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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 320) Dying Breed

“To answer your question, Yes. With death there is pain involved along with anguish, heartache, and extreme sadness. Most individuals are not ready to leave their loved ones behind or alone. As you may guess, none of this can be avoided.”

“That actually sounds horrible,” says Lyla, “and you experience all of that?” she looks at him intently.

“A considerable amount of it, yes.” Crispin leans toward her for a moment. “An Irishman has a steadfast sense of tragedy which sustains him through temporary periods of joy.” He smiles as he leans back resting against the arm of the sofa. He is practically lying down.

Lyla is now very interested in what Crispin has experienced and how he lives his life. She finds herself becoming compassionate towards him and she is no longer threatened. It bothers her that he may experience horrendous physical and emotional pain time after time. Maybe that is how he justifies the monetary gains. It is payment for services rendered.

“How many like you are out there?” She sets up straight. “I have no idea, not many. I guess you could say we are a dying breed,” he laughs at his awful choice of words but quickly becomes a bit more serious. “I do know I am the last in my family.”

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 319) End Of Life

Crispin pauses for a moment then turns around and slowly begins to walk over to where Lyla is. She is sitting on her knees, rolled up like a ball, holding a pillow tightly. She is as far to the right side of the sofa as she can get and is cautiously watching as he approaches.

“When an individual is passing, the pain I feel depends on what their fate brings, everyone is unique.” He pauses in front of her, “May I?” He holds his hand out asking if he may sit on the sofa beside her, she nods yes. Crispin sits with one leg bent and the other off the sofa as he faces her straight on.

“My ancestors were touted as being spirits of death and grim reaper’s for they were usually present at the time of death. Quite often, many days prior to an individual’s demise, they would take the form of the ill. It was necessary to ease end of life pain. Other times it was to assist in last minute preparations to assure the life was complete and to avoid leaving unfinished business behind. Hence, they were tagged as a twin or as your friend Marcus would say, a doppelganger. In my case, since I am of Irish heritage, I could very well be labeled as a Fetch.”

“Fetching the souls of the dying.” states Lyla. “Correct.” Crispin nods as he looks down.

Excerpt 319

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 318) Does It Hurt

“I was actually beginning to feel like I knew you. Even my vaguest memories told me that we had. . . some sort of bond.” Lyla says as she looks down. “We do, Lyla.” States Crispin as he stands up. Lyla quickly responds by moving from the floor to the sofa, still clutching the pillow in front of her like a security blanket. Crispin’s arms go out to his side once again. “I’m just going over here to stoke the fire. Please do not be afraid of me.” He says delicately as he slowly turns his back to her.

If ever she had an opening to run, now is the time and Crispin practically expects it. To Lyla’s own surprise though, she stays right where she. Her need to learn more, along with the new knowledge of things Crispin has shared, oddly enough has her feeling sorry for him. “Does it hurt?” She asks softly.

“Does what hurt?” Inquires Crispin as he pushes the wood around on the grate. Large embers fall through to the ash collecting beneath it and smolder before sinking deeper and burning out. “Death. . . when someone is dying, do you feel pain?” she looks up at him, he is still facing the fire but turns his head to the side slightly as he answers.

“It depends.” He does not elaborate. “On what?” she quizzes.

Excerpt 318

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 317) His Worth

Crispin is speaking the truth. Penny was unhealthy and the excitement she was constructing that night was too much for her. She had witnessed Crispin’s abilities to duplicate others and once she realized he was a double of Marcus, her heart could not take the anxiety. Crispin did stay with her and took on her fear and pain as she passed away.

He looks out at the dark foyer of the house. The wind and rain is slowly dying down and the frogs in the pond begin to sound calling out into the night air. He can tell at this point that Lyla does not have any memories of what transpired between them as they danced at the party so many months ago. She has not mentioned the moment he followed her, openly changing from himself to other individuals in the room. Nor does she seem to remember what occurred between them in the attic. To him this is actually good for if the memories of those last few hours return now, she may never speak to him again.

He knows his hasty actions that night caused more hurt and anguish than what should have been. Actually, he is embarrassed that his handling of the situation got so out of control. It became negative, to the point of ruining what could have been the beginning of a wonderful thing between him and Lyla. He lost her trust and knows the only way to win her back, is to prove his worth.

Excerpt 317

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 316) Words Bite

Lyla’s words bite into Crispin because he knows he and Quinn have journeyed down a darker path than those who traveled before them. They have indeed utilized their skills for personal use to gain properties and goods. At this time, he finds it best to leave this information buried, for he is not proud of this aspect of his life. Knowing he is hiding many facets of the truth, Crispin continues with his explanation.

“I go where I can be of assistance.” He says as he looks over at the fire. “The last couple of generations, let’s just say things have changed through the years to where I can prosper quite nicely by utilizing my skill.” He says this in what seems to be a cold way then looks over at Lyla; she too is staring into the flames of the fire.

“What did you gain from killing Penny?” she asks. Crispin sees the fire reflecting in her tear-filled eyes. Before he can answer, Lyla continues. “Marnie said I brought death here, she was right, I did. I brought you here.” Lyla looks into Crispin’s eyes and her tears begin to build.

“I gained nothing from Penny’s demise. She died of cardiac arrest and I happened to be here at the right time.” He states calmly. He does not elaborate that his annoyance of her meddling ways may have expedited her fate. “She did not feel much pain, I made sure of that.”

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 315) Gift Or Curse

“Lyla, this is going to be incredibly hard for you to understand, but I need you to hear me out. I have a gift, or a curse, depending on how you look at it.” Crispin lowers his hands as he talks. “I have the ability to assist the dying.” Lyla watches him without saying a word. “I can take away much of the pain a person feels as they are passing.”

“What are you saying? You’re a ghost?” questions Lyla as she wipes a tear from her eye. “No,” says Crispin, “I’m not a ghost. I am a man with all the same feelings and emotions of any other man. I just have the ability to take the place or to duplicate others at will.”

“That doesn’t make any sense.” Lyla says as she places her hands over her face. “You’re talking about fairy tales and folklore. Things like that are not real.”

“Where do you think the stories originated?” states Crispin. “I’m simply following in my ancestors footsteps in using the skills I was born with.”

“I don’t recall hearing story’s where someone gets rich off the death of others as being a gracious thing.” She replies.

Excerpt 315

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 314) To Fabricate

Nearly in tears, Lyla thinks about the ugliness of the phantom that attacked her in the kitchen when she found her cat locked behind the little door. The episode was so terrifying it caused her to faint and now she finds out it was Crispin all along! “Why did you attack me in the kitchen? I felt like you were taking the life out of me!” She says angrily and frightened at the same time. “I passed out and you just left me there!”

“No, Lyla. That wasn’t me.” Crispin is still sitting back with his hands out to his side. Again, he is confused about what she is saying for he never did this to her. He knows it will be hard enough for her to understand what he is about and next to impossible to explain Quinn’s role. He tries to fabricate an excuse to sway her from the subject.

“I’m very sorry, I never meant to frighten you and I certainly did not lock your cat away.” He says as he makes his plea of innocence.

Excerpt 314

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 313) It Was You

Crispin knows he cannot divulge that he now realizes Marnie was actually a double, played out by Quinn. It is too complex for most people to comprehend even he himself was a fool to the old man’s trick.

“The night Marnie attacked you, I was merely holding her back, not anything else.” He says calmly. “I was protecting you.”

“No, that day I saw something in your eyes just like now. There was a flash of light, or something.” She says as she points at him. “The dark apparition or phantom or whatever that is that has been following and taunting me is the same! It is you! All this time it was you!” She says forcefully.

This puzzles Crispin because he has not been following her in shadow form or appearing to her as such. He knows Quinn has been against his pursuit of Lyla, but now he realizes just how insubordinate his elder has become.

Excerpt 313

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 312) I Promise

Suddenly, Lyla sits up pushing herself back until she bumps hard into the sofa. This is an attempt to get as far as she can get from Crispin without running out of the room. “Oh my god! Why didn’t I realize this earlier? You were here that day weren’t you? You pulled Marnie off me! I remember your eyes!” She grows tense.

“No, Lyla please, you don’t understand.” Crispin says as he sits up, careful not to approach her or appear threatening in any way. Holding the pillow tightly in her arms Lyla looks like a frightened child. “You are confusing the facts. Please hear me out. I promise I am not here to harm you or anyone around you.” Crispin sits up with his arms out to the side of his body as if he is being held at gunpoint. “I promise.”

The rain outside has picked up and water is gushing off the roof faster than the downspouts can handle. Flickers of lightening send bright flashes of light in through the windows of the dark house. At times, this creates a strobe light effect to the room. Lyla is petrified as she sits on the floor facing someone who could very well be there to kill her. Realizing this, Crispin sits back showing that he is not a threat.

“So it was you?” she asks. “Yes, it was me.” Replies Crispin. “And you know I didn’t hurt anyone, I simply saved you from an attack.”

“Marnie was screaming in agony!” Replies Lyla.

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 311) What Are You

“I wish I had been there for Penny.” Lyla places her hand on the quilt between them and closes her eyes.

“Did you ever think it was just Penny’s time? That no matter where she was or what she was doing or who she was with, her life was ending?” Crispin asks as he places his arm around Lyla pulling her slightly closer. She does not pull away nor does she say anything. “Would it help to know she was not as alone as you may think?” He questions. Lyla opens her eyes.

“Not alone? How so?” She asks as she puts her hand on his arm. “She was found in my garden, alone and under debris from a tornado.” Lyla stops abruptly and pulls back slightly. She saw something in Crispin’s eyes just now that is hard to explain. It was bright like a spark. Was it simply a reflection of lightning? She looks up at the window but no thunder sounds. A look of dread covers her face and she slowly asks, “What are you?”

“What do you mean?” he asks hurriedly now fearing she is remembering things too quickly and will refuse to listen to anything else that he has to say. He knows he must make his statement and explanation as fast as possible before Lyla panics.

“Your eyes, they flickered.” She says with nervousness as she begins to pull away. “Wait. . .” starts Crispin but Lyla jumps in. “Just the other day, Marnie was warning me that a certain man, with green eyes has come back to town and she said he killed Penny and she thinks he is now after her! She kept saying he was going to kill me next!” Lyla points to herself and stops talking as her entire body becomes still.

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 310) Least Said

“I remember I was supposed to dance with you.” Lyla reaches out placing her hand on Crispin’s shoulder as he nestles back in place beside her. “And you did.” He states softly as he leans in closer to her. “I held you close, like this.”

He pulls on the quilt, which easily slides on the wooden floor, pulling her towards him. She puts her hand on his arm to keep herself from falling backwards and he holds her at the waist. The deep attraction between them is electrifying as they lie there fighting back the urge to kiss. Time seems to have stopped.

“So remind me again why our friendship ended.” Lyla says almost at a whisper. They are within inches of each other.

“Ahh, least said soonest mended.” Crispin grins at her. He does not want to discuss it at this moment and realizes this is going to be difficult. Mostly, he is afraid she will reject him immediately and he does not want what is happening right now, at this moment, to end.

“No really. What happened between us?” Lyla touches the side of his face with her fingertips as she looks into his eyes. Crispin takes a moment to respond. “Let’s just say it was due to misunderstandings and hasty decisions on my part,” He states flatly, as he gently brushes loose strands of hair from Lyla’s face. She closes her eyes in response to his touch.

Excerpt 310

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 309) Waiting

“Marcus and I came in around the same time, do you remember?” Crispin asks as he glances at the window. Another flash of lightning brightens the room followed by deep thunder. Lyla rolls over on her side as she watches Crispin pour the last of the wine into their glasses. He hands her glass back to her, as he lies down next to her, this time even closer than before.

“You did, didn’t you? I remember that!” she points her finger at him. “Marnie had been at the front door for hours waiting on. . .” and she stops. “Yes?” questions Crispin. Lyla just looks at him oddly then continues. “She was waiting on you.” She says almost as a question. “Why was she waiting on you?” She looks at Crispin then rolls on her back again. “Oh, I remember. She had this major crush on you and she latched onto you as soon as you arrived. Did you know that about her?”

“I knew she was in need of attention, but not just from me. Marnie strikes me as the type that needs everyone’s attention.” He replies. “Yes, you know what? You are right. She thrives on being the center of attention, but I feel terribly bad for her now. I don’t know that she will ever be the same.” Lyla rolls to her side again to look at Crispin and they both finish off their wine. He takes her glass and stretches up as he places both on the table.

Excerpt 309

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 308) Leading Her

The wine is almost gone and Lyla is feeling exceedingly receptive to Crispin. Lying on her back, holding a pillow, she is looking up at the ceiling and starts talking about the night of the party. Little does she know that Crispin is leading her down this path.

“I love when it rains, the smell of it in the air and the sound of thunder rumbling off faraway.” Lyla smiles as she says this then, Crash! Another clap of thunder shakes the ground. “Oh, not like that, those are too close. I’m talking about the ones when you see the heavy clouds coming in and the wind shifts. You know what I mean?” She questions as she turns her head sideways on the pillow to look at Crispin.

“Yes, I do.” He is unwavering in the attention he is giving her.

“It started raining the night everyone was here. Things started off so nice, people I had not seen in years were here. Penny was doing her party thing in the kitchen and everything was going pretty well.” Her voice trails off. Crispin gets up and stokes the fire, then places a large log in the middle of the flames. It hisses like a snake and small puffs of smoke escape as the aged wood settles under the weight of the recent addition.

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 307) Restoring

As the evening progresses, Lyla is finding it easier and easier to confide in Crispin. He is being very open with her, has a calming demeanor, and is extremely attentive. She actually remembers him being this way before and begins to recall how much she enjoyed his companionship.

However, she feels as if there is something about him that is just out of reach and she cannot quite put her finger on it. As she stares at him, he does not waver as he looks directly at her. Their connection to each other is very strong. The firelight is flickering brightly as they lay on the quilt conversing.

Bang! Another clap of thunder echoes throughout the area as rain now starts to shower the windows. Little by little, Lyla’s memory is restoring and she does not quite realize it. Crispin is doing all he can to help in this process for he knows the more she remembers and understands, the more open to the truth she will become.

Excerpt 307

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 306) Undermining

“You frightened me earlier, right after the vase broke.” Lyla turns her head to look at him. “Thank you for the lovely flowers by the way. I don’t know if I ever said thank you.” She is feeling the relaxing effects of the wine.

“How did I frighten you?” he lays his head on the stack of pillows as he watches her. “You’re going to think I’m nuts, telling ghost stories and all.” Says Lyla as another clap of thunder shakes loudly. “But I’ve been seeing this dark figure of a man. The first time was in Madrid, he followed me to my hotel. At first I thought it was just my mind playing tricks, but now he is here too.” Lyla lies back closing her eyes as she talks. “When you were waiting for me in the foyer, you looked just like him. Same height, weight, build. . . and eyes.” Lyla stops and lifts her head to study Crispin’s face for several seconds.

“What is it?” He asks. Lyla hesitates before she speaks. “You look as if you’re angry.” She says honestly. Crispin is surprised at how easily she is picking up on his emotions when he is so very careful and skilled at hiding them. She is right, he is indeed angry for he now has proof that Quinn has been undermining him and attempting to frighten her.

The evening he was here at Lyla’s house when Marnie attacked her, he strongly felt something was amiss. Just now, it has become clearly apparent as to why the episode was so powerful. It was Quinn all along. It is obvious he has been appearing to Lyla and Marnie as the dark specter and worse yet, attempting to make it look as if he, Quinn, is Crispin.

With Quinn in Spain believing Crispin is home in Ireland, this may be Crispin’s only chance to set things straight. First, he must gain Lyla’s trust and remind her of the passion that had ignited between them.

Excerpt 306

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 305) Mirror Her

“Are you alright?” Crispin asks with concern. “Yes, I was just taken off guard with the thunder, guess we are in for another stormy night.” She fluffs a few of the throw pillows and lies down on her side resting her head on her arm as she watches him. “I was going to go looking for you.” She says without hesitation.

“In the rain?” He asks as if to play dumb. “In Spain.” She quickly replies and then laughs at their rhyme. “Were you?” Crispin asks as if this is news to him.

“Recently I was starting to remember things and mixed in with it all was you. Then I found the files I had on your company, the website, what little I had on you personally, and I put two and two together.” She laughs. “Guess I’m a super sleuth.”

“Yes, I suppose you are.” He smiles as he places the various foods back into the wooden bowl and sets it on the coffee table. This leaves an empty space between them.

“I feel as if I truly know you, but I don’t.” Says Lyla as she rolls on her back. Crispin stands up to add more wood to the fire. “I’m comfortable around you, but don’t know if I should be. Wow, now I am starting to sound like my friend, Marnie. Completely confused!” Crispin sits back on the quilt and lies sideways to mirror her, leaving only one foot of space between them.

“I need you to be.” He says. “Like Marnie?” she laughs as she glances at him. “No.” Crispin replies as he grins. “I need you to be comfortable around me.”

Excerpt 305

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 304) Yes And No

As Lyla confronts him about Destry’s family, Crispin looks away. He expected this from her because she is a strong willed individual and he knew the taking of the vineyard would come into play in their conversation. He also knew she would not agree with the process.

“Was I involved in helping you do such things?” She asks. “Yes and no.” Crispin replies as he hands her the refilled glass of wine. “You helped me set up meetings and various ways to communicate. You have to understand, we were only around each other for a very short time.” Crispin looks very solemn at this point and Lyla is not sure if she should continue with this conversation or ask him to leave. He then looks at her in a very endearing way.

“You and I quickly gained mutual respect and admiration for each other and there is more to Ms. Boucher’s transaction than I can share at this time. However, I can tell you our offer was very generous.” He does not elaborate any further and Lyla does not push the issue. Thunder rattles the windows causing Lyla to jump from the sudden sound.

Excerpt 304

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 303) A Challenge

“You followed me all the way here, from Madrid?” Clearly, Lyla is staying on track with this topic. Crispin tips his head sideways and grins that his ploy to change the subject was not successful. “Yes, I cannot and will not make any excuses or lie about my motivation. I am only here because of you, Lyla.” He is very serious and his gaze is strong. Lyla is unsure of how to take his audacious response. She peeks at him quickly then looks away and they sit together in their own thoughts for several minutes. “I. . . why do I feel like that should scare me?” she questions, breaking the silence as she sets her empty glass on the warm hearth of the fireplace.

“I never want to frighten you, or cause you to doubt my true feelings.” He replies and can tell this is only confusing her more. “Lyla, there are things about me that I would like to help you understand. However, I do not know how to go about explaining it all to you.” He drinks down his last little bit of wine then pours more for them both. Lyla listens patiently. “Maybe now, here tonight is not the time, maybe not even tomorrow. But very soon I want the chance for you to hear me out and to not jump to conclusions before I finish what I have to say.” He is very serious.

“I know Destry Boucher.” Lyla says almost as a challenge. “Yes, I realize this.” He replies as he sets the wine bottle down. “I’m not so sure that I agree with your tactics.” She states, now obviously confronting him.

Excerpt 303

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 302) Reminiscing

Crispin is now bracing himself for a more serious conversation. As this evening wears on, he knows he runs the risk that Lyla will remember the good with the bad and refuse to discuss anything further with him. He knows that as more details become clear, she may send him away and out of her life forever. Thus, he must be very precise and handle this period of reminiscing delicately in order to obtain the outcome he desires. After all, he does not like to lose.

“Marnie keeps talking about green eyes, and of someone sinister returning to our town.” Lyla says and then pause as she thinks about Marnie stating someone wants to kill her. She looks at Crispin then slowly leans back. She feels as if he is looking into her inner being. “So, why are you here, in town?” she asks now with a hint of concern in her tone.

“I followed you.” He responds boldly as he continues to watch her. Lyla looks away nervously and Crispin knows he must change the topic quickly. “And if I’m not mistaken, Marnie is quite an intrusive person. Wouldn’t you agree?” After giving his question a little thought, Lyla answers.

“Well, when you put it that way, yes she can be.” She slides back on the quilt to lean against the sofa. “You followed me all the way here, from Madrid?”

Excerpt 302

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 301) Matched Foe

“Do you remember much about that night? The night of the party I mean?” Crispin asks knowing good and well that if she did, she would not allow him to be sitting here now.

“No, I honestly don’t and it bothers me. I lost a close friend that night and another of my friends has all but gone insane because of it.” Says Lyla as she grabs a few grapes out of the bowl. “Marnie is the latter of the two. Ever since the party she has been acting odd, talking about ghosts, death and dying, and of someone watching her. Just this week she has slipped so much that she has been locked up now for a few days.” Lyla says as she shakes her head in disbelief.

“Really?” questions Crispin as if this news interests him and it does. He raced in to protect Lyla the day Marnie attacked her. Now he realizes why it was such a battle, there is only one other person that could have been such a matched foe. It is clear that Quinn has been playing games that he should have been wise enough to avoid.

“Do you know her?” asks Lyla. “Marnie I mean?”

“I recall some things about her, yes.” He replies. He is not at all expecting to divulge anything that transpired between Marnie and him the night of the party. It was all he could do to refrain from disposing of her, permanently. To him, she is one of the most arrogant self-indulged individuals he has ever crossed paths with in his lifetime.

“So you were here the night of the party then?” Lyla asks again as she leans forward looking into Crispin’s eyes. “Huh, you have green eyes.” She states.

“Yes.” He states as he leans toward her slightly.

Excerpt 301

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