“Ray,” I whisper.
No sound. The logs shift in the fireplace.
I go to the door and open it, then the second door. I look down the outdoor stairs and over the trees at the horizon. “Ray,” I call, but the wind has come up and it blows my voice to pieces.
“Ray! Ray! Ray!” Suddenly I’m hollering, because he has to be here. He must be; otherwise I’ve spent all that money and left my girls and come all this way for nothing.
I call his name until my voice gets weak. I go back inside the keep and lie down on the brocade couch. I’m overwhelmed by the purest sadness I can remember in my life—not like Corey, where the sadness was mixed up with guilt, responsibility—this is just loss. Pure loss. I know Ray is gone, and I’ll never see him again.