Excerpts from The Open Channel
“You still haven’t told them anything about it, have you,” Francesca said flatly as the bedroom door closed overhead.
“About what?” Kat studied the tablecloth.
“Spare me, Katerina.”
“It never comes up.”
“What do you mean, ‘It never comes up?’ Don’t your children ask how you two met?”
Kat squarely met her gaze. “Of course they do. And we tell them the truth, that we met at Angel Café.”
Francesca’s arm dropped to the table with a thud. “That’s a mighty edited version of the truth.”
Stephen’s eyebrows lowered. “Damn it, Frannie!”
“Shhh!” Kat pointed toward the ceiling.
He sank into a chair beside his wife. “What the hell are we supposed to tell them? That we were introduced by Demon Dating Service?”
“God brought you together.”
“Absolutely. But the rest of the story is –”
“The rest of the story is the truth, Stephen. You can’t deny it simply because it’ unpleasant.”
“Unpleasant?” His mouth twitched. “Try terrifying.”
Kat put a limp hand to her forehead. Her right temple was beginning to throb. She was getting entirely too many migraines these days. This confrontation was not going to help in that department.
“Okay, Aunt Frannie. So we’re weenies. We don’t know how to tell our daughters that, once upon a time, their parents battled evil spirits. Maybe it won’t be so hard to discuss when they’re older. In the meantime, it’s over. What’s the point in dragging it all up again?”
Francesca leaned forward, eyes flashing. “It is not over, Katerina. That’s the point.”
Kat’s stomach did a double flip. She must have looked as ill as she felt, because Stephen was instantly beside her, his arm wrapped tightly around her shoulders.
“Frannie.” A pleading note crept into his voice. “Don’t do this to us. What we went through fifteen years ago was enough weirdness to last a lifetime.”
“What you went through was a reality that few ever see. How the two of you can close the door and walk away is unfathomable.”
“We had to!” Kat said fiercely. “Life goes on. We got married. We had children. Not everyone can afford to check out of physical reality. Not all of us can just take off for Europe when the edges get rough at home. Some of us have to stay behind in the trenches and muddle through daily life as best we can!”
Francesca flinched. Bulls-eye.