New Winslow S7E7

“It’s really hot out,” Olivia said. “Can you at least come in and have some water before you start planting all of those? Maybe eat something. Are you hungry?”

Noah looked from the nursery’s worth of plants in his truck bed and on the ground beside it, then back to her. He shot a wary look at Andrew, but then to her relief, he nodded. “Yeah, sounds good. Actually, yeah, I could eat.”

He followed her inside, Andrew trailing slowly like he was in a daze. The deep concern and relief were warring in Olivia so fiercely right now that she barely had it in her to feel bad for him about what had just happened.

“It looks great in here, Liv,” Noah said, looking around the living room like he didn’t see it nearly every day. “You do this while I was gone? I like the colors.”

“Um, thanks,” she said.

“I can get my own drink, go lay down,” Noah said. “Baby’s going to be up any second.”

The baby was actually happily playing with blocks in her bedroom. But the words were still frozen in Olivia’s throat.

“Oh shit, Cleo’s here?” Noah exclaimed as he stepped into the kitchen. “Hey! Wow, it’s been so long!”

Unlike Andrew, Cleo got a warm greeting and a tight hug as she looked over at Olivia, then squeezed Noah. “Where have you been?” she asked him.

“Just Home Depot,” Noah replied. “I got some flowers for the front yard, I’m going to go plant them in a few minutes.”

“Have some water first,” Olivia insisted.

She looked at Noah’s sweaty, overheated features as he looked around the kitchen, then took a glass over to the sink. As he was drinking, she hurried over to Cleo. “Something’s not right,” she whispered. “It’s like he doesn’t remember…I’m not even sure.”

Noah wiped some water off his upper lip, which Liv suddenly realized was clean shaven. He’d gotten rid of his entire beard while he’d been gone. He then put the glass in the sink and picked up a peach from the fruit bowl on the counter. “I’ll wash the cup in a bit,” he said. “I’ll be outside.”

“Wait,” Olivia said. “Um, stay for a little while.”

“Are you okay?” Noah asked. “It’s too hot for you to be out in that heat. Not right now.”

He put a hand to her forehead again, and she tried not to flinch. He looked the same as always, eyes warm and deep with concern as he looked at her. “You’re a little hot,” he said. “Tell you what, I can take the baby tonight if you want. Just show me where the formula is here. You need to sleep for a while.”

She could feel Andrew’s eyes on them. “Noah,” she started, her heart hammering in her chest. “What’s the last thing you remember?”

“Um, going to Home Depot?” he said, taking a bite of the peach. “Why?”

“What about before that?”

Noah thought for a moment as he chewed. “No idea,” he said finally, too lightly. “Sorry, I’ll be right back.”

Noah set the fruit on the table and ducked into the bathroom. As soon as the door closed, Olivia looked at the other two. “He needs to go to Dr. Degas,” she said. “Something is very wrong.”

“Should we bring him to the emergency room instead?” Cleo asked. “I mean, if he’s not remembering anything, then…”

Olivia grimaced. “Yeah, but I think Dr. Degas would be the better option. I just – he was on suicide watch before. I know this is a completely different situation, but…”

“True,” Cleo said. “Alright, I’m going to call her. You get him in the car.”

Cleo seemed totally in control at the moment and Olivia knew that it was all the time dealing with her mother’s memory problems. But judging by the way her hand shook as she pulled out her phone, that wasn’t going to last long. Meanwhile, Andrew was still standing in the doorway.

“Hey, it’ll be alright,” Olivia said to him as the bathroom door opened and Noah came out, drying his hands on a piece of paper towel. He looked uncertainly at Andrew, then to Olivia.

“Alright, I’m heading out to get that done,” he said, sounding so ordinary that she desperately wanted to believe it.

“I’m going to call Dr. Degas,” Cleo said.

“That’s a great idea,” Noah said, smiling softly at Olivia. “She’s great, she’ll get you fixed up, Liv.”

Everything hurt as she looked at him. He was alive, a relief she hadn’t had this morning. But this was deeply wrong. She turned to Andrew. “Do you mind-” she started, but he nodded.

“For the best,” he said hoarsely. “I’ll keep Mia here.”

Olivia went to the basket to get her keys and Andrew was still standing there. But as Noah wandered into the living room, he turned to her. “Liv?” he asked.


“What do you mean, he was on suicide watch? When did that happen?”

Oh no, Noah hadn’t told Andrew. She briefly considered going into the living room, kicking Noah, then coming back to have this conversation. Andrew looked like he was moments from dying as he looked at her.

“I can’t…” she started, feeling like a total asshole. “It’s not mine to tell.”

He looked devastated, but nodded. “We’ll stay here,” he said.

“Are you okay?”

“Of course,” he lied.

She didn’t have time to do anything else but go into the living room. Noah was gone and her heart lurched until she noticed him standing in the front hallway, looking up the stairs toward his own apartment. “I need to get on that,” he muttered to himself.

“Come on,” she said, forcing herself to smile. “We’re going for a ride.”

“Oh yeah? Where are we going?”

“We’re going to go see Dr. Degas.”

“Are you sick?”

Maybe it was a breakdown of some kind. He’d need rest and care and be back to normal after a little while. It was just a block, something keeping him from thinking about the past few years. Even if things were tangled. “What’s up there?” she prompted.

Noah frowned, then laughed. “Spiders,” he answered. “Where’s the baby, have you had her yet?”

He was alive, that was the first step. And she’d keep reminding herself of that for as long as she needed to. She put a hand on his back and steered him out the door, where Cleo was on the phone with Dr. Degas.

“She says bring him in,” Cleo said as they got into the car.

She took the keys from Olivia without a word and Liv got in the backseat with Noah, whose knees were pressed into the passenger seat. He looked out the window placidly, as though they were just going to the general store or something.

“Liv,” he said. “You’re not working tonight, right?”



Up front, Olivia could see Cleo’s face in the rearview mirror. Her expression was stony as she focused on the road a little too hard and Olivia knew exactly what she was thinking. She wanted to comfort Cleo too, but there was nothing she could say right now.

“Noah, where were you?” Olivia asked him.

“Home Depot,” he responded yet again. “Just getting some plants for the yard. Oh, I need to fix that front step too. My dad is going to notice it immediately when he comes over. I’m not fucking dealing with that lecture.”

He laughed easily, leaning back against the seat. Noah had bought the duplex with money he’d received after his father’s death. But that had been early during Olivia’s pregnancy and about five months after his father died. So Noah’s timeline didn’t make any sense if his father and Mia were both a part of it. But the hardest part of all of this was how happy he seemed. Even with his hostility toward Andrew, it was like the minute Andrew wasn’t there, he was his old self, the one he’d been slowly getting back to since he quit drinking almost a year earlier.

“Hey, Liv,” Noah said softly, and he reached over and brushed away a tear she hadn’t even felt falling down her face. “It’s alright. Dr. Degas will help you. Are you worried about the baby?”

“Mia’s two years old, Noah,” she said.

He smiled at her, but said nothing. Part of her, the desperate part, wanted to tell him his father was dead and snap him out of this. But as though she read Olivia’s mind, Cleo caught her eye in the rearview mirror and gave a small shake of her head before looking back at the road.




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The Northern Worcester County branch of the Foundation for Paranormal Research is one of the organization’s top investigation and cleanup teams. So when a case comes in involving a century of mysterious disappearances, they figure they’ll be done before their lunch break is supposed to end. Investigators James and Amelia go to the site while their coworkers remain behind. But in seconds, Amelia vanishes in the cursed house and the others are forced to find her with no help from their bosses. Will they be able to get her back or will the house claim one final victim?

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