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Angus stood in the center of the garden, throat tight and burning, a huge gulp of air trapped in his lungs.
Around him, a dozen diminutive flower fairies cavorted among the flora, chortling with glee. “She’s here, she’s here, our Eva is here!”
His gaze targeted the back door, body taut as he awaited his first glimpse of the female he loved. The only one he would ever love. Mo chroí, my heart. My heart walks the world, outside my body. “Come back to me.”
His voice was barely audible above the incessant chatter of the flower fairies. “We sang to her. She heard us! She liked it.”
“Hush,” he commanded, and they fell silent, vibrating with gleeful anticipation.
Seven years without her. The longest, loneliest bloody years of his basically eternal existence…
Eva stared out at the yard with haunted, brown eyes. Dark circles like the ones she’d sported months ago at the wake and funeral marred the perfection of her milky skin. He wanted to lay gentle kisses on her eyelids, nip the tip of her nose with its light dusting of freckles, lave her lips with his tongue then push it between those perfect lips…
“See me, Eva,” he whispered.
“See us,” Rosina echoed.
Eva cocked her head and touched her ear as if in response to their words. The incessant giggling of the flower fairies ceased, an expectant hush falling over the garden.
Though consumed with sorrow, Eva surveyed the yard with appreciation. Angus and the flower fairies had been tending to the yard and garden since she’d left. There was little to be done in the winter months but in the Fall, they’d trimmed and raked, then planted, pruned, and watered in Spring and Summer. Jasmine, lavender, and other blooming plants scented the air, and he watched his female take a deep breath.
Her shoulders seemed to lose some tension as she took in the neatly trimmed yard and carefully curated garden. “It’s perfect,” she said.
Angus’s heart swelled with pride at a job well done only to stutter in agony when her lovely brown eyes lingered on the central spot where he stood yet looked right through him.
“No. No, no, no,” he whispered. See me this time, Eva. Let the curse be gone.
Mrs. Murphy joined Eva near the door. “He tended it for you. From the moment you went off to school.”
“What?” Eva scanned the yard, then returned her attention to the spot where he stood surrounded by the flower fairies, all of them quivering with excitement.
“The garden, girl. He looked after it for you.”
Lines formed in Eva’s forehead, and her attention shifted to Mrs. Murphy. “I don’t understand, who did?”
He bowed his head and rubbed his brow. Each time she returns she still cannot See. My fault. All of this. Mine.