After an uneventful day at the hospital, I caught up on some badly needed sleep. Good thing because I had to get up early to help Logan through physical therapy. For the last six weeks, I'd been assisting with his outpatient recovery. My involvement was more than simply cheering him on. Every Tuesday and Thursday I met him at the rehab center, my special energy shake in hand.


Of course, the drink was actually a healing potion from the Book of Light. I hadn't exactly mentioned its magical properties to him, afraid he might forgo the benefits, but in this case the ends justified the means. I'd noticed a marked improvement over the last several weeks.

I filled a sports bottle with the elixir from a pitcher I kept in the refrigerator. The stuff was foul-hunter green and smelled like feet. I'd told Logan it was wheat grass. If he suspected anything, he'd never let on.

Warily, I backed down my driveway. There was only one way to get to Logan's physical therapy, and it required passing Rick's place. As expected, my caretaker was brooding in the middle of the road.

"You're going to see him," Rick accused. His breath fogged the glass of my window. I pressed the button to roll it down.

"We've been over this. I'm a nurse, and Logan's my friend. I'm helping with his recovery. That's all. I promised him I would, and I intend to see it through."

The line of Rick's jaw hardened and his eyes bled to black. "I don't like it. He wants you Grateful. He always has."

I popped my chin into the air. Jeez. Rick's jealousy hadn't dulled at all over the last six weeks. Tough cookies. I wouldn't go back on my word. "Then I suppose you'll just have to trust me."

"It's him I don't trust. I take care of what's mine."

I rolled my eyes and leaned away from him. "You don't own me." I wanted to add that we weren't even exclusive, but I was afraid it would start an argument that would make me late. As it was Rick looked like he wanted to punch something.

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I rolled the window back up.

St. John's Rehabilitation Center is attached to the hospital, a state of the art facility with physical therapy, massage, and acupuncture. When I walked in the front door, Logan was already in the waiting area, his cane propped against his leg. Thinner than he had been as a ghost, his physique had come a long way over the last six weeks. The outline of long, lean muscle was visible under his clingy athletic shirt. He'd shaved the beard he'd grown while in the coma, but left his hair a little longer than it had been in his spectral state.

His smile was the same as always. "Grateful, you came."

"Wouldn't miss it." I handed him the drink. When he took it from me, he grabbed the bottle right above my hand, engulfing my fingers in his. He didn't immediately pull the goods away. I retracted my hand and placed it safely on my hip. "How are you feeling today, anyway?"

"Good. Right hip is still giving out on me occasionally. I think another couple of months of this, and I'll be able to resume some normal activities."

"Another couple of months?"

"Yeah." He tipped back the sports bottle, and I watched green liquid slosh into his mouth. He squeezed his eyes shut against the taste and chugged.

I popped out a hip, my bottom jaw jutting forward in an exaggerated pout. "That's funny because I heard you're going back to work at Valentine's this weekend."

He choked on a swallow. In a fit of coughing, his hand lashed out to cover his mouth and knocked over his cane. Face red, he set the sports bottle down on the side table and really poured on the steam, hacking like a machinegun.

I raised an eyebrow. "Oh, and I also heard there's a welcome back party next Saturday night, that I wasn't invited to."

As if he could explain everything if only he could survive the siege on his lungs, he waved a hand dismissively. I noticed the eruptions from his throat becoming more controlled, even forced. The jig was up. I swiped his hand out of the air and leaned forward until our noses almost touched. He gave one last pitiful cough as my eyes dug into his. "Just admit it, Logan. You're better."

He dropped the charade. After checking over his shoulder to make sure none of the rehab staff were watching, he bounded from his chair and swept up his fallen cane before returning to his seat.

I gasped theatrically. "You little weasel!"

"Oh, please. You suspected as much all along. You've been playing the game as well as I have."

"What? Don't try to turn this around on me."

"No? You're innocent, eh? Just so you know, this energy shake tastes like ass." He picked up the green juice and poked a finger in my direction. "This ain't wheat grass, darlin'. You've been slipping me a potion against my will."

I pointed a finger back at him. "That was for your own good. And it wasn't against your will. You chose to drink it."

"I didn't know it was magic."

"Obviously you did, or we wouldn't be having this conversation."

"And obviously you suspected I was better because you've been pumping me up with healing juju the last six weeks. Jesus, I might never catch a cold again."

My jaw worked, opening and closing in a weak attempt to form a rebuttal. I composed myself, straightening up so I was looking down my nose at him. "You should be thanking me."

"Thanking you?"

At that moment, Miss Physical Therapist America passed by and gave me a harsh look. Really, who has a waist that long and thin without plastic surgery?

"Please, keep your voice down," she reprimanded me sternly.

Logan's eyes darted in her direction and he flashed her an overly charming smile followed up by a short wave. His eyes twinkled. Was that a dimple in his chin?

She smiled back. "Just a few more minutes, Mr. Valentine."

"No problem, Sally. And please, call me Logan."

"Okay, Logan. See you soon. I hope you're ready to work." With one last warm, flirtatious smile for him and a death stare for me, she continued on her way. I thought my eyes might roll out of my head.

Logan leaned toward me and whispered, "Did it ever occur to you that I don't want to be better yet? Huh?"

"Why wouldn't you want to get better?" I asked incredulously.

He startled backward, lifting an eyebrow at me like I was insane. His wide eyes said it all. I was temporarily taken aback by the vulnerability I saw there. Michelle was right. He still had feelings for me.

"You're afraid... of losing me." I swallowed the lump that had formed in my throat. "That's not going to happen, Logan. We're still going to be friends, right?"

"Sure." With a sigh, he leaned forward, propping his elbows on his knees. He rubbed a toe on the floor.


"It's not going to be the same. We won't have a reason."

"That's just silly. We-" I had to stop midsentence. He was right. Without the excuse of helping him through rehab, I wouldn't see him regularly. He'd be busy at the restaurant, and I'd have my nursing job and my responsibilities as the witch. Could we maintain a friendship? Probably. But I couldn't promise our relationship wouldn't change.

"Okay, Logan, I'm ready for you." Sally was back, her red curls bouncing over her perky shoulders.

He reached for my hand and used it, along with his cane, to shakily stand. It was very convincing.

"I'll bring your drink," I said, grabbing the sports bottle off the end table with my free hand. For the next hour, I needlessly assisted Logan through his therapy, while Sally cheerily guided us. When we were done, I pretended to help him to his truck.

"This is the last time I'm doing this," I said. "It's a lie. As much as I believe Sally enjoys working with you, it's practically insurance fraud."

"Yeah, I thought so." With speed and agility, he dropped my hand, pulled open the door to his black, half-ton pickup, and propelled himself into the driver's seat. He tossed me the cane. "So, ah, since I'm not going to see you for the next appointment, can you come to my welcome back party at Valentine's next Saturday?"

"Should I just forgive your dishonesty and unctuous secondhand invite?"

The charmer he beamed my way should've been illegal. It actually made my knees buckle. I had to use the cane. "Yes, you should, because if there's anyone in this world who understands the extenuating circumstances, it's you." One green eye winked at me. Jesus, he actually winked!

I groaned. "Okay, I'll see you then. But you owe me a drink."

"Excellent. See you then."

Before I could say anything else, he backed out of the parking space and was gone. I tossed his cane in the dumpster. Things needed to change. It was inevitable. What I needed to figure out was how much... and how fast.

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