Chapter 22

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The last few days had been crazy. Finally, being with Grayson's family was wonderful. Then the attempt on my life. I had no idea who it was. Tonight, we had gone to the Center for a meeting. Everyone was there. Only a few people were missing who had been out of town. So, with the whole group accounted for, Grayson and I walked around the room together and personally spoke to each person. There were about 54 altogether. Jack had called a meeting to explain to everyone what had happened. He also made it clear that the culprit had to be one of our own. There was no other possibility. No one could enter the compound. This place was tighter than Fort Knox. Everyone agreed to be spoken to and that they would be on the lookout for anything suspicious. Our people stuck together. We were a family. Something like this was not tolerated.

After talking to every single person here, Grayson and I determined by their emotions that no one here was responsible. Most were worried for me. Some were angry that this had happened. But everyone was willing to help. I felt loved and appreciated. Something I had been missing for the last three years. My parents would have been proud of our people for their concern.

Back home, we once again slept on the couches, facing each other and holding hands. His touch was comforting. I knew nothing bad would happen to me here. I could still feel his anxiety over what happened to me. I tried to reassure him that I was fine. The security was excellent. We had nothing to worry about. He put his hand on my cheek and looked into my eyes. "I can't lose you again." He expressed.  "You won't, as long as we are together. I've been thinking a lot about what happened. Your touch saved me. I should have died from an injury like that. But our combined healing ability worked on me. You saved me. I don't think I could die from any injury as long as you can touch me."

Grayson thought about that for a moment. I could tell he was really contemplating what I had suggested. "Do you think we could be immortal?" he asked. "I really don't know. But its possible. If we could continue to heal ourselves, I don't see why we couldn't be." We eventually fell asleep talking in our heads. The soothing feeling of his voice and his presence always helped me rest. No wonder I could hardly sleep when we were apart the last three years. I had been spoiled by him. 

The next day, I was ready to go back over to my house and get some of my things. Grayson's family insisted I stay with them until this guy was caught. I didn't argue. Grayson and Holly both came with me. It was so strange being over there. All the memories of my parents were sitting there, as if nothing had happened. My Dads favorite chair sat empty in the living room. One of my paintings was over the fireplace. Mom's bookcase, full of recipe books, was still in the kitchen. My art room was the same. Filled with paintings of sunsets, snow covered mountains, and Grayson. I had forgotten about these. I took some of my supplies with me back to their house. I felt anxious while we were there because of what had happened to me the last time. But I soon realized that there was no murderous man in my house and if there was, Grayson would stop him.

After looking through my old clothes, I realized that I had pretty much grown out of them all. I was shaped like a woman now. When I left, I was just a girl. I would need to do some shopping. I grabbed my pillow, a photo album, and some jewelry my parents had given me. That was all I really needed for now. I would deal with everything else later. Holly had made sure everything I needed was in my room at their house when I arrived.

The next couple of weeks were uneventful. Things slowly went back to normal. I slept in the guest room at Grayson's house. He gave me access to the bank account he had set up for me from our app earnings. He wasn't lying about there being plenty of money. More than I could ever need. I used it to buy myself some new clothes in my size on the internet. Security collected packages that were shipped here. We had no need to worry about anyone coming into the compound.

One couple returned from a vacation and we met with them privately. They were completely shocked by what happened. They clearly weren't involved. There were just a few other people not accounted for. Jack, Grayson and the security team tried to figure out who had done this. There were no fingerprints left behind. I was losing hope that we would ever find him.

Grayson and I decided to start planning our Bonding ceremony. I remember dreaming about it when I was young. It was a huge deal for our people. We Bonded forever. There hadn't been a ceremony since Grayson's parents, I believe. Because we were born for each other, everyone knew from that moment we would be Bonded. But the Bonding ceremony sealed the deal. People who weren't born with a bonded mate could choose to marry one another. But it wasn't the same. It was more like a regular wedding. Those couples didn't experience telepathic communication and they couldn't have children. I was always sad for those who weren't born with a mate. There were only a few among us.

The ceremony was extremely extravagant. The parents of the Bonded couple would start planning from the time the couple were born. I knew in my Mom's room there was a large box that held many special items she had saved or made for our ceremony. Grayson's Mom had done the same. Everyone would attend. It was the most anticipated event of the century. Our people took this special bond very seriously. It was the only way for us to survive. But I worried that our child wouldn't have a bonded mate. Every other bonded couple had already produced their one child. Our whole society could end with us.

Grayson and I both wanted the ceremony to be a little simpler. But his parents put an end to that conversation right away. We would follow tradition, they insisted.  We decided it wasn't worth the fight. I would have to suck it up and be the center of attention for a day. After, we would go on our honeymoon. For us, the honeymoon lasted a month. One luxurious month away from everything and everyone. I couldn't wait. That would be the best part. Alone time with Grayson. I could have him all to myself.

While all those preparations were under way, Grayson and I discussed our next app. He was brilliant. I just hoped my contribution would be helpful. Working together again like this was so fulfilling. We complimented each other in every way. I can't imagine what it was like for him when I was gone. Even though my life was hard, at least I didn't know what I was missing. I didn't remember my deep and unbreakable connection to him, our bond. But he had to go on, knowing that a part of him was absent.

Holly and I went to my house one day to look in the wedding box. I was nervous and excited. I didn't know what kind of treasures I would find. What memories of my Mom I was going to see for the first time. I opened it with apprehension. Holly held my hand for a moment to give me strength. Grayson was of course feeling my emotions from his house. I received a steady flow of encouragement coming from him.

I finally looked inside. There was a small box on top of many wrapped layers. I opened that first. It held diamond earrings along with a note. I read it with tear filled eyes.

My precious Amber. You are finally ready to bond with your beloved Grayson. I am writing this today, just after you turned ten. I know that this boy, now certainly a wonderful man, will take care of you and love you like your Father and I do. He was made for you. The perfect partner and companion in every way. He adores you, and you him. No other couple has truly ever been created for each other like the two of you were. I don't know exactly what amazing things your future holds, but I know it will be remarkable. More extraordinary than any of our people could ever imagine. Your bond is indeed a special one. More powerful than we have ever seen. I believe that you and Grayson will one day lead our people.  Don't dismiss the idea outright. I know you don't like to be in the spotlight. But I believe there is something you and Grayson will do together that will save us from extinction. Your love will heal us. I love you with all my heart and am so proud to be your Mother. I wish only the best for you and your future.

Love Always, Mom

I was outright balling by the end of the letter. I handed it to Holly for her to read. She didn't seem surprised by the sentiments enclosed. She said she agreed. But how was I supposed to save our people from extinction?

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