She had loved. And she had lost.
Dayna Stone had lost her husband eight years earlier when their daughter, Khloe, was only four months old. She had survived the devastating loss of her husband, only to find out she’d likely lose her daughter as well to cancer.
Eddie Kringle is captivated by his beautiful neighbor and her equally beautiful daughter. Born a Magi, Eddie has issues coming to grips that Magi magic cannot cure the child, though his father, Kris, is more than capable. He and Dayna lean on each other as the days pass.
They grow closer and a bond is formed.
A tragedy befalls them on Thanksgiving. Can their love, and the intense love they feel for Khloe, be the miracle they are looking for?
As Eddie turned the corner of the alley he used to return to his human form, he stopped abruptly.
A woman with sunny, blond, straight hair walked out of the first floor apartment located beneath his apartment. A child, perhaps seven or eight, bounded out behind her.
If it weren’t for the cotton candy pink shorts and matching sleeveless top complete with ruffles, he would’ve assumed the child was male. She had no hair. Only a fine blond…fuzz, for lack of a better word.
He approached the metal steps that lead up to his second floor apartment. Mr. Barkley, his landlord, noticed Eddie and waved him over. Tired from his magical excursion, he wanted nothing more than to go upstairs to his air-conditioned abode. Feeling trapped, he walked toward the threesome.
“Ah, Eddie. May I introduce you to Dayna Stone and her daughter, Khloe?” Mr. Barkley said.
Up close, the woman was a stunner. Dayna’s hair hung in long layers down her back and shined like silk in the setting sun. Her alluring face was angular and her jaw square, with a mouth that was slightly wide but full and lush. Eyes the shade of green with flecks of gray sparkled as she smiled.
“Eddie Kringle,” he said and waited for the usual questioning look that accompanied the mention of the Kringle name.
A soft giggle came from behind Dayna. Khloe was hiding behind her mother’s legs. Eddie assumed she was shy.
“You mean like Santa Claus?” Khloe asked, her voice angelic and innocent. Her eyes, identical to her mother’s in color, possessed experience beyond her years.
“No relation to the big guy,” Eddie responded, the lie coming smooth as silk from his lips. He went through this more times than he needed to count. For reasons unknown to him, he absentmindedly put his given name on the apartment application. Usually, he used an alias. Sure, he could have used his magic to change it and wipe the memory from Mr. Barkley, but that was forbidden by Magis. It was strictly taboo for his kind to meddle in the ways of humans. Eddie and his brethren could cure diseases, influence memory, and make humans do as they wished. But that wasn’t their way.
Those who possessed magic were the Magi, powerful mystical beings. The same Magi who followed the Star of Bethlehem to locate the Messiah upon his birth. The Magi had passed their powers down through the centuries to both their male and female offspring alike. Kris Kringle and his kids were such children.
Khloe walked from behind Dayna, and Eddie took the opportunity to examine the young girl. Something about her hair gave him pause. She’d suffered an illness, and the fuzz atop her head gave him his greatest clue.
The child had or still had the disease, and his heart sank. She was only a kid who should have her whole life ahead of her. On a guess, Eddie figured she’d gone through chemotherapy, which meant the cancer could have been in a more advance stage.
Eddie clenched his fist. It wasn’t right and it wasn’t fair. He had been gifted with perfect health, impervious to injury or illness.
As should a child.
“Is something wrong, Mr. Kringle?” Khloe asked, as she swung from front to back of her mother’s legs, an act of innocence that angered Eddie even more.
“Everything is fine. Are you and your mommy renting the apartment below me?”
“As a matter of fact, we are, Mr. Kringle,” Dayna answered. “I just signed the paperwork with Mr. Barkley. The location of the apartment building is right between work and the hospital.”
Dayna’s eyes, twinkling moments earlier, dulled as something quelled their liveliness. A frown, however brief, turned her mouth downward, but she soon recovered, and a weak smile returned.
Eddie almost questioned her regarding the hospital comment but thought better of it. Would he want to tell an utter stranger about his daughter’s condition? If he had a daughter…with a condition.
A thought crossed his mind. There appeared to be no male in the picture. Maybe he worked away from the family or they were divorced. Yet another question wanted to leave his tongue, but he stopped before he made a butt of himself.
They’d be neighbors. There was plenty of time to get to know each other.
His gaze fell to Khloe.
He only wished he’d have plenty of time to get to know her.
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About the Author:
I live in South Central Pennsylvania with my husband and daughter. My son serves his country in the US Navy.
My parents instilled a love of reading into my brother and me at an early age. I’ve been known to have my nose buried in a novel.When not writing, I’m watching television. Most likely sports or shows like American Pickers, Wheeler Dealers, Rizzoli and Isles, or Major Crimes.