I sat down on the step, cradling Mollie to me. She couldn't be gone, but she was. Another reaper had taken her soul.
"Fucking rogues," I whispered, touching her cold cheek gently.
"What?" I heard Joe ask.
"Nothing. Call an ambulance."
"But her soul is gone," he said.
"Don't you think I know that?" I snapped at him. "Call an ambulance. Her body still lives, though not for long if she isn't on life support within the next half an hour." He still lingered, frozen in place. "Do as your told, Joe. Call the bloody ambulance. Tell them she collapsed, fell down some stairs and won't wake up."
He finally moved. I didn't listen to his rushed words, simply looking down at Mollie.
"This is my fault, Mollie, I'm so sorry. I should have stopped you. You didn't actually tell me what you saw, either," I whispered to her.
"What do you mean?" Joe asked. I hadn't even noticed that his phone conversation had stopped.
I didn't answer for a moment. "She touched my scythe."
"You let her touch it?" he demanded.
"Of course I didn't, you fool. I was asleep. I think she got up for a shower."
"She spent the night with you?"
I didn't answer. He knew the answer to that question and was only looking for confirmation.
"When will the ambulance be here?" I asked.
"They said about five minutes."
I nodded silently.
"You love her, don't you?" he asked quietly.
After a moment, I nodded again.
"It's forbidden though, isn't it?"
"Why do you think I haven't told her?"
He didn't reply. In the silence between us, I could hear the distant sirens getting louder. A little while after that, I heard the door down on the bottom floor burst open and the paramedics rushing up the stairs. I stood and turned around to face Joe. I passed Mollie into his arms.
"Go with her in the ambulance. I need to get my things," I said quietly.
After a short moment, he nodded. He sat down with her. I looked at her face for a little while longer.
"Don't let go of her hand," I said to him before running up the stairs.
"Wait, how will you know where we are?" he shouted up to me.
I stopped, looking down the stairs at him. My eyes rested on Mollie's face. "I'll know."
I carried on up the stairs. I knew how Joe felt about her, and it drove me mad to think that I was leaving her with him, but he would take care of her. He knew her better than I ever could, and that hurt a little but I pushed all feelings away.
As I burst through the door, onto my floor, I walked quickly down to my apartment. The door was still open, like I'd left it when I'd followed Joe. I walked in with a single aim, get my robe and scythe and follow Mollie to the hospital.
I pulled the robe on, jerking the hood up. I picked up my scythe. Looking at it for a moment, I sighed. This was what had caused Mollie to run out. Bloody magic-infused metal. I turned around and saw myself in the mirror that hung on the wall on the other side of the room.
I don't know how long I stood there, looking at myself. It was probably only a minute or two.
I suddenly had an idea. If I could talk to Death, he might help me get her soul back from whatever rogue had taken it. I held out my scythe horizontally. I focused on getting to Limbo. As I felt the magic begin to accumulate, I prepared to travel across the dimensions.
I heard the clatter of falling wood and the resonating sound of metal as it crashed to the ground. I felt my knees go out from under me, and I fell. That certainly wasn't normal, quite the opposite in fact. I put my hands on the ground in front me, struggling to my feet.
I saw a hand reach down and pick up my scythe. A hand appeared in front of my face, offering to help me up. I hesitated for a moment before allowing myself to be pulled up.
A kind, sad smile greeted my eyes as I straightened up.
"Liam," I said breathlessly.
"Ryder, what have you been doing?" he said sadly as he handed my scythe back. "Falling in love with mortal women? Very unlike you. Did you think we would not find out?"
"How?" I murmured, trying to catch my breath.
"Why can't I...?"
"Get to Limbo? Death knows, Ryder. He knows about the girl and your feelings for her."
"Oh," I breathed.
"Yes, Ryder. He has abandoned you."