She’ll only discover her heart’s desire if she stops to listen.
When Rachel Montgomery killed the serial killer who’d abducted her, she knew her nightmare was only beginning. As a clairsentient, she could hear the ghosts of the women he had killed—spirits who discovered her secret while Rachel was being tortured.
Word is out, and every ghost in Summer Park wants Rachel to sort through their final business. And if she can’t help them find peace, they’ll settle for a piece of her.
Dr. Garrett Wolfstrom knows that Rachel is more than she seems. Her flakey persona is an act that he’s seen through time and again—to the caring, intelligent woman who stole his heart the first time they met. Their connection is beyond his understanding, but he’s sure she feels it, too.
After her ordeal, he opens his home to her, though he tries to shield his heart. The love and attraction they’ve been denying for years reaches a flash point just as Rachel’s ghosts catch up to her. And if they can’t open their hearts to what they truly want, the future they long for will be lost forever.
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Notice a different look for the covers on some of these pages? That’s because Whispering Hearts was originally released through my dear first traditional publisher, Samhain Publishing, Ltd. I believe you can still find print versions of the Samhain editions in the wild. The story itself is the same in both versions
(THE SUMMER PARK PSYCHICS, Book Two)
Copyright © 2016 Cassandra Chandler
All rights reserved
He shouldn’t push it. He knew he shouldn’t. But he was afraid she was reeling him in again. Telling him she felt safe with him, sharing that, then turning around and focusing on his medical knowledge…
It reminded him of when she had lived there before. One minute she’d say things that seemed to bare her soul, the next she’d laugh coquettishly and joke that she could never get involved with a doctor because it would make her mother too happy. She’d shut down or flit away.
The worst was when they’d be sharing a moment, and she’d abruptly start telling him about the type of woman he should find and settle down with. He already knew the exact woman he wanted to settle down with. He was looking at her.
“Is that it, then? It was just because of the credentials?”
“Of course not.”
She glanced up at him, but whatever she saw on his face must have been too much for her. She quickly turned back to her poppets, lips pressed tightly together.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have—”
She cut him off. “No. You have every right to…feel that way. I get it. I’m flaky and confusing.” Almost under-her-breath she added, “Especially for you.”
She lifted one of the dolls and started to gently fill it with cotton balls she had found in his bathroom and fluffed up to act as stuffing.
“A lot of things are going to need to change,” she said. “I realize that now. I don’t think I can play the ditz anymore. It’s outlived its usefulness.”
“You ever going to tell me what the use was in the first place?”
She set down the doll and gave him a calm, level look. “I hope not.”
“For a start, you wouldn’t believe me.” She picked up another poppet and stuffed it like the first.
Garrett smiled. He couldn’t help it. He wouldn’t believe her? That was rich. He shook his head and laughed.
“What?” she asked.
He tried to stop laughing. It was hard.
“I think I might surprise you there.” He grinned. For once it seemed that he had confused her. “I’m very open-minded about all sorts of stuff.”
“Really?” She arched an eyebrow. “How about Bigfoot?”
“Never met the fellow. Can’t say one way or the other.”
She snorted and rolled her eyes, turning back to her work. “See? I knew you wouldn’t believe me.”
“I didn’t say I didn’t believe. I just said I never met the guy. There could be a whole troop of Bigfoots running around in the Everglades for all I know.”
“Don’t make fun of me.”
She glared at him for a moment, genuine hurt playing across her features.
Well, damn. She’d given him his first clue about what the hell was going on. And it was…Bigfoot?
“I’m not making fun,” he said. He was sure to keep his tone serious. “As soon as you’re both up for it, we’re having Elsa over. Once you’ve had a chance to catch up, you tell me what I won’t believe.”
“Elsa? Come on. If there’s one person in our group more grounded in reality than you, it’s her.” Rachel kept filling the little dolls, stacking them up like cordwood.
“My definition of reality expanded a while back. I get that there are things going on that we don’t understand yet. That science can’t explain.”
“I’m not talking about things like the placebo effect.”
“Neither am I.”
Garrett’s best friend had shifted his world view years ago. Finn’s demonstration had knocked Garrett on his ass, as did the follow-up experiments Finn let Garrett run. It had taken a few weeks for the world to feel real again. Garrett was absolutely convinced that the world was full of mysteries well beyond what science could handle at the moment.
He was grateful Finn had shared his abilities with Garrett for many reasons, not the least of which being that Garrett hadn’t flipped out when Elsa explained her own powers.
Once his mind wrapped around that whopper, everything else seemed tame in comparison.
Maybe Rachel had something going on too. Garrett couldn’t guess what, except that it might deal with the voices she kept screaming about during her psychotic break—if that was actually what it was.
He looked at the poppets she had finished, a chill sweeping over his skin. They reminded him of bodies in the morgue. White sheets and…
That was it. Had to be. He almost stabbed himself in the thumb as things started to fall into place.
Rachel had been fine in the ambulance, coherent and taking everything remarkably well. Once she was settled in her hospital room, she went out of her mind with fear.
She didn’t mention what had happened to her, didn’t ask about her friends. She just kept screaming about voices, covering her ears and thrashing her head. She begged Garrett to make the voices stop, to sedate her. Eventually, her doctors had to knock her out just to treat her injuries.
At the time, he’d thought the trauma of what happened to her had fractured her psyche. He’d never considered that the voices she was talking about were real.
Relief flooded through him, washing away the worry he’d been carrying since that night. Garrett didn’t know how it worked, but he was sure he was right.
People died in hospitals every day. If spirits tended to linger, there had to be an abundance of them walking those halls. And if Rachel could hear them, that would have to be its own kind of hell.
He reached for her hand, brushing his thumb over the backs of her fingers. “You can tell me anything. You know that, don’t you?”
“I know.” She smiled at him faintly, then pulled her hand away.
Maybe she wasn’t ready to talk about it. He didn’t want to push, so he went back to his little pile of poppets, taking the matter quite a bit more seriously.