The car stopped short as they saw the small yellow cottage, or what was left of it. It wasn't so much a yellow cottage anymore. In fact it was more like a black skeleton then an acutal home.
Black and yellow police tape surrounded the distraught scene. Belle and Dimitri practically jumped out of their car, they approached the first officer they had come across.
"What happen here?" Belle asked the plump officer in front of her, her gaze fixed on the black skeleton of the cottage.
The officer didn't seem to hear her as he waved her off. "I'm sorry ma'am, this is a crime scene. I'm going to have to ask you to leave the premises," he gumbled at the two, he had enough paper work to fill out back on his desk and he did not want to fill out trespassing papers as well. He waved over to two other officers nearby, telling them to escort the pair in front of him back to their car. The other officer's nodded in union, they took ahold of Dimitri's and Belle's arms, pulling them forcibly to their car.
"Hey! You can't do this! I have the right to know what happened here. This is my brother's house! I want to know what's happen here!" Belle yelled angrily at the plump officer as she was being carried off by another officer. She scratched her feet across the ground, hoping to gain some dead weiht to the officer would drop her and she could retreat before he caught her again.
The plump officer held up his hand, causing the other two to let go of Dimitri and Belle. Once the pair had arranged their clothes in their rightful positions, the plump officer spoke to Belle. "You are Ms Belle Hawkins?" he asked her, pointing a stubby finger at her.
"Formally, but yes," Belle confirmed as she re-adjusted the strap of her dress over her shoulder once more. "My brother, James Hawkins and his former wife lived here. Now I'd like to know what happened here, and if my brother is alright."
The officer took a moment to process Belle's words, then his face turned grave. "I'm sorry to say, Ms Belle," the officer started as he took of his blue police cap in respect. "But your brother has seemed to perish in the fire."
Belle took a step back, holding a small hand over her O shaped mouth. "No, not Jim too," she choaked as tears glazed her eyes. Dimitri wrapped a strong arm around Belle's tiny shoulders, holding her firmly.
"I'm afriad so," the officer said, turning his gaze to the ground. They stood in a moment of silence, respecting Jim's death. "I'm sorry for you loss," the officer confirmed as he replaced his cap back onto his thining hair. "You said his wife lived here to?" the officer questioned, they had only found one body amongst the chaos.
Belle was too shaken up to speak, so Dimitri spoke for her. "Yes, Ariel. But she was murdered a couple of months ago, his in this very cottage."
The officer's eyes glazed over with recognition. "Ah yes, the red heads case, I remember. I was apart of that case," the officer said with a small smile. "I'm sorry, but we still have not found the murderer," the officer finished, his smile fading once more. "She seemed like a nice girl, and to be pregnant at the time of your murder is a tragedy. I promis, we will find the murderer," the officer promised.
Dimitri took the officer's hand and shook it firmly. "Thank you," he said retrieving his hand once more.
"Was he.....was her murdered?" Belle asked, looking at the officer silently pleading she was wrong.
"No, your brother was not murdered,'' the officer said, sooth Belle's fears, but what he said next didn't make her feel any better. "He caused this himself."
"Suicide?....M-my brother?" Belle asked in disbelief.
"I'm sorry, but yes," the officer confirmed with sad eyes. "Oh an this was left for you," he said, pulling something from his coat pocket. "It was the only thing in the firs safe." He handed her a small envelope, her name was written across it in the cursive writing of her brothers. Quickly, she ripped it open, unfolding the little paper inside with shaking fingers.
"I guess your brother wanted you to have it," the officer commented as he watched Belle read the small letter. "Tell you what, we can re-build the cottage, furniture and all if you like," the officer offered with a smile. The poor girl had gone through so much, he could see that. First loosing her sister inlaw to a cold blooded killer and now loosing her brother in suicide, the least he could to was restore the small cottage for her.
Belle read the letter, her eyes glazed over with unshed tears. She rested a hand on her shoulder with a small smile. "No thank you," she rejected the offer politly as she folded the paper once more, and placed it into her dress pocket. "Knock it down," she said, taking a look at the skeleton nearby.With that one last look, she retreated for the car, Dimitri not that far behind her.
Jim's ghost moved from his sister's shoulder, he held it the entire time as se read his letter. Now the two spirits watched as the officer Belle and Dimitri had been talking to, called the council and knocked down their old home.
"What did you wright in the letter?" Ariel asked as Belle walked through her invisible ghostly form in persuit for the car.
Belle stopped short before the car as a chill ran up her spine. She turned back the way she came. She faced Jim and Ariel's sprirts, even though she could not see them, she knew they were there watching her. A smile formed on her lips as she waved at them before making her way back to the car.
Jim smiled as he waved back to her, knowing all to well she couldn't see him. "The letter said," Jim said to Ariel, but did not face her. "‘Dear Belle. I stood by the door awaiting you as mother gave birth to you in the hospital so many years ago. I cannot tell you how excited I was for getting a baby sister. I swore I would protect you the moment you were in my arms. I still keep my promise. But forgive me for what I have just done. By the time you read this I will already be gone. But know this little sister. I am here holding you should as you read this letter. I will always be there. If you are in pain, hold your shoulder. If you are confused, hold your shoulder. When you give birth to your first child, hold your shoulder. For I will always be there, holding your shoulder when you need me most. I’m sorry I left you so soon. But do not worry about me. Go live your life with Dimitri (don’t kill him if you have already found out Ariel’s true death. He is a good friend). Do me this one favour. Be happy, have a family like I could have. For now this is where we pass ways as brother and sister on earth. But I will be waiting for you when your time comes. For now Belle, farewell best wishes. Yours truly, James P. Hawkins. Oh and by the way knock the house down for me?’ that’s pretty much it.”
Ariel smiled and looked up proudly at him. "You are very kind Jim," she commented. Jim smiled form Ariel's comment as he watched his sister's car drive down the narrow dirt raod for the last time.
"It was all I could write for her to understand," Jim said, pulling her towards him.
"Well, it seemed to work," Ariel said, taking his pale hand in hers.
"I guess," Jim said with a small smile. "Now, let's go live our ghost lives together shall we?" he chuckled, bringing her face to his.
"I thought you would never ask," Ariel said with a smile. The two shared a kiss, one of many more to come. And that's what the spirits did, they lived their lives with their only child. But that's another story......