I have another Halloween treat for you—a ghostly excerpt from the second Summer Park Psychics novel, Whispering Hearts.
The spray bottle mentioned below is filled with salt water for disrupting spirits.
Man, I write creepy romances 🙂
(THE SUMMER PARK PSYCHICS, Book Two)
Copyright © 2016 Cassandra Chandler
All rights reserved – a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. Publication.
Rachel put her free hand against his chest. Her voice was shaking. “Garrett, please.”
“Where are you going, Rachel?” a voice said. Another whispered, “Where are you going?”
Rachel’s heart lurched at the sound—at the low, even tone of the women’s voices—vaguely familiar. Three people in the hallway. Five voices.
Garrett looked stricken as he gazed down at her. Rachel struggled to appear at least a little bit calm.
“She’s your mother,” he said.
Rachel cast one last glance over her shoulder at the woman who had given her life and then proceeded to make it a living hell.
Lillian stiffened her spine, getting ready to light into them again. “I will not be spoken to in such a disrespectful manner in my house!”
Garrett opened the door and tugged Rachel’s hand. “How about in your yard? Because we’re heading outside and if you want to follow us and keep being a royal bitch, you’ll have to come along.”
Rachel wished she could laugh at the scandalized expression on Lillian’s face. But all she could think about was getting away.
“Where are you going, Rachel?” The voice was in front of her.
She ducked behind Garrett and quickened her pace, almost stepping on his heels as he led her down the front walkway.
She was reminded of the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice. Garrett was braving the underworld to bring Rachel back to the world of the living. She had a feeling Hades was kinder than Lillian.
Rachel kept her gaze on her feet and softly chanted, “Don’t look back. Don’t look back.”
She matched Garrett’s pace until she felt the heat-soaked asphalt nearly scald her legs, burning her feet around her sandals. She walked a little faster.
He led her to the far side of his car, into the green grass along the verge of the road. How long since she’d breathed fresh air?
He set down her suitcase, then dug in his pocket for his keys. The car beeped as he hit the button to unlock it. He opened the back door and set her suitcase on the seat.
“Let me help you.” He lifted her backpack from her shoulder.
He stared into her eyes and she knew they weren’t talking about her bag anymore. He set it in the car and closed the door without looking away.
Her heart had been thumping like a jackrabbit since he asked her to come with him. The thumping turned to thunder as she realized he was still holding on to her hand. His grip was tight, as if he was afraid she would slip away.
She had tried. Tried to stay out of his life—to leave him alone so he could find a nice normal woman to settle down with. But every time she thought he was moving on, something happened that brought them back together. Like now.
Looking back at the house, she saw her mother standing in one of the front windows, arms crossed and condescending smile firmly in place. Hopefully that smile would fade when she realized that Rachel wasn’t coming back. One way or another, she was never coming back.
Rachel stood a little straighter, determined to leave with her head held high. She tried to compose herself while staring at her mother—Lillian—before turning back to Garrett.
The sun glared off the top of his silver car, blinding her for a moment. The car’s window reflected back the palm trees behind them, the open sky and white clouds above…and the two dead women standing over her shoulders.
Blonde hair, blue eyes. Michael had a type.
“Where are you going?”
For a moment, Rachel could only stare in shock. Both women were gaunt, their skin absolutely white, which made the dark circles under their eyes stand out like livid bruises.
The spirits lifted their arms for her to see. Their wrists were mangled, bloodied and torn in the same places Rachel’s had been.
Michael’s victims. Two of the spirits who had begged Rachel not to kill him.
“I’m sorry.” Rachel closed her eyes tight, tears spilling down her cheeks. Hearing the women Michael had killed was bad enough. Seeing them was unbearable.
“Hey,” Garrett’s voice was so gentle it hurt. She felt him dust his knuckles over her cheeks, wiping away the tears—even though more quickly followed. “There’s no reason for you to be sorry.”
“You have every reason to be sorry!” One of the ghosts shouted right next to Rachel, a blast of cold hitting the side of her neck.
Her eyes snapped open as she pulled away from Garrett, lifting her spray bottle. He held up both hands and backed away as if she was holding a gun.
She wanted to laugh, but knew she would sound hysterical.
“Didn’t we suffer enough, Rachel?” one of them asked. “You barely suffered at all!”
The other said, “We told you what he did to us. We warned you not to kill him.”
Rachel tried to ignore the voices. She knew she must look crazed to Garrett. Taking action would only make things worse.
“You killed him anyway. You let him reach us,” the first one said.
Rachel shook her head and tried to cover her ears without setting down her spray bottle.
“Rachel, what’s going on?” Garrett asked. “Talk to me.”
A voice hissed into her ear. “But now we can reach you!”
Icy cold pressed against her wrists and around her neck. The spirits hadn’t figured out how to cause real damage yet. But they were trying.