"There." Annabelle snaps the second set of stitches with her teeth and packs her sewing stuff away in the box. "That's the best I can do."
She flops onto the bed beside me with a smile and takes my hand. Funny how the little things she does mean so much. Bring me back as close to alive as either of us are likely to get.
"You saved my life, Luke."
I shrug my good shoulder. "Not really."
"Yes, really. I mean, I know we're dead already, but I remember what Ma Robbins said. He would have blown my head off and sent me straight to hell. You stopped him. You took the bullet for me."
I shrug again. Yeah, I did do that but I couldn't have stood there and let him shoot her. I look into her eyes again. Never to see her? To know what kind of place I'd let her get sent to? And the grin the Peacemaker would have had on his face at sending her to hell? No. I ain't gonna let that happen to her.
She's still smiling at me. Hell, girls have never smiled at me, except when they were laughing at me. Maybe this being dead ain't so bad.
I lean forward. I don't know what I'm doing, but I want to try this. What's the worst that can happen?
So I kiss her. I don't know what it's meant to be like, but I've imagined it often enough. Dreamed about it sometimes. Her lips are cold, but they're soft and she doesn't pull away. Instead her arms go round my neck and she pulls me closer. And for a few minutes I forget that we're both dead and there's a big black shadow and a madman after us, and that we've no idea how to get out of this. Because Annabelle is kissing me, and suddenly that's all that matters for the next five minutes of my death.