomach.

She's kicking like a horse.

Ryan reached over and placed his hands on her stomach before smiling.

Doing somersaults huh?

Yeah...

Micki rolled her eyes before laying her head on Ryan's shoulder.

Nervous?

Yeah...alittle.

I can't wait to see what she looks like.

Oh, she'll be handsome like me.

Micki laughed before hitting him in the arm.
__________________________________________________________________________

The next day, Jack had taken Micki into town. The two of them were looking into a certian cursed flashlight a police officer had bought a couple of years ago from Uncle Lewis. Ryan stayed at the store and was just finishing up with a customer when Danny came in.

Ryan didn't mind Danny, in fact he was a pretty cool guy that gave them deals on fixing the car up. But Danny always looked at everything as a party, and sometimes forgot Ryan was a married man. Strolling in, Danny winked at the woman who had just bought an old fanshion vase from Ryan. Watching her leave he grinned before slapping the two tickets down on the counter.

Hey Dally, check these out.

Ryan looked at the tickets.

Angelica?

Yep, I scored me two front row tickets for that gig she's doing in town this week.

Ryan still loved music, in fact he always seemed to be blasting the radio r headphones whenever he was alone looking after the store. In fact right behind him his boombox was softy playing some rock music.

It helped the place not seem so lonely whenever Micki and Jack were gone.

Angelica was beautiful singer Ryan had been a fan of for years. In fact a few months before he owned the store, he had seen her live just outside of the city. Latley he hadn't been able to do such things with the baby coming.

How did you get these?

Easy way to pay off a job I did for this guy in the city...so you wanna come?

Ryan shook his head.

I can't.

Come on...you need to take them.

Take them?

Yeah...I all ready planned a date at this chicks' cabin that night and it's something I can't skip out on...if ya know what I mean.

Ryan laughed.

Why don't you just take her, I'm sure she'll enjoy it.

Please, that's the only thing that seems wrong with this woman, she hates that kind of music.

Well I can't take this, I hardly have time to go out anymore with everything going on.

Take Micki, you two can have a little date night.

I don't know if Micki will be up to it...

Well just hold onto them, if not I'm sure someone else will be willing to buy them off you.

That's what you should do.

Danny waved his hand.

Please, anyways I didn't buy you a wedding gift.

Ryan laughed before picking up the tickets.
__________________________________________________________________________

That afternoon when Micki and Jack came home, they read about Mesmer's Bauble.
__________________________________________________________________________

She's loosing the baby...

A voice whispered in Ryan's ear later that night. Ryan mumbled in his sleep before the voice came again.

She's loosing the baby, she'll never be able to carry one ever. Her insides are cursed just like her...just like you. Everything you touch dies!

Ryan snapped awake before looking over at Micki. She was fast asleep, Ryan's headphones on her stomach. Lately she was making the baby listen to classical music at night, thinking it would relax her better. Ryan looked over at her and she seemed peaceful. Taking in a deep breath he sighed.

Reaching over he touched her stomach and felt the baby kick.
__________________________________________________________________________

The rest of the week, Ryan kept getting an awful uneasy feeling. Each time he looked at Micki, he thought to himself that something was going to happen. Thinking back to right after his father died, Ryan had his first dream about making love to Micki. In this dream he kept hearing a baby cry in the background while Micki kissed him softly across the face. That same week they recovered the cursed cradle. But all the while Ryan had the same uneasy feeling he had now.

Finally they decided to use the tickets Danny gave them, in order to try and get hold of the bauble. Ryan was worried this might be too much for Micki, but she shoved ahead in the crowed club, fighting her way to the front of the stage. Ryan stood close by her before Angelica walked out. People started cheering like crazy before she began to sing.

RYAN!

Micki yelled over the crowd.

SHE'S GOT THE BAUBLE!

Ryan looked and saw it behind Angelica's neck.

WHAT'S SHE DOING WITH IT?

Just then she began to dance closer, the bauble right above Micki's reach. Dancing back and forth on the stage, she leaned down touching and smiling at the crowd.

Micki then saw her chance, reached up...and grabbed it.
__________________________________________________________________________

Another cused item was back in the vault...and more people were dead.

Ryan felt depressed.

Were they really going to bring a child into this world?

It scared him to death.
__________________________________________________________________________

Two weeks later, Ryan and Jack received word on a cursed snow shoe which being held all the way up in Canada. Micki at this stage in her pregnancy couldn't travel...and Jack couldn't do it alone.

That morning before they left, Micki helped Ryan pack.

Why do you look so upset?

Ryan rolled his eyes before shutting his suitcase.

I just don't like the idea of you staying here alone for nearly five days.

Micki smiled before taking his heavy winter coat out of the closet.

Ryan, I'll be fine...all I'm going to be doing is looking after the store. A few hours sitting down, probably reading magazines and watching my soap operas.

Ryan grinned before Micki stood still for a second, her hand resting on her stomach. Slowly she shut her eyes before she could finish what she was saying.

Ouch...

Ryan spun around.

What's wrong?

Micki shook her head.

She won't stop kicking.

Ryan right away went towards her.

Well maybe I should run you over to the doctors, something might...

Ryan.

Ryan looked at her, a nervous wreck.

I'll be fine...we'll be fine.

Ryan sighed before walking over to her, his arms went around her neck before resting his forehead against hers.

You sure your going to be all right?

I'm sure...

I'm going to call the second we get there...

Don't worry, it's going to be fine.

Ryan slowly nodded before looking at her stomach and faintly smiling.

Okay...
__________________________________________________________________________

An hour later Ryan had left, Micki all ready missed him.

Rubbing her stomach,she felt tears coming. She had tried her best all afternoon to hide the fact Ryan going away bothered her, but now being all alone she missed him.

Stupid hormones...

Micki mumbled before laying down on the couch. She decided not to open the store today. Laying back she cracked open one of her baby books to pass the time.

Smiling to herself, she remembered kissing Ryan goodbye before he left.

Cursed snowshoe, wish we were getting cursed surfboard!

Before leaving, Ryan told Micki a kid named Johnny might call. He had read something about a pool stick that was sold from here a few years ago and were checking out the local halls for it. Ryan told Micki, if he called just to leave a message.

Rubbing her stomach over her red sweater, she began to relax when the phone started to ring.

Reaching over she picked it up.

Hello?

Hey is Ryan there?

He's out of town, maybe I help you?

Yeah this is Johnny, Ryan told me about this pool stick he was looking for?

Micki sat forward.

Yes?

Well I think I know where it is.

Can I meet you there?

Wait who's this?

I'm Ryan's wife Micki.

There was a pause on the line before Johnny spoke again.

Okay, it's a little joint downtown, past Eastman street.

I know the place...

What are you wearing?

Excause me?

So I can find you.

Oh...ummm, a red sweater.

Red, I hate the color red.

Micki rolled her eyes.

I'll be there soon...wait what do you look like?

Just look for the best looking guy in the joint hon.

The phone then clicked, Micki looked at it amused before laughing.
__________________________________________________________________________

Micki knew Ryan would of killed her if he knew she was going out to check out this cursed pool stick. Meeting Johnny at a local pool hall, she finally heard a voice behind her.

Forget what I said...I love the color red.

Micki turned and faced Johnny.

About Ryan's age, tall and handome. Leather jacket and dark hair. Right away Johnny's eyes went down to Micki's stomach.

Whoa!

Micki placed her hands on her hips.

You said something about a cursed pool stick?
__________________________________________________________________________

A few days later the pool stick was returned. Micki and Johnny had just finished telling both Jack and Ryan the entire story. At first Ryan looked stunned that Micki had even thought about letting this stranger into everything. But somehow Johnny believed them after everything he saw.

I don't know how we can repay you...

Johnny laughed before leaving.

Well Micki owes me a date.

Ryan's eyes right away looked at Micki before Johnny laughed and waved his hand.

Just kidding, but maybe I can help you guys out a little.

You mean you want to help us?

Johnny nodded before the three of them looked at him as if he was mad.
__________________________________________________________________________

That night Micki laid in bed, the covers thrown back and complaining about how hot it was again. Ryan rolled over, looking very upset.

What's wrong?

Alot of things...

Ryan?

Ryan shook his head.

I thought I told you to stay put while I was gone.

Ryan what was I supposed to do, Johnny called about the pool stick...it was our only chance to get it back.

I thought we decided that you shouldn't be doing this while your pregnant...that it could be dangerous.

Jesus Ryan I'm pregnant, not made of glass.

Micki...your having a hard time, you shouldn't of been stupid like that.

Ryan nothing is wrong with me or our baby...I thought you would be happy I got it back.

I'm happy your not hurt.

Micki rolled her eyes.

God Ryan...

And Johnny, letting him into everything?

You were the one who met him first!

I didn't tell him why we were going after the pool stick in the first place!

Wasn't it better he was with me...I mean after all I am pregnant!

Micki lower your voice.

No, your being stupid about this.

Do you have any idea what a risk it was telling him...

Ryan! Johnny seems like an okay guy...even Jack said so. We should be greatful that someone even cares enough to have an open mind and try to help us out!

Micki I'm just worried about you.

What worried I might lose this one too!

Micki I didn't mean it like that...

Micki then slid out of bed, grabbing her pillows.

Where are you going?

Downstairs with Jack, at least he won't treat me like dirt.

Micki!

Before he could say another word, Micki ran out of the room and slammed the door.
__________________________________________________________________________

Later that night, Micki came back upstairs to fix herself a cup of tea. Jack was happy enough to share his bed with her downstairs. Somwhow he made her feel safe, like a grandfather. She explained how stupid Ryan was acting and how she only got the pool stick to help out.

Your not mad about Johnny...are you Jack?

Jack shook his head.

I think we're luck to now have him, and I think you did good Micki.

Do you think Ryan's jealous?

Jack shook his head.

He just has alot to think about now, he loves you never much and is terrifed something might happen to you or the baby.

But we've talked about this before...

Micki, he just loves you.

Sighing Micki nodded.

Now upstairs, she found Ryan sitting at the kitchen table, looking at the ultrasound photo they had just gotten the month before. Ryan looked worn out and beyond tired.

Ryan?

Ryan turned around before Micki walked over.

I'm sorry about what I said, I'm just having mood swings.

I'm sorry too...

Micki took a seat beside Ryan before taking his hand. Smiling she picked it up and kissed it. Looking down she saw his wedding band.

Johnny is a good man, I think he can help us.

He will...

You sure?

Ryan nodded.

I'm just worried about you.

Micki smiled before placing his hand on her stomach.

It's all going to work out Ryan, I swear it will.
__________________________________________________________________________

The next couple of weeks, Johnny had come around again. He was a pretty nice guy and kept an open mind. Micki stayed mostly at the store, while the three guys got more objects back.

Only a month later, the curse was still there. Johnny's father was dead. Both Ryan and Micki felt guilty, they knew what it was like loosing people over these objects.

Only time would tell if he would stay.

A few weeks later, Ryan found himself sorting through book keeping downstairs behind the counter. Micki was standing across the room dusting.

Jack and Johnny were out of town looking into a cursed lighter.

Just then Micki screamed.

Ryan felt his heart jump into his throat before turning around, dropping the book he was looking at. Micki stood across the room in a skirt and sweater, water dripping down her legs and making a puddle underneath her.

Ryan's eyes grew wide.

What is this!

Ryan couldn't take his eyes off her as he stumbled over.

Let's get you to sit down...

Micki kept looking down at her soaked skirt.

What is this?

Your water is breaking...

Micki then shook her head.

No, it's too early...no!

Come on Micki...

Ryan helped her into a chair before rushing to get the car keys. Micki stared down at herself as the water kept dripping. An awful pain washed over her as she held her stomach.

It's too early...

She cried.

It's too early.
__________________________________________________________________________

Come on Micki, just a few more pushes!

Micki sat up in the delivery room drenched in sweat before screaming. Ryan now dressed in scrubs stood by her side holding her hand. His face drained of color and looking scared to death.

The nurses and doctors worked as Micki took another deep breath.

Okay on the count of three we're going to push.

I can't!

Micki shook her head before looking up at Ryan.

Something feels wrong, oh God!

Tears ran down her weak face as she tried to breath again. The doctor who was working inbetween her legs looked up, his eyes serious.

Okay Micki, let's give another good push!

Micki then leaned forward, screaming as she used all her strength. Moments later the nurses all eyed each other as the doctor's scrubs began bloody.

Ryan tried to look before Micki laid back down, drained and ready to pass out.

Why isn't she crying?

Just then the doctor handed the baby over to one of the nurses. Ryan glanced at her for only a second.

She looked so tiny, like a little doll.

Micki began to cry.

Why isn't she crying? Is she dead?

The nurses raced the baby out of the room. Ryan stood there, his legs shaking. The doctor kept working on Micki before shaking his head.

She's just having a little problem breathing since she's so early...don't worry about a thing.

Ryan looked down at Micki before she started crying again.

Their baby was dead...she knew it.
__________________________________________________________________________

Ten minutes later Micki still wouldn't stop bleeding. Two new nurses came in and helped the doctor as they worked. Ryan saw that the ground underneath the doctor was bloody and wet.

There still wasn't news on the baby.

Finally they placed an oxygen mask over Micki's pale and scared face.

Ryan's entire world began to go numb...he knew something like this would happen. Looking around in panic, he wished Jack was here.

Give her another pint of blood, check her pressure levels too.

The nurses nodded as the doctor kept working, looking over at Ryan he sighed.

She's loosing alot of blood, there must be a bloodclot in her uterus.

Micki looked over at Ryan, unable to speak from the oxygen mask. Ryan stood there for a second feeling like he was ready to throw up.

What's wrong?

We'll need you to wait outside Mr. Dallion...

One of the nurses began pulling him away from Micki, right away she looked scared to death as Ryan got pushes out.

Wait!

But he was taken outside, right away he began to feel sick.

Is Micki okay?

Your wife is going to be fine, the doctors just need their space to work.

Are you sure she's okay...

Ryan tried to see if he could see anything through the door's windows. The nurse simply nodded.

She's fine.

What about the baby?

I don't know yet...she was taken downstairs, the second we hear anything you'll be the first to know.

Turning around the nurse went back inside. Ryan meanwhile stood there frozen in shock. He couldn't move or think.

These nightmares were really coming true, he knew it was a warning. Micki would die, leaving him alone with his daughter...unable to cope.

No, this couldn't be happening...it couldn't.



9: Everyone's Waiting

Ryan had just finished making his calls to Jack and Johnny. He couldn't think of anyone else to call. Thinking for a second as he stood there in his scrubs, and felt sick. It really was just the two of them. That's all they ever had, just each other.

It had been a half an hour since Ryan was forced to leave the delivery room. He had tried asking questions but so far the nurses didn't know anything. Sitting there all alone, he prayed.

He just wanted his wife and baby to be safe.

Thinking at the nightmares he had been having the last year or so, he shook his head. He saw a future in which he couldn't deal with loosing Micki. A future in which he took his own life just because the grief of it all got too much for him. He didn't even think of his daughter. Just born and leaving her alone without anyone to love. What had he done with himself?

These nightmares were all he thought about ever since the coin had gotten Micki. Always a deep dark fear that one day he would loose her again.

And then what? Give up?

Shaking his head he knew he would never be able to do that. Even though he was terrifed the love of his life might be dying just then. He thought of his baby, and how much Micki wanted her.

He couldn't be weak...he needed to take charge and face this.

Finally the doctor came out and Ryan began having visions of the funerals, of him slitting his wirst, of Johnny holding Jessica all alone. Standing up, he saw the doctor walk over, his scrubs stained with blood.

Doctor?

Ryan knew it...Micki was dead.

Holding his breath he walked over as the doctor looked him straight in the eye.

Your wife is stable.

Ryan felt his stomach drop and within a second he held back from throwing up. The doctor nodded before explaing that they were nearly forced to take Micki's uterus out from all the bleeding she was suffering from. It seemed from the delivery it became damaged. They finally stopped the bleeding, but didn't know if they saved it.

So...

The doctor shook his head.

I'm sure in time, you could still have more children.

Ryan shook his head, he still felt like he was in shock

But, she's all right?

She's fine, you'll be able to see her in awhile once she's taken downstairs.

And the baby?

They put her on oxygen for awhile...you won't be able to see her until the morning, but I heard she's doing fine.

Ryan nearly started crying.

My wife and baby are going to be okay?

The doctor nodded.

As far as I see, yes.

Ryan then dropped to his knees laughing and crying as the doctor stood back.
__________________________________________________________________________

Jack and Johnny arrived before nightfall, they met Ryan in the waiting room and hugged him the second they walked in.

How is she?

She's resting, but she's fine.

And the baby?

They said she's stable and breathing fine...we get to see her in the morning.

Jack then hugged Ryan before patting him on the back.

See? Everything is fine.

Smiling, Ryan hugged back before sighing.

Your right Jack, your right.
__________________________________________________________________________

That night, Micki opened her eyes and saw Ryan sitting beside her.

Ryan?

Ryan smiled before taking her hand. She had lost alot of blood and looked pretty weak.

You okay?

Micki looked from the dim hospital room before slowly nodding.

Sore.

Ryan smiled before picking her hand up and kissing it. Micki watched him and sighed.

Ryan, the doctors...

I all ready know.

Micki then shut her eyes and softly began to cry. Ryan held her hand even tighter before shaking his head.

That doesn't matter...we have our baby, anyways they said we could still try further down the road.

Micki opened her eyes, still sparking with tears.

Have you seen her?

Ryan shook his head.

Not yet, but the doctors said she's totaly fine...breathing on her own and everything.

Micki laughed through her tears.

Really?

Ryan smiled before nodding.

We'll see her in the morning...you need your rest.

Micki sighed before holding his hand back.

We have a daughter Ryan...

Ryan grinned.

I know.

I love you.

Ryan leaned over before kissing her.

I love you too.
__________________________________________________________________________

That night, Ryan sat by Micki as she slept. The entire time he kept thanking God over and over again for not taking his Micki away.

he was going to prove this nightmares wrong and show that he could live a normal life with his wife and new baby. Things were going to be different.
__________________________________________________________________________

The next morning Jack, Johnny, Leigh, and Lisa all came to see Micki.

She was still very sore and weak from the delivery, but seemed to light up as everyone came into the room. Ryan stood beside her the entire time smiling.

They had really done it.

They were now parents.

A few hours later after the doctor checked Micki out, he had a nurse bring in their little girl. Right away both of them were frozen in shock. She was wrapped in a little pink blanket with a matching cap. The nurse smiled as Micki sat up in bed, and slowly handed her in Micki's arms.

Here's your baby...

Micki began to cry looking down at her. So little, so perfect.

Oh Ryan...she looks just like you...

Ryan leaned over, smiling and looking down at their newborn baby. The only baby they would ever have together. Looking at her, he knew now that there really was good in this world, no matter how much evil ruled it.

He then rememebred the first time he laid eyes on Micki, and how he fell in love.

Here they were, happy, alive, and together.

Ryan smiled looking down before touching the baby's soft little face.

Hi Jessica, I'm your daddy.

Micki looked up smiling before she kissed him.

We're really going to make this work, aren't we Ryan?

Ryan smiled before looking down at their baby.

We sure are.
__________________________________________________________________________

Five days later Micki and the baby were finally able to go home.

Micki was ordered strict bedrest until she recovered. That evening, Ryan slowly lowered Jessica into her crib before looking down at her. She really did look just like him. Smiling, he leaned down and kissed his baby's head before turning around and looking at Micki.

God your beautiful...

Micki laughed as Ryan walked over.

Yeah right.

No...you are, every part of you.

Looking up at him from the bed, Micki smiled.
__________________________________________________________________________

A few weeks later, Micki woke up in the middle of the night to find Ryan pacing back and forth with Jessica in his arms. Micki sat up in bed and watched him before bitting her bottom lip.

Ryan?

Ryan turned and looked.

You okay?

Ryan nodded.

I was just scared she couldn't breath.

What?

Ryan shook his head.

Just a nightmare, it's okay...go back to sleep.

Ryan are you okay?

Ryan smiled before looking down at the sleeping baby. Ever since Jessica was born, she had become the apple of Ryan's eye. In fact every evening he came back from going out with Jack and Johnny for more objects, he always seemed over joyed whenever he got to see the baby. Micki even had to remind him that newborns needed their rest, and always picking them up wasn't healthy. But Ryan enjoyed his baby so much, he was always showing her off, and always holding her laughing.

Micki laid back down before watching her husband keep walking around, smiling and looking at their sleeping baby.
__________________________________________________________________________

Over breakfast a few days later, Jack told them pretty exciting news.

Over 75 percent of the objects had been recovered. Now it really seemed real that an end might be in sight. Micki liked the idea of this. She knew it was impossible to think that they were going to get everything back. But lately the objects had been easy for the guys to get, and Micki guessed maybe another four years or so they might finally be able to seal up the vault for good.

And then what?

Ryan and Micki really hadn't talked about it yet.

This was their home...but they wanted something better for Jessica.

Jessica was in her basinet wiggling as Micki leaned down and fed her the morning bottle. Ryan sat on the other side drinking coffee.

Looking across at Micki he smiled as Jack talked.

He knew they were thinking the same exact thing.

A future really might happen for them. A future without this store.
__________________________________________________________________________

What's that for?

It was nearly a year later, Micki was in the middle of putting yet another baby gate up.

Ryan was laying downstairs on the floor with Jessica, making her giggle as they pushed around blocks.

Micki rolled her eyes before walking over.

Jessica is going to start walking soon and I don't want a chance of her falling down the stairs or going into the vault.

Micki...

I'm serious.

Ryan looked down at Jessica as she giggled and began to crawl over to him.

This past year had been a good one for everyone. Ryan had even started thinking of staying home full time for a while and helping raise Jessica while Micki helped Jack and Johnny out.

He loved being a father. And most of all loved being around his baby.
__________________________________________________________________________

That night, Ryan had finished reading Jessica one of his comics before putting her to bed. Flicking off the light, Micki slid into bed beside him and placed her head on his chest before she began to softly kiss him.

Smiling he wrapped his arms around her.
__________________________________________________________________________

Another seven months past.

Times were changing around the store, and Jessica was getting bigger by the second.

She had all ready began talking, and trying her best to walk. Ryan was staying home now full time with be with her while Micki helped Jack out. Things at the store seemed peaceful and happy for once.

Jessica brought life into the store, and made everything not seem so awful and useless.

Micki's mother tried calling a few times, but Ryan never put her through. As far as he cared he didn't want Micki's parents ever to see Jessica.
__________________________________________________________________________

One morning, Ryan was downstairs cleaning around the store, while Jessica crawled around in her playpen. She was talking alot lately and was bubbling about something while Ryan got a stepstool and tried dusting.

Micki and Jack were downstairs, Ryan was somewhat amused by the idea of Jack trying to show Micki a few tricks of his. The night before hand they had gotten the witches ladder back, and somehow one of Jack's friends had put the idea put that Micki might hold some kind of power. Both were messing around, mosty just laughing and talking about old magic tticks Jack used when he was a younger man.

Ryan decided to open the store for a little while and try cleaning up. Jessica was in her playpen downstairs and crawled around making a few attemps at what sounded like "Dog" and "Daddy" She had started talking a few months ago and Ryan always found himself laughing when he heard her high pitched babyish little voice.

Ryan got a stepstool to start dusting when Danny came in with news about the car. Lately it had been giving them trouble, and Danny was nice enough to repair it for a good priest.

Hey Dally catch!

Danny threw the keys at Ryan.

Whoa.

Thank fast!

Ryan grinned before getting off the stepstool, walking around the counter he went to get money for Danny.

Your Mercedes Bends is purring like a kitten.

Yeah that will be the day, how much do I owe you?


Twelve grand, Danny joked before slapping Ryan's arm.

Just kidding, we'll do a deal on the parts, but like twenty bucks?

You sure?

Yeah I don't wanna make a big deal about it.

Ryan didn't think of Danny as his closest of friends, but tried his best to stay friendly mainly on the fact he knew how to repair cars for so cheap. Danny hung around every once in awhile, and somehow always forgot that Ryan was married.

Thanks.

Ryan handed Danny the money.

So what are you doing tomorrow night?

Ummm, nothing.

Great, maybe I'll swing by...we'll get something to eat, hit a few night clubs.

Ryan gave an uneasy smile before pointing towards the playpen.

Can I bring a date?

Oh...

Danny laughed before walking over, looking down he smiled down at Jessica who was holding her stuffed bear.

She's getting big.

Oh yeah...

Ryan stood beside Danny as they watched Jessica crawl around. Just then the door rang and a middle aged woman walked in. Danny glanced at Ryan before smiling.

Well I better go, I'll call you later okay?

Yeah sure...

Ryan watched Danny leave before turing around and watching the woman. She was older, maybe mid forties. A pretty face and short dark hair. The woman glanced at Ryan before making eye contact and smiling. Ryan stood back as she looked around and glanced down at Jessica. She was going to have to go down for her nap soon.

Ryan turned back and saw the woman still looking, feeling a little uneasy he walked forward smiling.

Hi, is there something I can help you with?

You must be...Ryan?

Ryan stood there for a second, he knew he had seen this woman before but couldn't place her. She smiled before offering her hand.

Garrett told me about you.

Ouch!

The woman's sharp edge ring sliced into Ryan's hand.

Oh I'm sorry, here take this.

Ryan shook his head, bringing the cut to his mouth.

No it's all right...

It will wash out...

She offered him a small handkerchief. Still smiling she nodded and Ryan pressed it agaisnt the part of his hand that was bleeding.

The woman turned her ring around.

I'm sorry this damn thing keeps turning around on me.

Ryan shook his head before handing the handkerchief over.

It's all right.

In the background Ryan could hear Jessica giggling to herself. Holding his hand he looked at the woman.

My name is Liza.

Is this about an object from the store?

One that was just returned...a witches ladder.
__________________________________________________________________________

That night, Ryan stood in jeans and a dark navy blue T-shirt while he gave Jessica a bath in the sink. Earlier he had spoken to a woman named Liza, who said she had been tracking Uncle Lewis for years. She was interested in seeing the witches ladder, speaking that it's power could still stay there and harm anyone who was near it.

She also said she found a way to destory Lewis' objects.

It couldn't be true.

When Ryan ran down to the basement, trying to get Jack and Micki to meet her, she had dispeared before they came back up. Ryan swore the woman had said those things and seemed uneasy about it. Micki said if she really needed to speak with them, she would come back.

The rest of the afternoon, Ryan felt sick. His thoughts kept drifting down to the vault. Were they really safe if they were locked down there? Looking down at Jessica he bit his bottom lip.

Micki walked out from a fresh shower before walking over. Taking one of Jessica's chubby little arms, she kissed it before smiling up at Ryan.

You okay?

Ryan looked over before smiling.

Yeah...

Micki kissed him again before heading off to the bedroom. Standing there, Ryan lifted Jessica up and put one of the bath towels around her. Walking to the bedroom, he kissed his baby's head before dressing her for bed.
__________________________________________________________________________

Once Jessica was fed her last bottle and put down in her crib, Micki had dryed her hair and was all over Ryan. Laughing through the kisses, Ryan held Micki's naked body before working his way down to her neck. Micki moaned softly before taking him in for a deep kiss.

Let's try for another baby...

Ryan laughed through the kiss.

Jessica isn't even one yet, maybe we should wait...

Come on, don't you want a Jason to go along with our Jessica?

Ryan smiled at the thought of a son before shaking his head, softly kissing her.

The doctors said it's going to be harder since Jessica...

They still said we can try...

Ryan laughed as Micki brought him down.
__________________________________________________________________________

An hour later, both Micki and Ryan laid side by side.

That's when an awful sharp feeling slammed into Ryan through his deep sleep. The nightmare they gone away in the last couple of months, and finally he had started sleeping through. But this pain was like nothing he had ever felt before. Like a million knifes stabbing into him.

Ryan snapped awake, his heart beating fast. Holding his head he hissed out in pain.

Micki laid beside him, still sleeping.

Fuck!

Ryan hissed as another pain hit him, out of nowhere his skin began to burn up. Stumbling backwards, Ryan knocked a water glass off the nightstand.

Micki then woke.

Ryan?

Ryan began to stumble forward towards the doors, his entire face filled with pain. Micki watched him before Jessica began to cry in her crib.

Ryan!

Micki grabbed her bathrobe before following him out. Nearly crashing down the stairs, Ryan screamed in pain as sweat dripped off his body.

Ryan!

Go away, leave me alone!

Ryan then began to feel pulled towards the basement. Micki walked after him, panic in her voice.

Ryan what's wrong?

Leave me alone!

Ryan cried falling over things. Micki's heart raced as she went after him. She could hear Jessica upstairs crying.

Ryan!

Ryan where are you going?

Jack woke up just in time to watch Ryan pull the vault open and go inside. Micki then ran past him calling after Ryan. Something was wrong...he could feel it.

Ryan?

Ryan was standing in the vault when Micki reached over and held him. The second she took hold of his pale face, he seemed to snap out of whatever daze he was in. Moaning, he fell to the ground shaking. Micki held him, kissing his forehead and slowly rocking back and forth.

It's all right Ryan, we're here...we won't let anything happen to you.
__________________________________________________________________________

The witch screamed in pain before falling to her knees.

What is it?

Someone interfered, someone with a great deal of power...someone who cares for Ryan.
__________________________________________________________________________

An hour later, Jack, Micki, and Jack all stood around.

Are you sure your all right?

Ryan was beyond angry, pacing back and forth he shook his head.

Jack something is wrong...

Maybe you just started sleep walking, I mean you don't look so good.

Jack! I never did that before in my life...that woman Liza, she talked about the witches ladder and how it can harm us just by being near it.

Ryan...

Ryan pulled away from Micki's arm. Right away Micki felt hurt, like that time so long ago when Ryan jumped down from the fire fight and went past Micki and into Laura's arms. Micki fought back the anger when she remembered this and looked at Ryan as he started up the stairs.

Something drew me down there!

Ryan's voice began to raise before Jessica began to cry again. Shaking his head he left Micki and Jack and went upstairs.
__________________________________________________________________________

When Micki finally went to bed, she knew something was wrong. Ryan slept in his bed, Jessica in his arms. Walking over, Micki sighed before getting into bed beside him. Watching him sleep, Micki sighed.

This was her family...
__________________________________________________________________________

Early in the morning, while everyone was still asleep, Jack began to make a few phonecalls.

He then knew...the woman Ryan had met was not someone who was there to help them, she was Uncle Lewis' right hand man. Right away he knew he would have to tell Ryan that she was trying to control him.
__________________________________________________________________________

Right as he went to bed, the phone rang. Ryan quicky picked it up before Micki or the baby woke up.

It was Liza.

Get out of there Ryan, quick!

Wait I can't leave my family in here with it!

No, their safe...it's you it's trying to control!

Ryan raced out of there and met her down the street. There she told him to stay away until she was able to destory it. Until then Ryan would stay at Danny's. Making up a story of having a fight with Micki, Danny was happy enough to let him sleep on his couch.

But Ryan wanted to warn Micki, he knew he wouldn't be able to go on without her.

But Liza told him that they weren't in danger...it was him who had to stay away until she got hold of it. There a fever began to take over Ryan, feeling sick and dizy he wished he had Micki, more then anything just then.
__________________________________________________________________________

That night Ryan watched as Danny was killed. When he woke up his hands were soaked in blood. Liza was there and told him that it was the power of the ladder that made him do this.

He couldn't remember anything.

Shaking, Liza told him he needed to get the ladder.
__________________________________________________________________________

Garrett was at the store. Ryan had gone missing, and they now knew the woman who he had spoken too was lying, she in fact was the one trying to use the ladder for evil.

Micki was scared to death, she saw how sick Ryan looked last night. How much pain spread across his face before he fell to the ground. Holding Jessica close to her, she felt terrifed.

Garrett asked Micki and Jack what had broken Ryan out of his spell last night.

Well, I just took his arm.

Micki said.

That's it!

What?

Micki has pure powers of light, her love for Ryan is stronger then Liza's powers...this is the only man to break through.

Micki looked down at Jessica before feeling totaly scared and alone.
__________________________________________________________________________

That night, Garrett and Jack helped Micki get ready to reach Ryan. Feeling unsure and completly scared, she held out her hands as Garrett spoke.

Focus all your feelings for Ryan inside this spell.

Micki looked over and saw Jack, he was looking down at Jessica who was now fast asleep.

Here I place a circle of protection around the spirit of Ryan Dallion. Within this circle is the circle of strength, maybe he be protected...

Low light the center candle.

Repeat the passage seven times, and as long as the candles are lit...Ryan shall be protected.
__________________________________________________________________________

They heard a crash downstairs. Jessica woke up again and began crying.

Ryan went to the vault, his mind empty and his force making him do this. Unable to break free, such anger and hate went through him.

RYAN!

Ryan raised the ax to break the lock Jack had put on the vault. Screaming he shoved Jack backwards.

RYAN!

Micki ran towards him before he swung back, making her slam to the floor.
__________________________________________________________________________

Micki struggled to go upstairs to the candles again. There she spoke the passage, over and over again.

Not Ryan, not her husband.

Jack held Jessica as she cried.

Micki focused all her strength towards the passage.

She had to save him, like he had saved her.
__________________________________________________________________________

Here is found is the strength to ovecome all evil, as burn these candles...as burns the turth in the heart of Ryan Dallion.
__________________________________________________________________________

Ryan muttered in his burning pain.

Micki?
__________________________________________________________________________

Your spell shall be revered, the curse returned to you one thousand folds!
__________________________________________________________________________

Micki past out in Jack's arms. It was early moring, dawn began to slowly drift through the windows.

Taking her over to the couch, he prayed she was all right.

Moments later the door flew open, Ryan stood there, pale and weak looking.

JACK!

Ryan ran over before dropping to his knees, right away he gathered Micki in his arms.
__________________________________________________________________________

When Micki was strong enough to sit up, Jack brought her over a glass of water as Ryan softly kissed her face and held her. Jessica was a few feet away sleeping.

It was over.

One of Lewis' tools, and the ladder were returned. Sitting there in pure silence, Micki felt her insides ache. Looking at Ryan, she saw how drained he was.

Micki coughed as Ryan held her.

There, feeling better?

What the hell happened?

Micki muttered.

Let's just say you were very lucky?

Meaning?

Meaning it might be awhile before you start casting spells. Micki looked over at Ryan as tears formed in her eyes. She loved him, so bad her heart began to pound. Holding him, she laid her head on his shoulder.

Thanks Micki...

Ryan leaned over and kissed Micki on the top of her head. Just like he did before they got involved. Sitting there, weak and hardly able to move Ryan looked at her, his big brown eyes sparking.

I don't know what I would of done if you hadn't gotten through to me.

He was close enough to kiss. Faintly smiling, Micki looked at him.

You got the ladder back...

Ryan smiled as Jack explained they has also gotten one of Lewis' tools. Sitting there beside her husband, she held his hand. Jack looked at them before nodding.

Why don't you two get up to bed, you've been through alot...I'll put these in the vault. With that Jack walked downstairs.

Ryan stood up before picking up Jessica who was still sleeping. Looking at Micki he smiled.

Need help?

Micki shook her head smiling before she walked behind him as they went up the stairs.
__________________________________________________________________________

A few minutes later they were up in their bedroom. Ryan laid Jessica in her crib before leaning over and kissing her.

Sleep well baby.

Turning, Micki was laying in bed. Exausted and worn out.

Ryan stood there, folding his arms and looking at her.

You okay?

Micki held back tears before smiling and looking at him.

Just got scared, I don't know what I would of done if I lost you.

Ryan smiled.

I think you would do better then me.

Micki smiled back at him before Ryan's eyes went serious. Two seconds later his hand went up to his chest as if something was hurting.

Ryan?

Before he could answer, Ryan fell to the floor.

RYAN!

Micki screamed running over to him, in the background Jessica began to cry.



10: The truth

Right before Ryan hit the ground, his last thoughts were of Micki and his daughter. Just a few hours ago, he believed in evil and was nearly taken away by it. Micki had saved him...

Looking at her beautiful face faintly smiling up at him from the bed, he felt at complete peace. Thinking back to that time Micki was killed and laid lifeless in his arms...he remembered telling himself that if he ever got a chance to have her again, he would swear to spend the rest of his life with her. Now here they were, a year latter and still proving that they weren't ever going to let anything happen to each other. Standing there, Ryan heard Jessica over in her crib before everything began to cloud over.
__________________________________________________________________________

RYAN!

Micki rushed to him as Jessica began to scream. Micki all ready heard Jack in the distance running upstairs to see what was the matter. Holding his body, she shook him thinking for a second that he just past out. He had just overcome a very bad fever, and looked exausted when they both got up there. They had been through alot in the past few hours and he just fell. Micki kept telling herself. Jessica's screams became louder and panic struck Micki hard.

Ryan wasn't moving.

RYAN? She shook him.

RYAN!
__________________________________________________________________________

Before Ryan finally disappeared into the light mist that was now all around him, he heard Micki calling him from far away. He was being pulled some place...someplace peaceful and calm.

He then heard what sounded like a little girl's voice along with Micki's...

"Don't go..."

But it was too late, Micki's words faded as Ryan drifted away.
___________________________________________________________________________
The paramedics came right away.

Micki held Jessica as she screamed in her arms, reaching out at Ryan as they worked on him laying on the floor. Micki watched in panic and thought for a second she was going to faint.

He was just fine a second ago...he was just standing there smiling and looking at her.

Silent tears slipped down Micki's pale face. Watching the paramedics pump oxygen over Ryan's face and begin CPR. Jack stood in the doorway too, looking helpless and distant.

Please, please let him be okay.

Micki prayed. He wasn't only her husband and father to her only child...he was everything to her. Feeling her insides shake she watched as they kept working.
__________________________________________________________________________

The funeral was a week later.

Back at the store that same afternoon, a few close friends and people who helped out at the store gathered around for coffee before they headed out again. Micki was in a complete state of shock. She had been given things by Jack to sleep, and mosty just sat around in her bathrobe crying. It never stopped, not even for a second. The awful truth kept hitting her all over again.

Ryan was dead.

No, this wasn't supposed to happen...not like this.

The doctors said it was a heart attack, something nobody could of changed nor made happen. Micki just sat there, dazed and thinking that Ryan didn't die that way. No, it couldn't be. Here they were risking their lifes over this damn objects...trapped with no escape.

And a heart attack took him from her?

No, she couldn't it...not like that.

Johnny was staying over and mostly helping with Jessica, who kept asking for her daddy. Jack stayed with Micki as she slept, tossing and turning, dreaming of Ryan.

She didn't know how she would of gotten past those last couple of days without them.

Now here she was...all alone.

Holding Jessica on her lap as peopled walked around in the store, Johnny came over and sat beside her. Holding her hand and knowing she would have to take another pill soon.

It's okay...

Johnny said under his breath to her.

Micki just stared down at Jessica as people came over, shaking hands and saying how sorry they were for her loss.

Her parents didn't show.

She was greatful for that.

What was she going to do now? What was she going to do without Ryan?

If only she could have him back, she swore to herself she wouldn't let anything happen...that she wouldn't loose him again.
__________________________________________________________________________

That night, Johnny put Jessica to bed before walking into Micki's bedroom. She sat there, hair in her face and eyes blank. She couldn't think right, this pain was too much. Softly crying, she sat there thinking that Ryan was really dead. Buried across town.

Only in his mid-twenties, the love of her life...gone.

He was such a good man, she knew nobody would ever love her like he did. Looking across at the crib where Jessica laid, she had no idea how to explian this to her in the future.

She was trapped.

Holding herself she cried even harder as Johnny watched.

She wanted him back so bad, she couldn't stand it.

Helping her lay down, Johnny sighed before taking her hand again.

Time would help things...he prayed.

Do you want another pill?

Micki shook her head.

I want my husband back...I want my poor husband back...

She then broke down again, as Johnny sat by her side.
__________________________________________________________________________

One year later.

Jessica was sitting at the kitchen table with Micki and Johnny having breakfast. Wiggling in her highchair, she giggled at the faces Johnny made her.

Micki smiled as she kept reading her newspaper.

Only ten percent more...and then they would of finally gotten all the objects back in the vault for good. This made Micki feel numb to the fact that there really was an end in sight, after all this. Thinking things over, she really didn't know if she would sell. She wanted to raise Jessica someplace peaceful without any danger. But this was her home.

She knew when the time came, she would decide something.

The last year had been tough, but Jack and Johnny were there for her.

Even when they got the cursed coin back.

Johnny and her had been dating on and off lately. Micki knew she never wanted to get married again, nor felt she would love somebody as much as she did with Ryan...but Johnny and her had a very good understanding. They were close, and Johnny loved Jessica as if she was his own. In fact Jessica had started calling him daddy.

Micki missed Ryan, mostly because he was taken from her too soon. Life had been hard without him, but she had dream of him...dreams that made her wake up with a faint smile and look over at Jessica in love.

Jack explained to her that over time, things would get better.

Micki had gone through some tough times, but really thought things might work out. She knew Ryan loved her so much it was dangerous...even so much that he wouldn't stand living if she went first. Micki tried her best to see that everything happened for a reason and that someday she would look back knowing she lived her life with her daughter, and did the things that had to be done.

Micki knew she would see him one day...but not yet, not yet.

Jessica giggled before Micki smiled over at her.

She never loved somebody before in her whole as much as she did with her daughter. Looking at Johnny, she nodded before she touched her daughter's little arm.

Jessica?

Yes mommmy?

Jessica said giggling.

Do you remember your other daddy?

Daddy?

Jessica looked over at Johnny confused before Micki brought over the framed photo of Ryan and her that had been taken years ago by David from acorss the street.

Micki pointed.

That's your first daddy, remember him?

Jessica looked over at the photo before smiling.

Daddy.

Micki looked at her daughter holding back tears, she was so proud of her.

That's right honey, daddy.

Looking over at Johnny, the two of them smiled at each other.

The End.

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