Logan knows he's different from everyone else. Forced to uphold his end of a bargain, he seeks out souls trapped in our world, helping them to pass to the next life. The men he serves however begin to make their true plans known as loves from the past and the present force him into inner turmoil.
Will he triumph in the face of such adversity? Or is he doomed to remain alone and ever watchful of the human world for all eternity?
In the prestigious house owned by one of the few rich families left in the city, Louise Collins had suffered through several hours of labour. A rag had been hastily shoved into her mouth to dull her pained screams for her child had been conceived out of wedlock. If not for her good name, the girl of no more than twenty would have been left out on the streets, penniless and unwanted.
Her parents had desperately wished to have the baby she carried killed before word spread and tarnished their name. But Louise had refused; threatening to throw herself out a window before any harm came to her unborn child. Not completely heartless, her parents had complied, though their previous loving relationship would never be the same as it was before.
Josephine, a young midwife sworn to secrecy about the birth, brought over the bundle of cloth, unwrapping it with shaking hands. Louise took one look at the unmoving infant and burst into tears, her hands flying to her face. â€œPlease, take him away,â€ she wailed through her fingers, muffling her voice. â€œI canâ€™t bear the sight of him anymore. Please donâ€™t make me look.â€
The midwife nodded, wrapping the baby up once more. She left the room, shaking her head. She knew all too well the feelings that now overwhelmed the poor girl. Countless births she had overseen had led to this end; the mother usually not coping to well, some even losing the will to live. Too many times sheâ€™d seen the horror in their eyes as they stared at their dead child, watched their faces contort in sadness and anger.
Josephine set the baby down on a table in the adjoining sitting room. Soon someone would come to clean him, dress him in nice clothes before trapping him in the earth for eternity. She shook her head again, trying to rid herself of such thoughts. Even after seeing this many times, it still bought tears to her eyes and a sadness to her heart for mother and baby.
She hadnâ€™t noticed the presence of another person until he loudly cleared his throat, causing her to jump. She turned slowly to see a man not much older than herself, sitting in the corner of the room. He was dressed in a grey three-piece suit with a white silk shirt underneath. A neat darker grey sailor knot tie and polished oxford shoes completed his dapper look, a proper gentleman of high society.
He held an open book in his hand, which he quickly closed and returned to the bookshelf beside him. His hazel eyes instantly went to hers, a deep tone of seriousness probing into her with that single look. The young woman found her cheeks colour as he continued to gaze at her in an almost sensual manner. He finally broke the gaze, quickly pushing back the black hair that has slipped over his forehead. He sighed, rising and coming towards her in two long strides.
â€œIs this him?â€ he inquired, inclining his head in the direction of the table. All she could do was nod while his powerful gaze fell on the baby as if willing it to come back to life.
â€œYou are?â€ she finally asked, his eyes drawing back to her. Josephine suddenly became aware that this man was someone unknown to her and she had no idea what he planned to do. For all she knew, he might have come to kill them all.
Suspicion filled her as the stranger laughed quietly, extending his hand to her. She took his hand in a firm grip. â€œRichard. Iâ€™m an old friend of the Collins, basically family. Iâ€™m here to take care of the baby, get him ready to be buried. Louiseâ€™s mother asked me personally to take care of it.â€
â€œOh, of course.â€ Josephine stepped aside and let him examine the body. Anger overtook her as she chided herself for thinking otherwise. There was no way this beautiful man could really do something so awful.
She couldnâ€™t look as he removed the blankets, working with quick but careful movements. Her thoughts began to drift and she focused on his face, marred only by the small wrinkles around his eyes. No doubt these were from years of laughter rather than aging. Such an enticing gaze from those eyes that it made her almost wish she wasnâ€™t married already. She quickly rid herself of such thoughts, cursing the handsome stranger before her.
â€œCould you please leave the room?â€ He requested, his gaze not leaving the baby. â€œI work best alone.â€ Taking the hint, she quickly left without another word and closed the door behind her, cheeks still coloured. Josephine welcomed the distraction as she beheld her next task.
Back in the bedroom, Louise was huddled on the bed in a ball, blood soaking the sheets a crimson red. Sheâ€™d stopped crying but gave off small whimpers every now and then. â€œHe didnâ€™t want him, you know?â€ came Louiseâ€™s voice, ringing through her sobs.
â€œThe father.â€ Louise sat up, wiping her puffy, red face with the back of her hand, smearing blood over it like war paint. She looked so frail and defeated in that moment, a wounded solider whoâ€™d given up all hope. â€œI was quite heavily pregnant when I finally worked up the nerve to tell him. The night I did he beat me, screaming and yelling insults.â€ She sniffed, looking up at the midwife for the first time. â€œI knew he was dead but I had held onto that small shred of hope that he would make it.â€
Finally, she broke down again, throwing her head into her hands. The midwife made a move towards her; to wrap her arms around her, hold her while she wept. But as she stepped away from the door, a sharp cry rang in the air.
A babyâ€™s cry.
Compelled by what she heard, she burst into the room to find Richard holding the tiny infant. He bounced him gently in his arms, speaking softly and trying to calm his crying. The midwife covered her mouth, not daring to take a step closer. â€œButâ€¦but he was dead. I checked his pulse, he wasnâ€™t breathing.â€
She remained routed to the stop; unable to move even as Richard drew closer, holding the baby out to her. â€œHe was dead, for a time that is.â€ he explained, slipping him into Josephineâ€™s arms. She clung to the child as if he were a lifeline. â€œSomething got lodged in his throat and he couldnâ€™t breathe. If I didnâ€™t come when I did, we would have lost him.â€
â€œButâ€¦butâ€¦â€ she stammered as Richard turned her towards the room where his mother still lay crying. She just couldnâ€™t comprehend all this. Never in her ten years as a midwife had she ever seen a child bought back from the dead. But the proof lay in her arms, snuggled against her chest, crying softly.
Josephine shuffled forward, Richard giving her an encouraging push. â€œBetter tell his mother the happy news,â€ he smiled. â€œIâ€™m sure sheâ€™ll be as overjoyed as I am that he will live.â€
The midwife could never know the true meaning of his words and probably never would. As Josephine left with little Logan, Richard gave a sly smile, quickly retreating to the world he had come from.