What a Ghoul Wants
    In return Heath offered me a weak smile and with effort he lifted his arms and said,
     “Get over here, woman.”
    I moved swiftly to his bed and threw my arms around him. For a moment we just held
     each other. “You gave me a hell of a scare,” I told him.
    “Look at it from my side.”
    I squeezed tighter. “You remember what happened?”
    “Yeah.” For a minute he was quiet and then he added, “They don’t tell you how much
     it hurts.”
    I lifted my chin to look at him. I hadn’t known he was in pain. “You’re hurting? Tell
     me where, honey, and I’ll ring for the nurse.”
    He shook his head, and I knew that I’d misunderstood. “Drowning. It hurts like a mother.”
    I swallowed hard. Jesus. Heath had
    Behind me I could feel the presence of his grandfather come closer and then his voice
     filled my mind.
Thank you,
he said.
    Don’t mention it.
    “Hey, Gramps,” Heath said weakly.
    I turned my attention back to him, and he seemed to be looking at something right
     over my shoulder. “You can see him?”
    He nodded. “He’s been hanging out with me ever since he pushed me back down.”
    I let go of Heath and moved to sit on the bed next to him. Taking his hand, which
     was ice-cold, I said, “He pushed you down?”
    Heath nodded. “Yeah. I crossed over, Em. It was so cool.”
    I felt a terrible chill run down my spine. “You. . . crossed over?”
    “Gramps was there,” Heath continued, as if I hadn’t spoken. His eyes were far away
     and there was the most peaceful smile on his face. “And my uncle Milt and aunt Bev.
     Oh, and my stepdad, Frank, and my real dad! I saw both of them.”
    I squeezed Heath’s hand tightly. He was far too excited about having nearly died for
     my taste.
    My sweetie closed his eyes and sighed contentedly. “I know we hear from spirits about
     how beautiful it is over there, but you know what? They don’t tell you the half of
     it. It’s like. . . amazing, Em.”
    I glanced nervously over my shoulder and saw the small circle of vapor hovering right
     next to us.
I don’t like this,
I said in my mind.
    He almost wouldn’t go back,
Sam Whitefeather replied.
It took both me and his two dads to get him back into his body.
    I had to swallow again. That meant that Heath had come really,
close to a true death, and that frightened me to the core.
    Thank you,
I told him, realizing I should have been the grateful one from the start.
    It was a team effort,
Sam replied, and I could hear his gentle chuckle along with it.
    I eyed the temperature gauge next to Heath’s bed. It read 30.8 degrees. They hadn’t
     let me out of bed until my temp had been 35, and according to Gopher that was about
     95 degrees Fahrenheit, which meant that Heath had been
when they’d brought him in.
    He shivered slightly while I sat next to him, and I let go of his hand and tucked
     it back under the blankets, pulling them up to his chin. He gave me a grateful smile
     and closed his eyes. “Man, I’m tired,” he mumbled, and a moment later he was asleep.
    I sat there for a long time, just watching him and letting a few tears fall too.
    Sam Whitefeather hovered just behind me the whole time, and I knew that he understood
     what had me so undone. I was in love with his grandson and I’d nearly lost him to
     that bitch in the moat.
    The longer I sat there, the more my emotions turned from fear and worry to anger and
     determination. At last I leaned down and kissed Heath’s cheek, then headed out to
     get some answers.

Chapter 4
    The first place I went looking was at the nurses’ station. I found Heath’s nurse,
     identified myself as his emergency contact, and she let me know that they were going
     to keep Heath there overnight. “There is the rare chance of an infection to the lungs,”
     she explained. “He did take in quite a bit of water, Miss Holliday, and we want to
     make sure he doesn’t develop a fever or pneumonia.”

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