Cora & Abel 4

Chapter One

Cora was driving home with Abigail from a week long visit at her sister in laws. Abel wanted to come but couldn’t leave work so Cora went alone with big and little Abi. His sister lived a couple states away so it was a long drive. She had called Abel before she left. Only a few hours from home the car brakes down. She managed to get it on the side of the road before it wouldn’t move atall. Cora looks at her cellphone only to find that it’s dead.

“Mommy what’s wrong?” Her four year old asks. “The car quit working. Of all the times I forget to charge this phone.”

“What’re we going to do?”

“Sombodies bound to live along this highway. We’ll find a house and ask to use their phone so I can call a tow truck and then daddy.”

“Aren’t strangers dangerous? Daddy says we shouldn’t talk to them.”

“I know honey but in this situation we have to.” Cora unbuckled her daughter and carried her along the highway. After about an hour she felt like she was about to collapse. Finally she saw a mailbox in front of a long dirt road. Cora turned and big Abi said “are you sure Cora? I have a bad feeling about this.”

“What choice do we have? I took the back roads so we could get there faster. There’s not a town until we get home. Driving that’s three hours Abi”

Abel couldn’t shake the feeling that something bad had happened. He glanced up at the clock and checked his phone. Cora should have called him by now to let him know she was home. He became anxious and finally grabbed his jacket and told his boss he needed to check on something. His boss waved him on and he left, pulling out of the parking lot and driving home faster than he intended. His heart gave a fearful lurch when he saw that her car was not there. He called her phone and it went straight to voicemail. She always called if she was going to be late. The sun was beginning to go down.

Cora knocked on the door of the old house. She looked around for a moment when no one answered. The yard was overgrown and there were dead plants along one side of the house. She had the eerie feeling of being watched, but she didn’t see anyone. There was also a strange, smell to the air. It reminded her of bad meat. She knocked again and the door swung open. A man a little taller than her stood there. “Sorry to other you sir, but our car broke down and we were wondering if you had a phone we could use?” Cora said with her biggest and most apologetic smile.

“I don’t have a phone, but you can stay here tonight and tomorrow I’ll go into town and get you a tow truck.” He replied. There was something strange about the way he looked at her. She shook it off.

“Sure if you don’t mind.”

“Come on in.” He stepped aside and they walked into his house. He closed and locked the door and Cora felt for a moment like she had stepped into somewhere dark and angry. It hung in the air, so thick she was sure she could touch. She took a deep breath and smiled at the man. “My name’s Ethan by the way.” He held out his hand.

“I’m Cora.” She shoot his hand and tried her hardest not to jerk away.

Abel thought since it went to voicemail that it must have died. Maybe Abi had gotten really fussy and she had to get a hotel. As soon as he thought that he second guessed himself. Hotels have phones so she could call if that happened. Then his heart almost stopped. He wondered if they had been in an accident. If she was far enough out his department wouldn’t be called. He decided to go back to work and see if any accidents involving her car had occurred.

It would take hours but he’d call every department she would’ve passed along the way. He raced back to work to begin his search. If she was in an accident he wanted to get to her right away. He had to know if they were badly injured. He ran inside when he got to the station. One of his friends stopped him “woah Abel, shouldn’t you be at home with Cora? You’ve been a beaten puppy the whole time she’s been gone. Why aren’t you with her?”

“she’s not home and she should’ve been. Her phone is off and I’m worried she’s been in an accident. I’m going to call every police department and see if a wreck happened that involved her car.” Abel was obviously close to panic “Calm down, let me help you. Give me half the list you come up with and we’ll do this together ok? I’m sure she’s fine but I know you’ll have to do this. Want someone to sit at your house incase she comes home while we call? It’ll take us hours even with me helping you.” Another man got up “I’d love to do that for you sir. Abels friend George almost laughed at his eagerness.

The man was new to the force and didn’t realize the temper Abel had on him especially when Cora wasn’t at home. The day before yesterday Abel tore him a new tail. Most the men didn’t expect him to ever come back again. He had looked terrified as Abel screamed at him. The cheif let him go home. When he came back the next day he was even afraid when Abel apologized. George could only assume now he was trying to make it up to Abel and get on his good side.

“Yes, of course that would be fine.” Abel gave him a half smile. He smiled back, grabbed his keys and left. “If she hasn’t been in an accident we should probably ask if any of the highway patrol passed her car.”

“Will do, lets get to work.”

Cora followed Ethan upstairs and he opened a door on the ride side of the hall. The anger and darkness was even worse here. She wanted to turn and run, but Ethan stood in the doorway, his brown eyes watching her. “This will be just fine, thank you.” She said.

“If you need anything just holler. Oh and try not to wander around, stay out of the barn.” He said and she felt a shiver move through her. Little Abi buried her face in her mothers shirt, not liking the man.

Abigail waited until Ethan had left before closing the door. There was something oddly familiar about him. She felt a burning in her chest and touched the spot. She had been shot in the chest, right in her heart. It was the only thing she remembered about dying. It had never burned before. She shook her head and turned to Cora. “We can’t stay here. That guy is freaky, good looking but freaky.” She said, her voice shaking.

“Everything will be fine Abi. We’ll stay here tonight and if Ethan doesn’t make good on his word, we’ll walk to the nearest town.” She knew she was lying just to comfort her child and Abigail. There was something off about Ethan and she was compelled to find out what and get home as fast as she could. He had made a point of telling them not to look around. She wasn’t sure if it was a challenge or if he was hiding something.

Cora started to sing to her little girl and rub her hair.As soon as she finished twinkle twinkle little star little Abi spoke “Mommy I’m really afraid of him. I don’t like how he was looking at us.”

“Don’t worry about it Abigail. Just fall asleep and in the morning we’ll be leaving ok?”

“Ok mommy. Will you sing the song off the sound of music? Favorite things.”

“Close your eyes first ok sweetheart”

“Yes mam” Little Abi shut her eyes and snuggled into the blanket.

“Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens

Brown paper packages tied up with stringsThese are a few of my favorite things!

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudelsDoorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodlesWild geese that fly with the moon on their wingsThese are a few of my favorite things!

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashesSnowflakes that stay on my nose and eye lashesSilver white winters that melt into springThese are a few of my favorite things!

When the dog bites, when the bee stingsWhen I’m feeling sad,¬†I simply remember¬†my favorite thingsand then I don’t feel so bad!” Abi was sleeping as the song ended. Cora kissed her head. “Abigail we need to go see what’s in that barn. There’s a horrible smell and if he’s doing something wrong or illegal he needs to be reported.”

“Cora I don’t think that’s a good idea. I think…”

“You think what?”

“I think he’s the reason I’m dead.” Coras eyes widened and her heart rate increased. “I thought you didn’t remember how you died Abi?”

“I remember being shot and I really feel like he did it. I feel like he did worse. I really don’t like it. I think we’d be better off walking the highway Cora” Back at the station they were plowing through every police department as fast as they could. Abel was relieved each time they didn’t have any accident reports involving her car but still wound up. He couldn’t stand not knowing how she was. He was angry at his chief for not giving him the time off. Timothy didn’t deserve the way Abel had been treating him but Abel couldn’t help it. Him being new was why Abel wasn’t allowed to go. Abel was the most experienced cop the station had and the chief insisted Abel needed to stay to help him.

“Abigail, if he killed you he may have killed more girls. He may still be killing. I have to stop him, you know that.” Cora said in a whisper in case he was close.

“Cora please. I don’t want anything to happen to you or Abi because of me.” She was terrified. She started shaking.

“Then you stay here with Abigail and I’ll go out when he’s asleep. You are strong enough to keep him out if anything happens. You should go keep an eye on him and let me know when he goes to bed.” She lay down on the bed next to her daughter, waiting for the sun to completely go down and for Ethan to go to bed.

Abigail didn’t like this one bit, but she did as Cora told her. She found Ethan sitting in the living room watching TV. He had a beer in his hand and it didn’t look like it had been his first. She studied his face, trying to remember him. She willed herself to remember, but nothing popped into her head. She looked around the living room while she waited. She wanted to dig through things, but she didn’t want to send him into a panic. She found a heart shaped locket sitting in a small bowl on top of a bookshelf. She glanced at him, seeing that he was totally engrossed in the film. She popped open the locket and was confused when she saw a picture of him with a young woman that looked just like her except for the eyes. Her eyes were a deep hazel. She wondered who this woman was. After a lot of booze and midnight rolled around Ethan finally switched off the TV and headed upstairs. He stumbled to his bed and flopped down, fully clothed. She waited until he started snoring then went to get Cora.

Cora quietly got up “Do not leave my daughter for any reason Abi I’m serious. I’d rather die than have her get hurt. You keep him out of this room.” Cora whispered. Abi nodded and Cora put her shoes back on. She tried to open the door quietly but it creaked. She stood still listening. Ethan didn’t come so she soundlessly walked to the front door. She walked out of it and made her way towards the barn. She prayed with every step that smell wasn’t coming from there.

Abel and George had gone through the whole list. She had not been in an accident. George pulled out his phone to text Timothy. “What’re you doing?” Abel asked “Telling Tim she hasn’t been in a wreck and asking if she’s come home. You know how chatty he is. She may have come home and he’s sitting there talking the night away while you go crazy.” Abel sighed “Each district agreed to search for her car. If they see her on the side of the highway they are going to call you Abel ok? Relax and please don’t hurt Timothy.”

“I should lighten up on him. I just get so mad every time I look at him.”

“I can tell. You’ve almost made him wet his pants many times. Why so hostile? You were new once too.”

“He’s the reason I’m not with Cora. Chief wanted me here because of him.”

“It all makes seance now. You aren’t just an ass so I was wondering why you were so hard on him constantly. Cora will be home before you know it Abel. I know I say it in vain but please stay calm. Stressing wont bring her or your child to you any faster.”

“The GPS! We have a GPS. Even if the cars off it’ll still be on. Cora never turns it off and kills it all the time. This was her first trip driving to see my sister so she would’ve charged it before she left her house. If Cora left that car it’s still on! I had her register that GPS before we put it in the car so it wont be hard to find it.God damnnit I should’ve thought of that sooner. We need to pinpoint where it is!”

Cora moved quietly across the yard, glancing back toward the house to make sure Ethan had not woke. She felt a shiver pass through her despite it being summer. The barn door was closed so she gripped the handle and pulled the large roll door open. She slipped inside then pulled it closed. The smell was worse here. Moon light filtered through the windows and she could just make out the empty dusty interior. She walked around, searching for the source of the smell. She found a trap door in the floor and pulled it open. It was pitch black and scary. She went slowly down the steps, running her hand along the wall. She found a light switch and flipped it on. She had to clamp her hand over her mouth not to scream or throw up. Against the far wall were four bodies in various states of decay. To the left was a shrine with a picture of a young woman that looked a lot like Abigail. To the right was a table covered with different medical instruments. She started to back away when she heard the roll door. She pulled the trap door closed and switched off the light. She made her way to the table and hid underneath it, making sure the tarp covering it kept her obscured.

Abel checked the GPS route. Cora had gone straight to his sister’s and then started back. She had stopped a few hours outside of town. He believed she had had car trouble. He wondered why she had not called or sent Abigail to tell him she needed help. He checked the clock and decided he needed to find her car. He had such a bad feeling. He grabbed his gun, jacket and keys then headed out. He squeezed the steering wheel so tight his knuckles turned white. He tried telling himself that his wife and daughter were safe and that he would find them soon. He would chastise her for not calling and she would smile and roll her eyes because she bbelieved he was far too overprotective. She was very tough and strong. Her father had been military and she knew how to defend herself.

She heard Ethans footsteps through¬†he barn and then the creaking as he opened the trap door. Cora could smell the booze before he even got to the bottom of the stairs. He wasn’t stumbling to spite the fact he wrecked so bad it almost covered the decay. She figured he drank every night so had a high tolerance for it. Someone would have to drink to hack up bodies like the four on the wall. She stayed completely still beating herself up over not charging the damn phone.

All she thought about was making sure the GPS was charged. She had brought her little girl to some psychos house. Cora wanted to get a better look at that shrine. Maybe Abi was right and this man did kill her. He sat in front of the shrine drinking the bottle of beer he had brought with him. He layed flat on the ground and noticed the small part of Cora that wasn’t covered. He got up to pull the tarp off when the trap door slammed. Ethan ran up to check and make sure it wasn’t somebody else.

Cora wasn’t aware he knew where she was so he’d come back to her in a second. He thundered up the stairs startling her a bit but she remained still and silent. It had only been the wind since he left the barn door open so he came back down. Cora was disappointed. She had really hoped he would leave or it would be her husband who somehow found her. She knew by now he had to be looking.

Abel found her car parked on the side of the road. The doors were locked and the widows rolled up. He unlocked the car with the extra key and popped the hood. He lifted it and looked inside. The belt had broke. He slammed the hood closed and looked around the car. He spotted some shoe prints heading away from the car. He knew she wouldn’t have gotten far while carrying Abigail. He couldn’t be banging on doors in the middle of the night. He would sleep in his car until morning.

Cora reached up and grabbed one of the scalpels she had seen and waited. She heard the stairs creaking as he came back down. His footsteps sounded more determined. He walked over to the dead bodies and stood there a moment then moved over to the table. She was afraid she was about to witness him butcher one of these girls further. She held her breath and waited. He suddenly snatched back the tarp and pulled her out by her hair. She screamed and he slapped her. She stabbed him in the arm and ran up the stairs. She ran across the barn and grabbed the door handle. The door was locked. She ran to one of the windows. It was locked. She grabbed a piece of wood sitting on the floor and smashed it out. She started to climb out, but he grabbed her hair and pulled her back. She screamed and felt something sharp stab her in the neck. Her vision swam and she hit the floor.

Ethan pulled Cora by her hair down the stairs. He put her up on the table and strapped her down. He cursed when he accidentally kicked his beer he set on the ground. He needed to get a new one so he went back up the stairs to bring a six pack since he would now be busy tonight. While in the house Ethan cleaned and bandaged the wound Cora had givin him. It had really pissed him off. Abigail heard him up and was really worried. She wanted to go out but she had promised Cora she wouldn’t leave little Abi.

Ethan walked over to the heart shaped locket and stared at it a moment. He grabbed his beer and headed outside. Abel couldn’t sleep, his wife and daughter were with some stranger. Hopefully she had found some nice people. The only thing that gave him relief was knowing she wasn’t in a hospital somewhere. Abel set an alarm on his phone to go off at sunrise. Normally people who lived in these parts were farmers so he didn’t feel he’d bother anybody at that time. Abel layed on his side imagining holding Cora. It helped him relax more and slowly drift off.

While Ethan was inside a ghost of one of the women he killed was trying to wake Cora “Please! Please wake up! He’ll kill you! You must fight!” Cora started to stir but it was too late. Ethan was entering the barn and making his way to the trap door and down the stairs. The ghost got more desperate “I don’t know who you are but you don’t deserve this! None of us did! Please girl!”

Chapter Two

“Get Abigail…in the house.” She said and pulled on her restraints. “Tell her to get Abel.” The ghost didn’t want to leave this woman, but she did anyway. She went into the house and found a young woman who looked a lot like her sitting next to a little girl. Abigail gasped at the woman in front of her.

“What do you want?” She asked, just staring at the stranger.

“The woman that you were with is in trouble. She said you have to get someone named Abel.”

“I can’t leave the girl.”

The ghost looked down at the innocent child. “I’ll protect her, just go now.” Abigail looked at Little Abi one more time before leaving. She flew through the air, going as fast as she could.

Ethan came back into the barn. Cora could hear him singing. He walked down the stairs, drinking a beer. He sat a six pack of beer on the shrine and walked over to her with an evil grin on his face. He sat his beer down and held up the locket. He opened it and there was a picture of a young woman who looked a lot like Abigail except for the eyes. “Do you know who this is?” He asked and she shook her head. “This pretty little thing was my step sister. Hot little piece of ass and she liked to flaunt it. She wanted me, but pretended not too. I showed her what she wanted. She started calling me a rapist, said she would call the cops so I shot her and made her look like those girls over there.” She felt sick to her stomach, but just stared up at him.

“Just let me go.” She said, her voice calmer than she felt.

“No, no, no. He took another drink of beer then hung the locket up where she could see it. “Lets get these clothes off.” He said as he picked up a pair of scissors.

At first Abi started going towards home but had a feeling he should go back to the car first. They ignored her feeling about the house so she decided to trust this one. She was much faster flying so it wouldn’t be much time wasted if she was wrong. Abigail was so afraid of Cora dieing. She loved Cora with all her heart. Had grown so close to her and didn’t know what she’d do without her. Abi just kept soaring through the air and was excited when she saw a cop car next to Cora car.

Ethan started slowly and tauntingly cutting her shirt. He let the cold metal of the blade run across her stomach. “Don’t look so scared. I know you want this too. Why do you girls always pretend you dont? It’s very annoying.” He leaned down and kissed her grabbing at her chest. “You’re a crazy assshole!” She spat wishing she had any limbs free to defend herself. “You’ve got a lot of fight in you for a woman who can’t move. By now all the other girls were begging. It honestly turns me on so please start begging for me to let you go.”

She stared at him, her eyes heated with anger. He finished cutting open her shirt. Ethan started rubbing her stomach then slid his hand up. Cora turned to the only other ghost in the room “I don’t know your name but please find strength and help me!” The ghost looked up at her with tear filled eyes. Ethan gave her an odd look “I told you my name is Ethan. You’re an odd girl”

Abigail slipped into the cop car and was both surprised and relieved too see Abel. He was asleep, but had a worried look on his face. She tugged on his shirt and mumbled something incoherent. She tugged again and he turned over. She glared at the back of his head. She took a deep breath and gathered as much energy as she could. She hoped to startle him awake with her voice. She had never been able to talk to him before because it took a lot to get ones voice passed the veil to the ears of the non gifted. “Abel, wake up.” She ordered and he jumped and lifted his head.

Abel sat up and looked around. There was no one there. He rubbed his eyes and checked his phone. It was dead. He plugged it into his car charger and looked around again. “Abigail?” He asked. He thought he heard a whispered yes, but he wasn’t sure. He had never heard a ghost before. “Abigail hold on.” He pulled open the center console and took out a pen and the small notebook he kept there. He sat them down them down on the dashboard. “Tell me where Cora and Abi are.” The pen lifted and moved shakily across the paper, the handwriting messy, but still Abigail’s.

Cora lay there naked from the waist up while Ethan worked on her pants. He sang the whole time like he was cooking or cleaning house. She looked at the ghost, another young woman similar to Abigail. He was killing women who looked like his step sister. Even though Cora looked nothing like these women, he was still going too enjoy cutting her up. Her heart hammered fearfully in her chest as she thought about her daughter. She knew Abi would be next after he finished with her. “Please help me. I have to get to my daughter.” The ghost was crying. “You have to get angry. He took your life. You had so much to do, so much to live for. Get angry, show him how powerful you are.” The ghost looked at her, thinking about what she had said. Anger flashed in her eyes, then rage. She screamed and swung at Ethan, her fist passing through him. It made her even angrier. The light flickered, snuffed out for a moment then the ghost charged it with so much energy it became blinding bright and exploded so it was pitch black.

“God damnnit! This is your fault you crazy bitch! What did you do?” Ethan was in this part of the barn alot so he didn’t stumble as he walked out angrily to get a lantern from the house. Cora knew he’d be coming back soon for her “Please, use that anger to help break these binds. Even if you just get one hand I can escape.”

“I’ll try” The ghost said with determination. “You’ll do it. You just busted out the light.” The ghost summoned all the anger she could. She thought of every moment of hell Ethan put her through. She concentrated it all to the strap holding down her right wrist. Cora just layed there and prayed the ghost could do it. Cora had to protect her little girl. Ethan rummaged around all the cabinets until he found a lantern. He got his matches out of a junk drawer and lit it up. He brushed the glass out of his hair with his hands. A shard cut his finger slightly irritating him more.

Suddenly Cora felt a snap. She could move her hand so it was obviously free “Thank you so much” The ghost was now too weak to even respond to Cora. “I know you can’t answer but thanks for helping and not letting me die.” She quickly undid her other ties grabbing a scalpel. She slid off the table and slowly started up the stairs. Ethan was also making his way back out to the barn to continue his fun with Cora. Sick thoughts running through his head.

Abel drove fast once he figured out the address. It was the first home he came to. He started down the long dirt driveway as Ethan entered the barn. Cora was waiting for him to open the door so she could surprise him and make a run for it to her daughter. Cora didn’t want to be forced to kill again but she’d do it if that’s what Ethan made her do. Cora knew if she died her baby would be left alone with a crazy person and who knows how far away Abel is.

Abel hit a bumb and his bottom came off the seat. He had to slow down, knowing that if he died in an accident he’d never be able to save Cora and Abigail. “Go back to the house Abi and watch over my baby.” He ordered. He didn’t know if she left, but he had to trust that she would do as she was told. He took a deep breath, hitting another bump. He prayed Cora was still alive, that he would get there in time and wouldn’t have to bury his family. His heart was beating so fast and he could taste his fear.

The large door rolled open and she could barely see Ethan as he stepped inside. He switched on the lantern as he passed her and she stabbed him in the back. He screamed and turned on her, but she was already out the door. She raced across the yard, tears streaming down her face. She felt someone snag her hair and she was yanked back. He shoved her to the ground and kicked her in the ribs over and over. “You stupid little whore.” He spat as she rolled onto her back. He straddled her stomach and wrapped his hands around her throat. “Remember that this is what you wanted.” He squeezed hard, his fingers digging into her skin. She pulled at his hands, scratching at him with her nails. She had to keep calm. She gripped his head and dug her fingers into his eyes. She then slammed the ball of her hand into his nose, breaking it and making him clutch his nose. She shoved him off and got unsteadily to her feet.

Cora had lost the scalpel in the struggle. She had to decide what to do next. She didn’t have time to really think so she decided the only thing she really could do is stand in front of the door to her babys room and help the ghost keep Ethan out. Abel just had to be coming soon. Abi wouldn’t have stopped until she got his attention. She ran into the house and grabbed a kitchen knife before she bolted up the stairs. Her heart was racing. Atleast if she died she’d die protecting her little girl and hopefully she’d keep him off long enough for Abel to atleast save little Abi.

Ethan came in the house “Where the fuck are you Cora?” Cora stood silent and still as Ethan approached the stairs. When he was climbing up he saw her standing there with a hand behind her back. “What do you have there?” She glared and he said “I’m going to tie you back down and then I’ll bring your little girl out so you can watch all the things I do to her. I was going to kill you first but you’ve been such a bitch I want to make you suffer more than the others. You brought the perfect way bringing your daughter here.”

“Back the fuck off you disgusting monster.” ¬†He still wasn’t close enough for her to attack. He started closing in and when she felt she’d get him without fail she lunged at his neck but he was very quick and she ended up hitting his shoulder. He started punching her hard in the face until they both ended up tumbling on the ground then falling down the stairs. Ethan ended up on top and he had a firm grip on her hair. Cora was sure a few things had broken between him kicking her in the ribs and the fall “That was a smart move bitch but I’ve killed more times than you realize. That move has been attempted a few times. I doubt there’s much you could surprise me with.”

Abel was pulling up to the house as Ethan started slamming her head into the floor at the bottom of the stairs. Cora didn’t make a sound not wanting to give him the pleasure of her cries and even more so not wanting her daughter to come out and see. With all her strength and training from her father she managed to throw herself up and him down. Coras face was pouring blood and her vision was spinning. He tried to run up the stairs to get little Abi. Cora grabbed his legs and pulled. He gave her a swift kick to the face and they ended up in brawl again as Abel came in the door with his gun drawn.

Ethan managed to get behind her and pulled her into him with the knife pressed against her throat. Abel looked like he was barely managing too keep himself from charging the killer and ripping his throat out. “Who is this my pretty little Cora?” Ethan asked as he peeked over her shoulder.

“He’s the man who’s going to put you in your grave.” She snapped and he pressed the knife even hard into her throat.

“He must be your husband. He’s certainly acting like one. How would he feel if I cut you open right here? Do you think he’d put a bullet in his brain?”

“Just let her and my daughter go. They haven’t done anything to you.” Abel said angrily.

“No, no, no. She’s seen to much and so have you and even the little baby will have to pay. No one leaves.” He screamed.

“What are you going to do about me big boy. You’re nothing, but an unstable worm.” Abel said and he could see Ethan shaking. He shifted just a little to the right and Abel shot him in the shoulder. He fell back onto the floor and Cora stood there shaking. He pulled her into his arms, gun still pointed at the killer. “Where’s Abigail?” She didn’t answer. He looked at her face and could see she was in shock. “Cora, where’s the baby?”

“Upstairs, asleep.” She finally said.

“Go get her so I can keep an eye on him. I wont let him come after you Cora.” She nodded and went up the stairs. She gently shook Abi. She rolled over and sleepily looked at her mom. The little girls eyes widened “Mommy what happened to your face?!” She said obviously frightened. “Don’t worry about that honey, daddy is here and he’s going to take us home.” She hoped out of bed and grabbed her moms hand.

They quickly went down the stairs back to Abel. Who stood there with his gun pointing at Ethan. Cora could tell how much trouble he was having not unloading all his bullets in the man laying on the floor. Cora covered little Abis eyes so she wouldn’t see all the blood. “My phone’s still in the car Cora. Go and call 911 so they can dispatch police and ambulance. As she approached the door Ethan spoke “Cora” he said eerily “It was truly a good time. Shame you got away from me before I could have my way with you. There’s always when I get out of prison.” Abi clung to her moms arm. “Shut up” Abel yelled, the sound of his voice telling Cora he was close to breaking.

“Calm down Abel.” Cora said before walking out the door to his car. When she was inside talking on the phone Abel said “Don’t you dare speak to my wife again you sick bastard.” Cora explained everything and help was sent. They were sending helicopters since it was so far out. As Cora hung up she coughed up a little blood. “mom! is that blood?”

“Abi don’t look at mommy. I want you to cover your eyes until Dad or myself tell you to take your hands off.”

Ethan laughed and pushed himself to his feet, gripping his shoulder. “You should kill me now. I’ll never stop. She’s not even my type and I want her.” He said and Abel gripped the gun tighter.

“Shut your mouth, just shut up.” He snapped.

“I’ll do to her what I did to my step sister Vanessa and Rose, Evette, and Abigail and all the others.”

Abel’s eyes widened. “Did you say Abigail?”

“Did you know her? She was my favorite. So hard to break.”

He felt his fingers tightening on the trigger and Ethan grinned at him evilly. He wanted Abel to kill him, to further traumatized him because even in death he would be victorious. He glared at the man, hating him. He heard helicopters in the distance and took his finger off the trigger. “No, no I’m not going to kill you. You’ll go to prison where they will make you beg for death. Men like you don’t do well prison.” He took a deep breath. “Everyone there will know what you’ve done and you will never have a moment of peace.”

Cora gripped her side and coughed again. She wiped the blood from her lips and held her daughter. Abigail and the two other spirits appeared before her. She recognized one of them from the locket. “Thank you so much for stopping him.” She said a little sadly. “Finally we can all rest in peace.”

“Not me,” Abigail said happily. “I have to stay close to this one and her family. They need me and I need them.”

“Are you sure?” The other woman asked.

“Of course. They’re my family.” A large portal of light opened up next to them and Abigail smiled. “You two go to your new home and please let whoever is on the other side know that I’ve made up my mind. I have justice, but I will never leave.” The two ghosts hugged Abigail then clasped hands and walked into the light which wrapped around them then closed.

Because it was helicopter transport they wanted Abel to drive his car to the hospital. Abel was upset but knew that would be best. There wasn’t a lot of space and they needed to be able to tend to Cora. Little Abi didn’t need to see her mother like that anyway. Abel kept a booster seat in his car for Abi so he strapped his daughter in and started down the road. Abel would have broken the speed limit all the way back but wasn’t going to put his daughter in any more danger.

Abel called the station and asked if Olivia minded spending the night at his home with his daughter so he could be with Cora without making little Abi sit in a hospital. Olivia agreed and said she would be waiting at their house.When he hung up little Abi looked at Abel and said “daddy.”

“Yes Abi?”

“Are they going to be able to make mom stop coughing blood?”

“Yes, don’t worry about your mom she’s strong and will be fine. Why are you covering your eyes still?”

“Mom said I couldn’t look until one of you said I could.”

“You can look Abi.” Abel was glad that atleast Abi hadn’t seen all that went on. That she had just slept through the whole ordeal. Cora could get over it but something like that might scar a little girl for life. Once they finally arrived home Abel ran up to the house holding his daughter. Olivia was there and took her out of his arms “Go Abel I’ve got it from here.” He ran back down the stairs needing to see his wife. He hadn’t seen her coughing up blood so was even more worried than before.

Chapter Three

When he got to the hospital they told him she was in surgery and he would have to wait. “Why is she in surgery?” He was in a panic.

“Please sir go sit down. The doctor will explain everything when she’s out.”

He went into the waiting room and paced back and forth. He could relax while Cora might be dying. He ran his fingers through his hair, almost in tears. He felt a hand on his shoulder. It was an old woman who had been waiting in the same room. She handed him a paper cup with water in it and smiled. She walked away and he sat down, just staring at the cup for a moment. He took a sip, his hand shaking. He felt tears running down his face as he started sobbing. It seemed like an eternity passed by the time the doctor came into the waiting room. Abel stood as the man approached him and shook his hand. “I’m Doctor Roberts, you must be Abel.” He said.

“Yes sir, is Cora alright?” He braced himself for the worst news possible.

“She’s fine. She had three broken ribs, one of which punctured her lung, a fractured wrist and a concussion. She’s in recovery right now and stable.”

He almost collapsed he was so relieved. “Can I see her please?”

“She’s sleeping right now, but I can get a nurse to take you up to her room.”

A male nurse named Carl told Abel to follow him. As they walked Abel wished they could go faster. Finally they were at her room “Thank you”. The nurse smiled and left the room. Abel quickly walked to Coras side and kissed her forehead. He was so glad to see her sleeping peacefully. He hadn’t been too late and saved her. Abel needed to thank big Abi. If she hadn’t woken him up and told him where to go he may not have saved his wife and daughter. He started sobbing again at the thought of losing the two people his world revolved around.

Abel gentle rubbed her cheek unable to stop crying. It was hard to look at her bruised up face. He couldn’t help but be upset at himself for not thinking of the GPS sooner. He could’ve gotten to Cora and little Abi faster but he allowed the stress and fear to cloud his mind. He also could’ve fought harder to go with her to his sisters. Tim was a wreck but the other men could’ve helped him out. His eyes grew tired because of all the crying. He was worn mentally too from the fear and anger.

Abel scooted the chair as close to the bed as possible and layed his head down placing his hand on hers. He gave her fingers a soft kiss then closed his eyes. When morning came Cora was still sleeping. Abel wanted to get her something for when she woke up. It wouldn’t erase what happened but hopefully a present would make her smile. Abel knew the hospital gift shop would be over priced but he wasn’t interested in leaving the hospital. He wanted to be the first thing Cora saw when she got up.

The first thing she felt was pain. When she breathed it was like someone was stabbing her over and over again. She had a pounding headache and her wrist was sore. She opened her eyes. The lights were dimmed and she mentally thanked whoever had been considerate enough to turn them down. She felt something sitting next to her and turned her head, smiling at the little brown teddy bear with the big red heart on its stomach. She lifted her good arm and ran her fingers trough its fur. “Cora?” She turned her head to the sound of Abel’s voice. He looked like he’d been through hell and back. “Thank god you’re awake.” He sat down on the side of the bed and slipped his hand into her good one.

“How are you?” She asked.

“Me? My heart is nearly broken. I should have gone with you, I should have protected you better.”

She pulled on his arm and he lay down next to her, lifting her gently so she could rest her head on his chest. “Don’t blame yourself because I don’t. I’m safe and Abigail’s safe. She didn’t see or hear any of it.” Cora said, wincing in pain when she inhaled.

“I almost lost you again. Why does trouble always find you?” He wanted to crush her close to him, hold her so tight that nothing could pry her loose.

“I’m attracted to the victims. I just don’t know it until I’m staring them in the face. That man raped and killed Abigail, our Abigail. He made her last moments terrifying and painful. I have never been so happy for someone to forget what happened to them. She deserved a fresh start and she got one with us.”

“Is she still around or did she move on?”

“She told me that she was going to stay with Abi while I was in the hospital. You know how our daughter loves her.” She winced again and gripped his hand.

“You should go back to sleep. Me and Mr. Teddy will be here when you get up.” She tilted her head up and he kissed her.

“I love you and I love the bear. Thank you for everything.”

Abel felt a lot better now that he was atleast in bed with Cora. He had sat there wanting to hold her so badly. He may not be able to hold her as tightly as he wanted but finally having her in his arms made him feel so much better. His heart was now slowing down to a steady pace rather than hammering against his rib cage. Abel had already talked to the chief. He said that Abel could be on vacation until Cora was better. Abel planned to do absolutely everything for Cora. He hated that she was in so much pain. Abel hoped she wouldn’t be wincing like that whenever she moved for long.

Abel had his face softly pressed into Coras head. He was breathing her in. Now that he was able to hold her he hoped she’d sleep a long time. Her doctor walked by and saw Abel in bed with Cora “Did she wake up?”

“Yes” Abel whispered wanting the man to go away. “Good, when she wakes up again I’ll have to check to make sure she’s really ok. Make sure you tell me when she does.”

“I will” The doctor left and Abel went back to pressing his face into the top of Coras head. “I love you” he whispered then kissed her. A few hours passed and Cora woke up again “Good morning gorgeous.” Abel said smiling at her but still looking like his heart had been crushed into a million pieces. “You’ve got to stop looking at me like that Abel. You saved me and I’ll be alright. I hope you don’t have to go back to work any time soon.”

‘I’m off until you’re healed.”

“Good” She kissed his chest. He tilted her chin kissing her “I can’t kiss you back if you kiss my chest.”

“You are so amazing Abel, the best thing in the world. All I could think about was you and Abigail while that monster had me. You were the last thing I wanted in my mind if I passed.” She said softly.

“I love you so much. I don’t know how long I could have held on without you.” He brushed his thumb over her chin and kissed her. “I have to call your doctor.” He reached across her and pressed the call button on the bed. A nurse poked her head in and he asked her if she could get Doctor Roberts. She smiled and left. Five minutes later he came into the room.

“I need you to get off the bed please.” He said and Abel reluctantly complied. “I need to check your ribs if that’s okay.”

“Of course.” He gently lifted her gown and ran cool fingers over her bruised skin. She gasped in pain and he apologized. He pulled the stethoscope from around his neck and listened to her lungs. The last thing he checked was her wrist.

“Everything seems to be going well, but I’m going to want you to stay here for a few more days because of the ribs. Abel here can stay of he likes, but ai suggest clean clothes and a shower.” She laughed and then hissed in pain. “Sorry about that. I’ll have the nurse get you some pain meds to take the edge off.”

“Thank you doctor.” Abel said with a smile.

“I only did half the work. She had the will to live, that’s also very important. Is there anything you have questions about?”

“Am I allowed to raise the bed so I can set up?” Cora asked.

“Yes, but not to far. I don’t want you to hurt yourself.”

The doctor walked out. “I guess I’ll go home and get you some clothes.” Abel said looking sad. He didn’t want to have to leave Cora. “What about Abi?”

“I’ll talk to Olivia about staying at our home until you can leave. I’m sure the chief will give her the time off. Maybe she’d also be willing to bring Abi here to visit.”

“Abi does really like Olivia so that sounds good. I’d love to see Abi soon.”

“I’ll call Olivia then the chief while I drive home.” Abel kissed her again and left. He walked as fast as he could without running to his car. He was going to get their playing cards from the house too so Cora would have more to do than just watch television. Just as Abel thought Olivia was more than happy to stay with Abi as long as it took. Her and Cora had become close friends since the time Olivia played her double. The chief also had no problems giving Olivia a few days off.

When he made it home Abi ran into his arms “Daddy!” He hugged her tightly and kissed her cheek. “Olivia and I have had so much fun and she says I get to play with her for a few days!.”

“Yep, be a good girl for her ok?”

“I promise! I want to see mom though. When will I get to see her?”

“Olivia is going to bring you after your nap and let you spend a few hours with her.” Abi smiled as Abel set her down to get a couple changes of clothes and the cards. “Thanks again Olivia” Abel said as he ran out the door with a suitcase. When he arrived back at the hospital Cora was talking to Abigail. “Hey Abigail” Abel said with a smile as he entered the room. Abi smiled and told Cora she was going home to be with little Abi so she could just be with her husband.

He took a new pair of clothes out for each of them then set them in the bathroom before he carried Cora in there. He gently set Cora on her feet them took off her hospital gown. He took off his clothes then turned the water on making sure it felt perfect before Cora got in. Cora took a deep breath in when the water hit her. “Is it ok?”

“It feels great.” Abel got closer to her wrapping Cora in his arms. He couldn’t wait to actually hug her. It was nearly impossible not to hug her tightly. “Can I wash you? I’d feel better if you just let me take care of you completly until you’re better. I understand if you don’t want me to but it really would make this easier.”

“Of course you can Abel.” Cora said smiling. After they were clean he turned off the water than grabbed a towel. He was as careful as possible drying off her chest and stomach. It was hard enough to see her in pain without being the one to cause it. They dressed and he lifted her again. This time his lips found hers. He stood there in the bathroom a few minuets savouring Coras lips against his. Her kiss felt like heaven to Abel.

“You’re making it really hard to be a good girl.” She winked and he laughed as he carried her back to bed. “I am starving.”

“Would you like me to order you something from downstairs?” He sat next to her and she shook her head.

“I am in the mood for an apple muffin and coffee.” He smiled, knowing she wanted them from her favorite diner.

“I shall endeavor to get you what you crave.” He left, quickly driving to the diner the used to go to together when they were just partners. He ordered her muffin and favorite coffee and waited ppatiently. When they handed them over and he payed he drove quickly back and went upstairs. She was very excited when he walked through the door. They shared the muffin and the lay together watching TV. There was a knock at the door and a nurse opened it with a smile.

“You have visitors.” She said.

“Mommy!” Abigail ran across the room and Olivia had to stop her from jumping in the bed.

“You have to be careful honey, mommy hurts.” Abel said and Olivia lifted their little girl onto the bed. Cora gave her a hug and kissed her on her forehead. Olivia sat down next to the bed, watching TV while they visited.

“How has my baby girl been?” Cora asked.

“Good. We watched The Lion King. Olivia says it’s her favorite. I like Cinderella more.” She answered excitedly.

“They’re both very good.”

Anigail rested her head against her Cora’s chest and smiled up at her. ¬†“I can’t wait until you come home. I miss you.”

“I miss you too. It’ll only be a few days”

“I’m sorry that bad man hurt you”

“Don’t think about that. I was just happy you were safely sleeping upstairs.” Abigail went on about everything her and Olivia had done and what they were planning on doing until Olivia told her it was time to go. “Bye mom!” She hugged and kissed Cora then turned to her dad “You better take good care of her.” Abigail looked so serious Cora laughed. “I promise sweetheart” He hugged Abi then Olivia grabbed her hand walking out.

“We have such a good little girl”

“She loves her mom. That is definitely a mommas girl we have.” Abel put his arms around Cora again. “Just so you know I brought cards if you get bored of watching TV.”

“That was thoughtful thanks. Are you bored?”

“Not at all. I just love having you in my arms. If we play cards I can’t hold you any more. I’ll play them for you but all I want is to keep you near me. The only thing getting my arms from around you is if you want or need something.” Cora looked at Abel and smiled “I love you so damn much Abel”

“and I absolutely adore you Cora.” Abel kissed her again pouring his heart into it. “You’ve got to calm down kissing me Abel since I can’t have you until we’re at home.” Abel laughed but as much as he wanted Cora he was afraid to have sex with her. He may feel better but he was still a worried mess from everything that happened. All he could think about was the possibility of hurting her if they tried. “What’s with that face Abel?”

“What if I hurt you. Shouldn’t we wait until you’re healed?”

“That’ll be weeks Abel.”

He chuckled. “Impatient little thing.”

“It’s your fault with that smile and those eyes and those lips. I can’t help but being driven absolutely crazy by you. I trust you’ll be gentle.”

“You’re so beautiful when you get serious.”

It was a week before Dr. Roberts told her she could go home. He checked her ribs again and made it very clear that she was to take it easy. She wasn’t allowed to lift anything heavier than a coffee cup. He wrote out a prescription for pain meds and told her she was free to go. Abel wasn’t willing to let them wheel her out. He lifted her gently in his arms and carried her. He buried his nose in her hair as they ride the elevator down, inhaling her scent. The elevator came to a stop and they went to the hospital pharmacy to have the prescription filled. When they had the pills he carried her out to his car, lowering her feet to the ground so he could open the door. He helped her slowly in then practically ran around the car to get behind the wheel. He wanted to be home, sleeping in their bed. The hospital was too sterile and uncomfortable. He held her hand as he pulled out of the parking lot. He had to touch her, to reassure himself.

“Stop looking so worried.” She said.

“How can I? I need you in my life. I needed you from the first moment I saw you.” He replied and she squeezed his hand. “Never again will I make you drive alone.”

He drove home not letting go of her hand for a moment. When they parked in front of their home he kissed her hand before getting out the car and running around to open Coras door. He picked her up and carried her inside. “Finally! I enjoyed you Olivia but I really missed my parents.”

“I know sweetie. Welcome back guys! I’ll be heading home now” Olivia bent down to hug Abi bye. Then waved at Cora and Abel as she walked out the door. Abel layed Cora on their bed. “mom still hurts even though she’s home. Please be careful with her Abi”

“I will dad” Abi crawled on the bed sitting next to her mom “are you atleast doing better?”

“Much better”

“Next time we brake down lets just sit in the car and wait for daddy” Cora laughed “I doubt your father will even ever let us go anywhere alone again.” Abi smiled “I’m going to go play now.”

“Ok have fun”

“It feels so nice to be home”

“I’m glad to finally have you home. Do you need anything before I lay down with you?”

“No I’m fine.” Abel crawled into bed and gave her a couple kisses on the cheek and neck. “I’m serious about you not taking long trips without me Cora”

“I know” she said smiling at him. “as long as you dont freak out every time I take Abi to the park or store.”

“I’ll try. I’m so glad I can stay with you until you’re better.” Abi came back into the room. “What’s for dinner dad?”

“what would you like?”

“Mac and cheese”

“How does that sound Cora?”

“That sounds fantastic” Abel got up and went into the kitchen. Abigail excitedly followed. Cora happily listend to the excited Abigail talk to her dad about everything she had done with Olivia. They were blessed with such a good friend. Cora really hoped Olivia had a family of her own soon. Cora knew how much Olivia wanted children but she just has no luck when it comes to dating.

“I’m so glad you’re okay.” Big Abi said as she sat down on the edge of the bed. “I can’t believe we found my killer.”

“What were the odds?” Cora smiled warmly.

“Thank you for stopping him. I know there’s not much I can give you.”

“I’ll settle for your friendship.” Abigail smiled and used some energy to hug Cora. “Thank you for staying.”

“I meant it when I said I can’t leave you. I don’t feel that pull to step into the other side. This is my home.”

Abel came back with a bowl of Mac and cheese and handed it to her. “Thank you love.” Cora said. Little Abi followed close behind and sat at the foot of the bed.

“I’m going to go hang out with some of my friends at the cemetary. I’ll see you later.” Abigail walked through the bedroom wall and outside. They ate dinner and talked about what they wanted to do while Cora healed. Abigail wanted to go to the zoo. Abel said, “Maybe in a week or two we’ll see how mommy’s ribs are.” That seemed enough for her and she quickly finished her dinner. Abel took. The dishes to the kitchen and carried his daughter to her room. He got her in her pajamas and found her favorite book. He red until she fell asleep and then kissed her forehead before turning off the light and leaving.

When Abel came back in the room Cora said “You know honey, we are home now and our daughter wont be disturbing us until morning” Abel laughed “Cora, I don’t want to hurt you.” Cora sighed sadly. “why the sad sigh?”

“I just thought I was more irresistible than that.”

“That’s not fair Cora. You’re the sexiest woman I’ve ever seen and you know how much I enjoy making love to you. I do want it I promise.” Cora just looked away from him with a really disappointed look on her face.She wasn’t trying to make him feel bad ¬†but she really was extremely disappointed. “ok, just stop looking so sad.”

“It’s ok, Just go to sleep Abel. I’m not trying to make you feel bad so please don’t. I’ll just wait until I’m better.” He started taking off his clothes. He got on the bed and started to take off her pants and underwear. He lifted Coras shirt and folded it over her chest. Abel was nervous but he couldn’t stand that disappointed look on her face. He slowly licked up her stomach and then back down until he was between her legs. He playfully licked and nibbled at her then carefully slid himself inside of Cora.

Abel thrust himself slowly as he just looked into Coras eyes. They were so beautiful and he enjoyed seeing how much pleasure she was getting. Abel had been wanting Cora really badly and was glad he was finally getting to make love to her. He leaned down to kiss her when it looked like she wasn’t going to be able to be quite much longer. When they were done he pulled himself out but still stayed over her just admiring how breathtaking Cora was. “see you didn’t hurt me atall Abel”

“I’m so glad.” He put a hand on her cheek and stared at her for a few more moments before laying down by her side. “Thank you for being so caring. You’re truly an amazing husband Abel.”

“It’s effortless to be good to you Cora. I love you so much.”

“I love you too Abel”

~The End~

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