The night shrugged past AJ as he sagged in the doorway, invading the empty house and insuring no comfort for him, even in this protected sanctuary. Without Ara as a life-force, filling everything she touched with spirit, the building sagged with indifference.
AJ lit a lamp, moved to the kitchen, where he stopped. Here, Ara had been most powerful. Here he could still feel vestiges of her magic. AJ smiled finally, breathing in those fragments of happiness. He allowed himself five whole minutes of peace before he blew out the lamp and invited the night to cover all traces of Ara. He wouldn't stay much longer either. Without her, only the forest held his heart.