::This brings us to the last chapter of 'Church Bells'. I hope you enjoyed this Browning Sister story and helped you learn a bit more about what makes Grace and Serra tick. Coming up, we have the sequel to 'War' called 'Vengeance' which brings us back to Winchester Ranch. I hope you stick around...I've got plenty more where that came from. I just hit summer break and I will be able to write whenever I damn well feel like it. Come along for the ride.
Let me know how you liked 'Church Bells'! Leave a comment or a review. I love hearing what you think. Stay tuned for 'Vengeance'!
love and internetty hugs,
It had been two days since arriving back in Lawrence and Grace had hardly spoken to anyone. She hadn't been called to substitute since they had been home and the guilt and stress of killing Stephen weighed heavily on her, so secretly, she was happy to not have been called. Serendipity tried her best to throw herself back into the routine of the week, but worry about her sister plagued her mind. She had no idea what to say to Grace to convince her that they did the right thing, and the idea that Rufus had turned his back on them didn't set well with either one. They hadn't depended on him by any means, but knowing they had other hunters to call when things got bad was mildly comforting.
Serra got home late one evening and dropped Grace's car keys on the table, calling out her sister's name. "Grace?" she shouted to the dark and empty house. "You upstairs?"
She waited, but there was no reply, so she shrugged and headed towards the kitchen, hoping to find some sort of sustenance. It wasn't until she caught a glimpse of Grace's brown leather purse and cell phone on the counter, that she began to get worried. It wasn't like her sister to just leave without her phone or telling Serra first where she was going.
Serra hesitated long enough to lick her lips and glance around, but she picked up the phone on the countertop, flipped it open, and dialed the one number that she was still familiar with.
"Hey, Angel," Billy's familiar voice answered on the other end. "How you holding up?"
"It's Serra," she answered. "And not so good. Grace isn't here and she left all her stuff. Have you talked to her?"
Billy's demeanor changed entirely. "What do you mean she left all her stuff?" he asked, leaning forward on his stool, listening hard.
Serendipity shrugged. "I don't know, Billy," she replied. "I just got home from the restaurant where Grace used to work. They hired me as a washer. But she's not here. The house is dark and all of her stuff is still here."
"When's the last time you talked to her?"
"This morning when I left for work."
Billy closed his eyes and thought a moment, running his hands over his salt-and-pepper beard. "Head over to the Catholic church in the middle of town," he said quietly. "The evening mass bells will be starting soon."
"What does that have to do with anything?" Serra asked, turning to look at the clock in the back of the living room.
Billy smiled lightly, "You know a lot about your sister, Little," he sighed. "But you don't know everything."
"Yeah, alright," Serra muttered, rolling her eyes. "She's okay though?"
"Most likely," he replied. "Gracie's learning how to handle things. The church bells help."
Serra shrugged and said, "Yeah, alright. But I'm calling you back if I can't find her."
"You do that," Billy smiled.
Grace's car stalled as Serra pulled up in front of the Catholic church that was about three miles from their house. She shook her head, muttering to herself about clutches and gears and how she missed her Acura as she slammed the door to the Toyota.
Approaching the holy building quietly, Serra could see the candles that illuminated the inside of the church flickering from the stained glass windows. Avoiding the crowd of people that filed into the open doors, Serendipity jogged silently towards the back where the gardens of the church were. There, just as Billy predicted, was Grace, sitting silently on a bench in the middle of the rose garden with her eyes closed and her legs folded underneath her.
Without saying a word, Serra approached her sister and sat down next to her. She reached out and took her hand, holding it with both of her own, but Grace still kept her eyes shut. As she took a breath to speak, the echo of the bells interrupted Serra; ringing through darkness as the mass began. She closed her eyes and listened, sitting quietly next to Grace.
After the night stilled, Serra took another breath to speak, but changed her mind and simply sat, still holding Grace's hand. Grace took the opportunity instead, and with her eyes still closed, she said, "I'm fine, Serra. I'm just…"
"Dealing," Serra supplied.
Opening her eyes, Grace nodded slowly. "Yeah," she answered. "Being an adult is hard."
Serra cracked a wry grin and stared up at the stained glass. "Yeah," she agreed, "but you're really good at it."
"At least I'm good at something," Grace replied.
"You're good at a lot of things. I just might be better."
Grace chuckled and glanced at Serra, rolling her eyes, "You wish."
"Billy says that after two weeks, we probably don't have anything to worry about," Serra explained. "You think he's right?"
Shrugging, Grace put her legs down and stretched as Serra let go of her hand. "I don't know, but I can tell you one thing, Luck."
"We're only dealing with real life for the next few months. Maybe even years. No hunting, no friends, no men. Just get our shit together and keep our heads down."
"I'm not agreeing to no men."
Grace lifted her eyebrows and tilted her head. "Yeah, alright. Just no men that we might have to kill. I'm not digging any more holes."
"Deal," Serra stood and offered her hand to her sister. "Can we get out of here? The bells creep me out. They're judging me."
"Shut up," Grace smiled, taking her hand. "They're comforting when they're the only thing I can hear."
Serra rolled her eyes as they walked together out of the rose garden. "You've got some issues, big sister. Makes you sound a little crazy."
"Only because I've been dealing with you my entire life." Grace reached for the keys as they headed for her red Toyota hatchback. "And stop stalling my engine. You're gonna wreck the transmission."
Serra rolled her eyes as she got in the passenger side. Hesitating, Grace smiled to herself as the final church bells chimed into the night reassuringly and she knew, deep in her soul, that both she and Serendipity would be fine.