Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lacey's Bliss Threatened

Another glimpse of Lacey trying to maintain her status quo ...

At first she’d questioned her sanity, but it hadn’t taken long before Nicholas’s welcome presence was as real as anything in her life. As real as life itself. The despair of losing him had lost its cutting edge. The nightmare that began on the night he was gunned down, at the mere age of thirty, while working undercover for the Laurelwood Police Department had come to a close. When he’d first appeared to her, Lacey had been eager to tell Sterling all about him. But he’d explained that Sterling wouldn’t see him. No one but she would, not even Tyler, because only she needed him. So she’d been living this secret life, fearing that if she divulged her secret, Sterling would think she’d gone insane. More than that, she felt in her gut that discussing his presence would trigger his departure. The cosmos had some strange rules, and she was vigilant not to break this one.

Brought out of her reflection by the sound of car horn nearby, she realized Nicholas’s remark was part of a developing pattern he’d been presenting lately, and she wanted to nip it. “Jackson Carter is a snake who comes from a long line of snakes. I want nothing to do with him.” Initially she’d felt self-conscious about talking to Nick in public, but he’d suggested that most people didn’t notice because they were busy with their own thoughts, and she’d found out he was right. She glanced at the passenger side and smiled. “How long have you been watching, Nick, my love?”

“Long enough. I wanted to see Tyler off. But stop changing the subject.” He set his eyes, the color of crystal blue quartz, on Lacey. “Tell me about Jackson.”

Her heart clenched. “I don’t want to talk about him. The only two men in my life are Tyler and you.” She wanted the traffic driving by to distract him but she suspected his attention was elsewhere.

“You forget, I’m dead. I’m just a ghost. I can’t even keep you warm on a cool summer evening.” The wind flowing in through the open window lifted strands of Nick’s ash-blond, wavy hair. His face turned to savor the breeze, and he looked every bit alive enough to Lacey. “You make me happy. It’s as simple as that.” She reached for Nick’s hand. He took hers in his, brought her fingers to his lips, and brushed them with a kiss. She savored the feel of his lips, never taking his very solid presence for granted.

“You deserve more, Lacey. You’re young, you’re alive. I’m not. Not in the same sense you are.”

His pressure on her to consider different options than the perfectly lovely and satisfying one she had with him made her stop breathing. “Stop.” She let out her breath as she turned into the parking garage across the street from the Aegar Investigations office. “You are alive. Just not in a way anyone would get. I do. And I get you. And if that means I get you as a ghost, as you put it, I’m grateful.”

“Okay.” He rubbed her cheek and gave her an easy smile. “I’m not going to complain about being with you as much as you like. He turned away and disappeared—to wherever it was he went. But Lacey felt more than knew that Nicholas was holding something back.

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1 comment:

E.L. F. said...

I'm not sure I would ever feel comfortable enough to chat with a ghost in public OR private, lol. Thanks for the excerpt and the giveaway!

elewkf1 at yahoo dot com