Chapter Six: An Agreement

She put off introducing her brother to the ghost. A week went by, each day holding more misery for Annette as she dragged herself through class, and then went quickly to the tree at night as soon as all the lights were out in the house. Finally, Mark started to question her when he found her gone one night. She decided this to be the best time to finally introduce them to each other, and, as the night settled in, she got on her coat, and led Mark up to the hilltop.

Denny was there, waiting for them. Leaning against the tree, his arms crossed, he smiled when he saw the two. For now, with the moonlight shining on him, he looked real enough. And, staying as close as he was to the huge tree, Mark would not be able to tell that he was transparent.

Mark glanced up, and saw him standing there. He smiled, watching his sister run ahead, and finally caught up with them. "Hello. You must be Denny."

Denny nodded. "And you're Mark." He said. "It's a pleasure to meet you. I've heard a lot about you from your sister." He smiled.

Mark returned the smile. "As I have heard about you." He said. "I trust you're taking good care of Annette."

Annette elbowed him. "Mark!" She said with a blush. "He's not like that. He's a sailor. I told you before."

Mark chuckled, and nodded. "She said that you'd be willing to take her out sailing once she got her boat."

Denny nodded. "I would be delighted to teach her how to sail." He answered. "If, that is, you'll permit it."

Mark shrugged, looking over at Annette, and then back at Denny. "So long as you promise not to let her drown." He smiled.

Denny laughed. "I promise, I won't let her even go swimming without your permission." He said.

Annette rolled her eyes. "I can swim, you know!"

Both of the boys grinned, and Mark said, "We're just kidding. Sure, you can take her out on the boat." He smiled. "Just two more days."

Annette nodded, clearly excited for her birthday.

Mark looked over at the town below, seeing there was a light at their house. "Oh. Looks like Mother and Father are home. I should head back." He said. "Come home before sunrise." He told his sister, trusting her on her own, and when Annette nodded in reply, he headed off.

Annette smiled, looking up at Denny. "That worked out better than I thought it would."

Denny nodded in agreement. "Mhmm. Two more days." He chuckled. "How old will you be?"

"Seventeen." She answered, still smiling.

Denny nodded. "A year younger than me when I died." He said.

Annette looked at him. "That young?"

Denny nodded again.

Annette looked out at the water, where she had seen the ship drifting on the waves. "I'm sorry."

Denny smiled. "Don't worry about it, querida."

She looked over at him, wondering what that word meant. She knew it was Spanish, but for what, she wasn't sure.

He chuckled at her confused look, but said no more, and together, the two watched the stars twinkle and the moon drift across the sky.