Chapter 8 – Goodbyes

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The next few days were a haze for Katie. She slept away most of them. All those sleepless and restless nights spent in the chair by her mother’s bedside suddenly caught up with her. She felt like a newborn baby, who lived simply to eat, sleep, and poo.

Through it all, they handled everything. Of course, her mother had made most of the arrangements already, but still, someone had to be there to see that things went as Joy had wanted and make small decisions that arose at the last minute. She did not have the energy or the focus to be that someone, so they did. Chance and Chase.

Oddly enough, when she was awake, her whole being strummed with energy. Everything was brighter, louder, more fragrant, just…more. The hardest part was filtering out the overwhelming emotions of others. Her empathic gifts that had always seemed minuscule suddenly were amplified ten-fold. A hundred?

And she could see auras too. She had rarely seen them the way her mother sometimes could. But unlike her mother, who saw them on occasion, usually, when she focused and was working with someone, Katie now saw them all the time.

That first day, they told her she had passed out after her mother… After her mother’s death. Chance had carried her into her room, and gotten her undressed, stayed with her, cared for her. While Chase had handled the details of calling Melody, answering what few questions were necessary. Dealing with the funeral directors and all the rest.

Chaos had begun that next morning. It seemed all her mother’s clients felt the overwhelming need to connect with her, offer her their sympathy, and drain what little reserves she had. She did not know what she would have done without them then.

Two imposing former SEALs made an excellent security team. No one dared to countermand their orders when they nodded and said that Katie had had enough for one day. People just seemed to flee like ants when their hill had been stomped on.

Her mother had chosen to be cremated, so there was no rush for a funeral. In the end, they decided that the memorial service would not take place for a couple of weeks while they processed the necessary paperwork for scattering her mother’s ashes, which turned out to be way more complicated than Katie had imagined.

She had thought a simple walk along the pier like they had thousands of times before. In fact, it necessitated hiring a boat and scattering them at least 500 yards from the beach itself. Hell, even the ship’s captain had to have a special license to do so.

It was way more than she was up to dealing with after over a year of surgeries, therapies, hospitals, and finally, hospice care. But with the help of Melody, Chase had managed to locate the right captain for the job.

Even that came with issues of its own as the boat could accommodate no more than two dozen people. So, Katie had been left to decide who among her mother’s flock would have the coveted places and who would stand vigil on the shoreline.

She had been about to break down under the weight of even that decision when Chance stood up and slammed his hand onto the table, “The solution is simple. No one goes with us.”

She and Chase had looked at him like he had grown another head, but he simply explained, “We will video it and play it at the memorial service. After the fact.”

Chase’s deep, rich laughter that was all too rare, rang about the kitchen as he cleared the dishes from their simple dinner. “Damn, big brother, sometimes I think you are a fucking genius. Of course, it is perfect. The only question is who we get to video it.”

Chance smiled, “Deke, of course. He is brilliant with all that shit. He, Seth, and Sebastian have started their own videography company. They can do it and compile a video for the memorial service that includes that as well as testimonials and clips from Joy’s life.”

He looked over Katie, “It also means that you do not need to say anything either.”

She shook her head, “No, Chance, I want to. Maybe, I need to. Yeah, I know I have been such a pussy these past few days with everything that has been happening.”

She stopped and inhaled deeply. She had not told them about what was going on. About the auras and the overpowering emotions of others that seemed to bombard her constantly.

Actually, the only respite she seemed to have from the sensation overload was when she crawled into bed each night between them. From that first night, they had both insisted on sleeping in the bed with her.

She had thought that after her mother’s death, one or both of them would take Joy’s room. Katie could not bring herself to sleep in the place that had been her mother’s even with all the comforting memories of crawling into Joy’s bed on lazy Sunday mornings, during storms, or simply to talk.

Instead, as she had stepped from the shower that first night, wrapped only in a towel, they had stood waiting outside the door. Chance had smiled, and Chase scowled a bit as she had clutched the towel tighter between her tits. “Sorry, I took so long. The bathroom is all yours now.”

She had stared at her bare feet as she sought the proper good-night in such situations. Did she kiss them on the cheeks? Did she just brush past them and casually toss a nite-nite as she ran for the relative safety of her room?

Before she could come to a decision, they blanketed her from both sides, “You have two minutes to get dressed before we join you in bed, princess,” Chase whispered in her ear from behind.

Chance’s smile broadened at what must have been her shocked, wide-eyed expression, “Although we are not averse to holding you naked either. You decide, Katy-did.”

She started to shake her head, but they both took a single step closer until she was effectively trapped, sandwiched between two hard bodies. Two very hard bodies. Her senses went into a very different kind of overload then. Her body overrode her mind, and every feeling she had seemed centered between her legs. She chuckled nervously.

“What’s so funny, princess?” Chase ran his tongue along the edge of her ear.

She blushed and looked down, staring at the vast expanse of Chance’s bare chest. “I was just thinking that Mom would be so proud to know that my sacral chakra is working just fine,” she stammered embarrassedly.

She jumped as a hand worked its way between her bare thighs, a finger traced lightly at the cleft at the apex of them. “Want us to see just how open it is, Katy-did?”

“No, that’s okay,” her lips stammered as her mind screamed, ‘Yes, please.’ Her heart stuttered to a full stop, then re-started in triple time as that finger kept slowly running back and forth along her lower lips.

“Chicken shit,” Chase chuckled as his hands moved up from her waist to cup her breasts firmly. Her nipples instantly took notice until they throbbed and ached from the soft, roughness of the towel. She tried to stifle the moan at the back of her throat, but it escaped instead as a whimper.

She did not have a chance to protest any further as Chance’s lips covered hers, swallowing her words as well as her tongue. Chase was not to be overshadowed as his fingers began an erotic dance with her nipples. His tongue, teeth, and lips toyed at the sensitive juncture of her shoulders and neck. Still, Chance’s fingers played at the entrance of her pussy that was practically dripping wet from the dual assault on her senses.

“Open your legs for him, princess,” Chase managed to whisper somehow between soft nibbles at her shoulder. “Remember how good it felt with my fingers inside your cunt. Let Chance feel how tight you are, baby girl.”

Her mind splintered at the erotic naughtiness of his words. Driven by instinct alone, she obeyed his command as somehow she managed to shift enough between them to spread her legs just a bit.

Her body was already consumed in flames, so when Chance’s fingers slipped inside her wet folds at the same time as Chase’s found their way beneath the towel to twist and pull at her aching nipples, it was way more than she could take.

She arched against Chase’s bare chest. The world tilted as he took a step backward to brace the additional weight on his good leg. For a moment, she thought they would collapse on the floor in a tangle of limbs and aching need, but Chance’s other hand about her waist tightened and shifted her weight enough that they managed somehow to weather the full force of the impact of her orgasm.

And it was another powerful one as she felt her juices flowing down his fingers, stickiness coating the insides of her thighs. Not that she cared just then as the spasms and tremors spread concentrically outwards like waves after you threw a stone in a pond. Her pussy and nipples were already on fire, but those flames licked all the way to her toes below and the top of her head.

She realized then she could see the bright blue and silver bands of light emitting from her body, enveloping them all in its soft, gentle glow. She saw Chase’s transforming from the murky grey/brown to that bright silver once more as it had that night.

The most surprising was the blackness, which dwelled so deeply inside Chance that it frightened her with its threat to overcome him, to steal his light from her. This time she saw, actually watched, as it was overwhelmed with the deepest purest blue, the rarest of auras.

Silver and blue hues danced and moved around them until they seemed to merge into an oneness that together melded and formed a circle of light that shook her understanding of the universe with its intensity.

She was trembling and crying and laughing all at the same time as the energy began to recede into a softer, gentler glow. She felt as much as she heard Chase’s body rumble with his answering laughter.

Chance placed a final soft kiss on her lips as he drew back, “We need to teach you some better manners, young lady. Laughter is not the proper way to thank your lovers for an orgasm like that.”

She felt something shift inside her, as if some of the foreboding that had hung over her for so very long, lifted a bit. She stood on tiptoes and brushed a kiss on his lips before turning her head and brushing another on a startled Chase.

“I don’t know. I think it is a perfect response. You two don’t laugh enough, you know?” She said as she managed to wriggle free of them, grasping the towel tightly about her body as she sashayed towards her room with a saucy look over her shoulder, “Two minutes, boys.”

That had been nearly a week ago, and while the three of them slept naked in her double bed every night, things never went farther than the two of them…seeing to her needs. ‘You would think any normal woman would be more than happy having two hot stud puppies getting her off every morning and night, so what’s your problem, girl?’ asked that stupid voice in her head.

What was her problem? Why was it not enough? Why did she want more? And what more did she want? How far was she willing to take this thing between them?

It was another of the multitude of questions about her uncertain future that plagued her waking moments and haunted her dreams. Her job? Joy’s charity and legacy? This house? Her life? What was to become of any of them?

Staring across the packed room at the two of them as they chatted with their three friends, who had been indispensable with the filming and video, she sensed that more than just her own future rested upon those decisions.

Especially as she saw the dark scowl cross Chance’s handsome face, but it was the inky black of his aura that consumed his whole body that frightened her the most. Chase was only marginally better as he shifted uncomfortably next to him within the confines of a brownish murk.

But she had no time to consider them or even herself, with nearly one hundred ‘close’ friends and associates crammed into the tiny two-bedroom bungalow and flowing outside onto the lawns and sidewalks. All of their combined energies, the dark cloud of mourning, beat at her until her head was pounding, and her legs grew weak. Still, she had more to get through. The worst was yet to come.

“Thank you,” Katie began slowly. She spoke so softly that at first, only those nearest her even heard her speak, but after a moment, the word seemed to spread, and the room fell silent.

“Thank you all for coming today. As you know, my mother would not have wanted us mourning her passing, but rather celebrating her life. So in that vein, I would like to open the floor for any of you to speak for a moment on what my mother meant to you.”

She had thought that perhaps one or two people would have the courage to step forward, but it seemed that everyone wanted to have their say. She smiled and cried as she listened to their stories. The Hollywood executive credited her mother with saving his ‘fourth’ marriage. The older lady down the street that her mother always took cookies to. Even the homeless man, whom Joy bought breakfast for, had miraculously managed to take a shower and find passably decent clothes for the day. So much so that Katie had not even recognized him at first.

So, what she had thought would take five or ten minutes stretched to more than half an hour that left her exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. Then it had been the video compilation of photographs, speeches, and the sprinkling of her mother’s ashes at sea.

She cried and leaned against the solid steel walls that had suddenly appeared on either side of her at some point. The final shot was her mother’s last television appearance months before. She had been asked to speak after a landmark Supreme Court case on sexual freedoms.

Katie remembered that day well. They had gotten up extra early to make the horrendous commute into Studio City for the program. Her mother had alternated between puking into a bowl that they had brought for just such a purpose, and napping between bouts of nausea.

Looking at her mother’s image on the wall, she could see the pallor and fine lines that were more pronounced. But even then, her mother’s inner beauty shone through like the proverbial beacon.

She made a stark contrast to the stern, suited preacher that was her antagonist. Though, his part of the interview had been edited out, Katie remembered his words about the sanctity of marriage and the family.

But it was her mother who had the final word. She smiled as she nodded her head at the famous tele-evangelist, “On this, we agree, sex is one of the most powerful forms of worship. Through it, we commune with one another, ourselves, and our gods…and goddesses,” her smile had almost challenged the man to interfere.

“But on this, we differ. I believe,” her mother paused for a moment and stared directly into the camera before continuing. “No, I know…Nothing done in love can ever be a sin. Can ever be wrong. Love is the divine power within us all. However, we choose to share that is no one’s business but ours and our partners.” Katie shivered as she heard those words once more.

It was if her mother had spoken directly to her at that moment. As if the gates of heaven or whatever was out there opened, and Joy stood beside her daughter once more. Katie could almost feel her mother’s gentle arms about her. She turned and looked for her then, but it was them that she saw. And somehow she knew that was right too.

As the lights came back up, Katie felt a power she never before had known. It swelled inside her, and when she spoke, there was a new authority and power that spoke through her.

“That was my mother, but in some ways, she never belonged completely to me. She was love and light in this dark world. A light that touched each of you. A flame that burns in each of you, each of us, even now.”

“My mother is not dead. Because love never dies. It perpetuates itself. It spreads faster and farther than any virus ever could. That was Joy Danvers,” she chuckled. “Sometimes, I wonder if my grandparents did not have some premonition of her greatness when they choose that name for her. What name could have been more appropriate?”

She sighed as another tear began to trail down her cheek, “Know this – that Joy shall continue on in this world, lighting the way through the darkness that threatens to consume us all in greed, hubris, and fanaticism.”

Before she even realized the commitment she was making, Katie spoke words that would determine the path of her life. “At my mother’s request, I shall take over the foundation that she established to continue her work. I welcome each of you to consider what role you would like to take in fulfilling her dream of a world where love truly does conquer all and where nothing done in love can ever be wrong.”

As those final words passed her lips, the room began to spin. If not for the steel grip of arms bracketing her from either side, she would have collapsed. Through the haze, she heard a voice, “Get her to bed. I will handle this.” That was the last she knew as darkness enveloped her once more.

But it was not dark for long as light and visions filled her head. Though she would only remember bits and pieces of those dreams, they would continue to come to her over a lifetime in the odd sensation of déjà vu and she would as she had that day…know that she had taken the right path and that all was right with the world…her world at least.

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