I hope everyone is doing well. I am posting Ch. 14: Intersecting Paths of my paranormal romance, A Quiet Moment. All the best to everyone.
Aimee waited, somewhat less than calmly, in the highly uncomfortable, yet definitely art deco, straight back, black leather chair in front of Claire’s overly large cherry wood desk. She’d been summoned for an audience about an hour after she’d made what she hoped would be a brief appearance at The Quest’s home office. There were details to double check, ripples to iron out, before the piece would be ready for copy. And Joan promised she would zoom in this morning, sometime before her afternoon classes, giving her input on the photographs.
She actually didn’t like the place during regular working hours. There was too much hustle and bustle, students, career reporters who held down several jobs like this one. Working several jobs in this town, she’d found, was rather the status quo. She had been lucky in being able to juggle several less than demanding ones. But more than not those who were not locked into an affluent position seemed destined to burn the candle at both ends, in the middle and any other place they could find. A sleepy college town on the surface, she’d found to be rather unforgiving as one went deeper.
Claire was leaning back in her chair, clearly feeling more comfortable than Aimee, casually perusing a hard copy of the story. This had been their respective stance for the last five minutes.
Claire glanced up at her smiling, de reclining her accommodating office chair, and placing the stack of papers down in front of them. Aimee waited. Feeling rather like her very precious time was being grossly wasted. “Problem?” she asked flatly.
Again, a large smile, the lipstick of the day was some very odd mocha color. “No, no, as always your work is quality. I just thought we should touch base. See if we’re on the same page.”
Aimee waited. She really did like Claire, but, as the saying goes, a little goes a long way. And to compound, the events of the past weekend had soaked up all her patience and then some, leaving her feeling quite emotionally brittle. “What page would that be Claire?”
She flourished a bit with her hand in an awkward way that Aimee was sure was intended to be grandiose. “I just like to sit down and have a chat with my employees from time to time. To make sure that their content in and also challenged by their work. I like to think it gives this place a personal touch that other offices lack.”
Aimee again waited. She had been working at The Quest for nearly three years now, and this had been the first sit down and see how you’re doing chat she’d had with Claire. Evidently, her red-haired employer had recently read some article in a business journal about getting the most out of your employees or something of the like.
Claire eyed her rather curiously, and a shimmer of awareness skimmed down her spine, more here apparently, perhaps mining for information. “So, are you content here Aimee?”
“I suppose,” was all she commented.
She nodded, “And do you feel challenged by your work?”
“Occasionally,” brief seemed best in this circumstance.
“And can you think of anything that might improve your work situation?”
“Um, more money,” she said in a light but clip tone.
Claire laughed, determinedly brushing off her last comment. “Yes, wouldn’t we all like that?”
Her lower back was beginning to ache against the harsh chair. She’d never thought much about it before, but maybe Claire deliberately chose it to keep her visitors at a disadvantage. Aimee, feeling keenly disgruntled for reasons that she felt quite sure went way beyond Claire, asked pointedly, “Is there anything else?”
Again, the smile, “Well, I was just wondering how things are going for you on a personal level.”
There was quite an awkward pause in the room, and Aimee coolly replied putting out the unspoken message that this is none of your business. “Fine, thank you.”
She nodded, “I’m glad to hear it. I was thinking the other day that you should think about getting married.”
Clearly, the woman’s radar was not fine-tuned for subtleties. She waited in a bit of puzzlement, trying to discern if she had actually heard what she thought she’d heard. “What?” was all she could come up with.
“No, no I’m serious. I was married once, no actually twice.” She laughed almost to herself, “Of course one was over so quick, I don’t know if you could count it, but I think you should give it a try. It would give a different dimension to your life.”
“Well Claire,” she started still stuck in that place of incredulity at the turn this let’s touch base meeting had taken. “It’s not as though that is something you just decide.”
Again, the flourishing, waving hand, “Oh, of course it is honey. The first time I got married I made a decision and within six months it happened.”
“Did you have a boyfriend?”
“Oh, there were several potentials floating around. So, I picked the one with the most promise. And we had a good run. It ended badly, but on the whole, I’d say it was an enriching experience.”
“Enriching, how romantic.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know, all this business of finding the one, the soul mate. Well, in my experience, there are buckets of soul mates out there for everyone. And you definitely need a change.”
Her eyes narrowed, but evidently, Claire ignored it, “You think so?”
Claire slapped both her hands on the desk dramatically, and it literally made Aimee jump about an inch up in the extremely uncomfortable chair. “Yes, I do.” She said nothing. Her heart was still in her throat from the violent gesture. “Look, you have to decide what you want and go after it like a shark. What about this painter?”
“What?” Now feeling oddly even more on the defensive.
“Okay then, if not, I know some eligible men I could fix you up with. I can get on the phone and arrange something for tonight. You should go out at least every other night. It’s like a job, accomplishing a goal.”
Out of desperation, Aimee put out her hand abruptly in front of her to signal for Claire to stop. For a second that seemed to halt the speeding train. “Please Claire,” she started. She must be diplomatic. This was her boss. She reminded herself strongly. “I am very sure you are trying to help. But, all of this is just not the way I do things.”
“That’s my point,” she jumped vigorously on her comment. “You need to change the way you do things.”
Aimee opened her mouth to comment and then paused speculatively. Perhaps, there was a kernel somewhere in this madness. Perhaps, some change of approach, of course not this nonsense, but some change wouldn’t be unwarranted. “I’ll give it some thought,” she said softly.
And that seemed to be the bone that satisfied Claire for the moment. “Okay, let me know if you want my help.”
And then miraculously, before anymore was said, there was a brisk tapping at the door. Before Claire could say come in, Joan had stuck her head in. Evidently, rough mannered and aggressive women were the new breed. “Sorry to interrupt, but Aimee has a visitor.”
Aimee stood up a bit stunned, because the person walking in just behind Joan was pretty much the antithesis of the two women before her. It was Frances Sanders, impeccably dressed in a suede pants suit of a shade not so very far from Claire’s lipstick. Smoothly making an entrance into a very awkward situation, she said lightly, “I hope I’m not disturbing anything. I just thought I’d take a chance and try to catch Aimee on my way to the gallery.” In a very assured way, she extended her hand to Claire who had also gotten to her feet. “Hello, I’m Frances Sanders.”
“Claire Carrera, of course from the gallery.”
Frances smiled graciously, “Yes, we appreciate all the wonderful coverage The Quest has given us. And if I could possibly steal Aimee away just for a moment, I promise I won’t keep her long.”
Aimee felt a concern fluttering in her stomach. Now what was this about? She turned to Claire, “Are we finished?”
Claire responded, “Yes, of course, and think about what I said.”
Aimee nodded, silently leading Frances out of the office.
There was a serene quality to Frances Sanders that was hard not to admire, one that made her seem at ease in most surroundings. She and Aimee had found a corner within the active newsroom of The Quest. It was a pleasant little alcove off the main room that Claire had decorated with a window seat and rather large potted plant. Claire did have a flair. She had to give her that.
Frances smiled, glancing backwards at the intrusive activity, “I have a feeling I came at a bad time.”
“No, this is pretty much status quo around here on weekdays. So, what is it I can help you with?”
She was trying to get a feel of what this was about, but there was too much commotion interfering. Perhaps another story on the gallery? Her mind was quickly tripping down a list of possibilities. “Well,” she seemed as though she was looking for a smooth way to launch into something that was anything but—. “for a while now, well, ever since that lovely story you wrote on Jacob’s collection, gosh I know this will sound silly to you. But anyway, I’ve wanted the four of us to get together and, well, celebrate his success.”
Aimee felt an awkwardness sort of drop down squarely on her shoulders, “Oh,” she murmured.
“Yes, I know. But I just feel it’s important to cap off momentous events, otherwise they’ll just slip by unnoticed. Do you see what I mean?”
She swallowed on a dry throat. She did see, although it was at odds just now with her own concerns. “Yes, I suppose.”
“Anyway, when I got up this morning, it just hit me that if I didn’t make this happen, it might not.” A flash of Dominick’s face flashed through Aimee’s mind. She wondered if he had planted this particular notion. “And frankly, Jacob can be a bit of a hermit when he puts his mind to it. So, I thought if you would meet Bob and I for dinner tonight at this lovely little place on the mall, say about seven. Well, I’m sure Jacob will be happy to be there, if he knows you are.”
“Yes, well, if tonight’s a problem for you we can do it any other day this week.” Trapped, a steel trap closing about her, completely unraveling her plan for distance between them. But how could she say no? And Frances continued to weave her web, making it even tighter, “I know Jacob said you’d probably be busy this week, but you have to eat right?” Wow, she thought Claire was a force to be reckoned with. She was an amateur next to this woman’s sales technique, but beyond that, there was a real sincerity—a terribly lethal combination.
So, Aimee completely confused as to what to do replied, “Sure, I can do it tonight.” She could figure out how to manage it all later.
At her reply, Frances lit up like a Christmas tree, goal accomplished. “Wonderful, how about around seven at Perrone’s? It’s a new place, about a block from the gallery.”
She nodded, “Fine.”
And then she gave Aimee a quick little hug that felt oddly very genuine. She was happy about all this. It exuded from her. “Okay, see you tonight Aimee.” And then she was gone, making her way through the busy newsroom and out the front door. Aimee stared at the very tall and leafy plant that Claire had placed in the alcove. She had made her plans, and in a blink, things had been taken out of her hands. It was a bit distressing that this seemed to be a new trend.
“These are wonderful. I think I like them better than the others.”
Jacob nodded, a dull sort of throbbing in his head, that had been intermittently clinging to him since Saturday evening, was resurfacing. He had spent much of Sunday sleeping and piddling in the house. But, as he was forced to come into town this morning, all the aches and pains that had been diminishing were reappearing. “Well, I didn’t think I’d have them ready for the opening. That’s why I didn’t include them originally.” He glanced at the two landscapes that Bob had propped up on a table in the back room of the gallery. In actuality, he wasn’t especially pleased with the work. But he understood why Bob was. Bob was a businessman, and these paintings were commercial. As an artist, his desire was to go in a different direction, perhaps with something riskier, edgier. He was completely bored, just now, with playing it safe.
In a flash of earth tones, Frances came sauntering in from the front room of the gallery. She wrapped herself against Bob in a semi-hug. “Where did you disappear to?” He asked, still eying the paintings and their money-making potential.
She smiled in her contagious way that seemed to make everyone want to join her. To Jacob, they seemed as close to a perfect match as he could ever remember seeing, complementing and compensating each other in every way that counted. “I was off on a mission. When did you get here Jacob?”
“Actually, just a few minutes ago. I was just dropping off a few paintings.”
She glanced at the mountain scenes on the table. “Oh, I really like those.” It was clear that she and her husband were also in tune in their artistic preferences. “But I am glad to see you. It saves me the trouble of calling you.”
He waited, wondering vaguely, but with not much interest what she was up to. “Really?”
Another tantalizing smile, “Yes, I wanted to invite you to dinner tonight. That new restaurant Perrone’s has just opened up.”
“What is that Argentinean food or something?”
“No,” she laughed,” at least I hope not. Anyway, we want you to come with us to have a belated celebration.”
She nodded emphatically, “Yes, it’s about time we celebrate your success.”
“Didn’t we do that when Mom was in town?”
“No, no, the right way with champagne and all.”
He frowned a bit, hating to throw cold water on her enthusiasm. “Well, nice as that sounds, I just have to say I’m not really up to it tonight. I’ve been dragging around all weekend, and sleep is about the most I’d want to do tonight.”
She tossed her well-kept, blonde coiffeur in a shrug, “Well, that’s too bad. I guess it will just be the three of us then.”
Bob sort of looked at her blankly, giving Jacob the real indication that he also was completely out of the loop. “Three?”
“Yes,” she answered a bit on the demure side for Frances, “Me, you and Aimee.”
Jacob waited a moment, and then put in a rather inquisitive, “What?”
She nodded, “That’s where I was, down at The Quest, extending the invitation.”
“And she said yes?” He asked, getting a bit of an odd look from Bob.
“Of course, she did. You know how persuasive I can be. She’s going to meet us there at seven. Of course, if you don’t come, it might be a bit awkward.”
His head was swimming a bit. Didn’t sound like the Aimee that left his house on Saturday. Evidently, Frances had really cornered her. “I’m just surprised. I know she’s bogged down this week.”
“Well, I guess she thought it was important. Maybe you should reconsider.” She smiled in a way that spoke of genuine friendliness coupled with a tinge of triumph. On anyone else it might be considered irritating, but Frances made it work somehow.
Things were off and quite odd today. First, there was her bizarre meeting with Claire, then her surprise, but granted not so bizarre, visit from Frances. Then, when she returned from downtown, Aimee immediately attempted a meditation to contact Iris, but all she received was a flurry of colors and the whisperings — Not now.
It perturbed her more than she cared to admit. Just as it was the other evening, when she felt the great wave of energy come to her. She had tried to follow its thread, but its source was blocked, deliberately blocked. She still had no idea where it came from. And now, as she noted the time on the clock in her den, two forty-five, she needed to make some sort of decision about tonight.
She sat on her sofa and again tried to clear her mind. But, before she got far, the phone made her jump, pulling her abruptly back into the concrete world. “Hello,” she answered a bit shaken.
“Aimee, it’s me.” Jacob, she glanced at the clock. He must be calling about tonight.
His tone was rather abrupt, nearly business like, not the warm way he usually was with her. “Frances told me about her visit to you today. I want you to know right off the bat. This wasn’t my idea.”
“I really, didn’t think it was,” feeling a bit confused at his attitude.
“Well, I know you wanted some time to yourself now. So, if you want me to make an excuse for you tonight, I will.” Something felt off. Her mind began to travel. She could feel an irritability, a great fatigue within him.
“Are you all right?” she asked, not really meaning to.
There was a slight hesitation. “I don’t know, maybe a little sick, but I think it’s more tired. So, what do you want me to do?”
She was concerned about him. It was washing over her, drowning out other issues. “I think I’d like to go. That is, if it’s all right with you.” There was a definitive silence on his end that made her nervous. “Are you still with me?”
“Yeah, I’m just surprised. You sure?”
“Yes, and anyway I think Frances is someone I’d hate to disappoint.”
He laughed, “Point taken. Okay then, well, it seems like the weather might be a little dicey late tonight. Why don’t you let me bring you?”
Her heart fluttered a bit nervously. Being with him in a crowded restaurant right now was one thing, alone was another. But there seemed to be no help for it. “Okay, that would be nice.”
His tone sounded a little better to her now. The one thing that she knew clearly was that she needed to make sure he was all right. The other stuff would have to be sorted out later. “I’ll see you tonight Aimee,” and then he hung up. She breathed deeply, still holding the phone in her hand, feeling that increasingly familiar inkling that things were about to change course again.
The air felt charged tonight was his thought, perhaps his only thought, as he stepped outside of his house. It was already nearly dark as was expected for early February. But what wasn’t expected was that the winter appeared to be nearly over. That was becoming evident. In the past, the very recent past, March and even early April could prove to be very chilly months in Central Virginia. But this season was atypical somehow. There were already signs of a warming trend. The weathercasters confirmed it, but more so he could feel it, on his very skin. It seemed, indeed, that spring would be early this year.
He relaxed, allowing himself to enjoy the long winding drive from the remoteness of his home into the city. The fatigue he’d experienced during the weekend still clung to him but seemed to be gradually lifting. He didn’t trouble himself to worry much about what the evening would bring, or even what kind of mood Aimee would greet him with when he arrived. He really had no clue, and at the moment no desire to speculate. Whatever would come of things, would come. And then they would see.
The city was quite shrouded in darkness, when he finally pulled into the parking lot of her apartment complex. It was about 6:10 P.M., a slight bit early, so he waited for a few moments.
His eyes were drawn across the pavement to the front door of her apartment, well within his line of vision. It had only been a few days since they’d seen each other, but strangely, for him, it felt as though he had journeyed a thousand miles, at least metaphorically, since then. The fatigue swept over him again, momentarily. He closed his eyes just for an instant, but it was long enough. The vision came quickly. She was there, inside, lighting candles. It was odd. The novelty of these experiences was wearing off. They were becoming, in a strange way, somewhat expected.
He held the vision for a moment. And then suddenly, she straightened as though someone had spoken to her. She’d felt him. He was sure of it. His eyes opened, and he stepped out of the SUV. There was no point in lingering. He’d already been announced.
Aimee waited with nervousness, watching the clock that her father had sent to her as a Christmas present nearly two years earlier. He’d written her that he’d found it in a new shop in the French Quarter that had opened recently. She was sure and had been told that many places that she remembered had been replaced by new ones in the city. Uneasily, from time to time, she wondered if the city would seem the same to her at all.
Rifling through a drawer at the base of a small decorative table that rested against a wall, she fished out the box of long white candle sticks. She needed calming. Exactly why, wasn’t clear. She had spent much time in the company of the man who was coming to get her. But that didn’t quell her anxiety. What was different precisely, she couldn’t put her finger on. That something was different, she was feeling intently.
She lit them, quietly, perhaps with reverence the long, tapering, white candles, like the ones her mother had kept in her house so long ago. While she was ill, Aimee had kept candles lit by her mother’s bedside often. She had prayed by them, wept when no one could hear her, and mourned when that very gentle spirit had moved on to another place. She had wept for herself more, she thought, knowing very well the peace and happiness her mother would find beyond this world. It was that hollow feeling of aloneness, she wrestled with that had filled her so intolerably. So, few had she let close, and one by one they’d left the flesh behind.
As she indulgently dwelled in inconsolable areas, an awareness began to set in around her. She glanced up, looking around the room. There was a presence with her. She was quite sure. She had been thinking of so many. Perhaps, it was her mother’s spirit answering her call.
She closed her eyes to feel. And almost immediately, it wrapped around her tightly. So powerfully, it made her gasp with surprise. Eyes rose up in her mind, eyes from the past, eyes from the darkness, clearly the clearest, purest blue in color. And the voice in her mind, echoed words she’d heard in dreams, Always.
The knock at the door made her jump. Her heart was pounding, her hands actually trembling. She glanced at the clock. He was early. That wasn’t like him, not at all.
When she answered the door, her eyes were wide with, the only description that sprung to mind was, confusion.
“All right?” He asked with real concern.
She blinked for a moment, which made her green eyes seem only larger when she opened them again. “You’re early.”
He glanced at his watch, and then looked back to her smiling. “Just a little, did I throw your schedule off?”
She looked puzzled for a moment, then finally seemed to brush it aside. “No, no, come in.”
She stepped back, and he was a bit relieved. For a split second, he thought perhaps she wasn’t going to let him in at all. As he crossed the threshold, he impulsively kissed her on the cheek. Her body tensed at the contact. She wasn’t expecting it. Evidently, she felt they were now somehow on a different plateau. “You look wonderful,” he commented. She absolutely did, dressed in a rich shade of teal, a sweater dress that showed off her figure in a very becoming way. He enjoyed vibrant colors and was struck by the thought that he really enjoyed her in vibrant colors.
“Thank you,” she murmured as she closed the door behind him.
“I was surprised you wanted to go along with this dinner idea.” She seemed a bit surprised by his directness, but he truly, acutely hated awkwardness. Oftentimes, he opted for the radical approach, diving right into the middle of it with a sledgehammer. Of course, that did run the very real possibility of making things much worse, but in his experience, it was a warranted gamble.
“Yeah,” she mumbled. “I was surprised too. Do you want some tea or something? I don’t think we have to leave yet.”
He reached out, grabbing both her arms gently but firmly with his hands for a moment, eliciting an expression of momentary shock in her face. “What I would really like is to sit down and talk to you Aimee.”
She was still looking a bit surprised at his abruptness, but it did seem to have stilled her distraction at least for the moment. “All right, if you want to.”
He nodded, score one for the direct approach, “Yeah, I would.”
The moment that he released her, she walked over to the couch and sat down. Following, he settled closely beside her, taking her hand in his. Definitely time to get back on the same plateau again. Her hand felt very cool in his, nearly icy, and it concerned him. “You were very upset on Saturday.”
“Yes,” it was calm but nearly a whisper.
“Are you feeling better now?”
“I think so.” He brought the hand that he was holding softly to his lips and kissed it.
She just watched him, sort of expressionless. “That doesn’t sound convincing.”
“I know. I’m sorry.”
“Well, what I don’t want you to do is shut me out over this. I know you’re worried, frightened, but I know now that I can help you.”
There was a pause, and then she quietly spoke, “How?”
He waited, a little confused at the question, “How what?”
And then, she looked at him with something in her eyes entirely other than confusion. If he didn’t miss his mark, it was something a bit closer to accusation. “How do you know that you can help me Jacob?” She stood up slowly, deliberately pulling away from him, and looking a bit too much like an interrogator. “What exactly have you been doing?”
As soon as he touched her, the images began to flood her mind — powerful, swirling images that felt overwhelming, nearly shocking to her. They became so strong that what was happening in her den became secondary, distant, to what she was seeing, feeling. Only moments before that he’d walked into her apartment, he was here. Now, she could identify the presence, the same Jacob who was sitting next to her, and the man from the past in her dreams, the man with the blue eyes. It was clear to her that they were one, but there was more flooding in.
She could see herself in her house from long ago with Rose, but he was there too next to her bed, pouring energy into her.
His face had changed at her question. It was maddeningly placid now, while she, she felt like she was going to explode. “Do you want to be a bit more specific?” was his reply.
She was shaking inside with pure, hot anger. Why exactly? She didn’t know except that she felt as though she’d been violated somehow. “I saw you, just now, here before you walked in the door and before in—” She couldn’t even make herself finish the sentence. It seemed so unfathomable to voice it.
He stood up, still staring at her calmly, as though she were being completely irrational. “In your old house, when you were a little girl.”
“Yes, yes, somehow you put yourself back. How in the world did you manage that Jacob?”
He paused for a moment, really seeming to be caught off guard by her reaction. “I’m not really sure. It was sort of a chain of events. You seemed terribly upset.”
“Really? You think! Well, I’ll tell you. It doesn’t match how upset I am right now.”
And then, he had the audacity to do something intolerable. He smiled, and she almost acted on the uncontrollable urge to smack him right in the face. “I’m sorry sweetheart. Maybe, I’m not so bright. Do you want to clue me in on where this outrage is coming from?”
“Does the word invasion mean anything to you? Invasion of my life, of my privacy!”
An eyebrow went up, as a frown replaced the smile. “Oh,” now his voice had become very low, and a bit harder. “Well, let’s see, if we can put this invasion in perspective. I went digging around in your past, because I saw how upset and, dare I say, traumatized you seemed when you left my house. And I managed to trip over something in my vast ineptitude, that might actually have helped.”
“That’s not the point,” she whispered hotly.
“Okay, Aimee, then let’s do get to the point. When you help people, say some poor slob in a bookstore whose life is a wreck, do you ever go digging around in their psyche or even memories to find a way to be of aid?”
She was breathing deeply. He was turning it around, damn him, the infuriating bastard. “That’s not the same.”
“Why?” he snapped back. “Because it’s you? Because you’re different from every other person on this planet? You’re the giver. You can’t be helped.”
“Stop it,” she whispered. It felt as though he’d thrown a bucket of cold water over her. The rage was subsiding, being replaced by the much more frightening knowledge of how vulnerable, how painfully vulnerable she was to the man standing in front of her. She tried to keep her voice flat, so he couldn’t hear its pain, “You lost a lot of energy doing what you did. You have to be careful.”
He reached out and brushed a tear off her cheek that she wasn’t even aware of. “I’m not completely sure of what I did.”
Her throat felt dry from all the violent emotion that had just passed through her body. She tried to focus, to remember the things that Dominick had taught her. Her voice was shaky, and that she couldn’t control it, greatly upset her. “Time is a strange thing, Jacob. It’s not as we perceive it at all. It’s sort of like a fluid river whose bends sometimes run parallel. You breached those barriers somehow and didn’t just give energy but gave it at a time that would impact everything that happened subsequently.”
“What are you saying, so I changed your past?”
“I don’t know. Maybe you were there all along, and just now completed a sort of cycle. It’s very complicated.” She turned away from him. She was still shaking. How in the world could she lose control like this? She felt his arms slip around her waist and pull her against him.
“I didn’t mean to hurt you. If I did, it was all very spontaneous, not planned.”
He sounded truly upset. Here they were both upset. What a mess this had become. “I don’t know. It just made me feel very exposed. That was a painful time of my life, and the fact that you witnessed it. I don’t know. It feels very strange. I’m very private.”
He kissed her hair, and it was soothing to her. “I know you are, but I want to know you completely Aimee. Not just the parts, you feel comfortable showing me.” He pulled her even tighter against him, and it was calming to her chaffed emotions. “Look, let me call Bob and tell him we’re going to be a bit late. It will give us time to get superficial, so we can have a trivially fun evening.”
She managed to turn around in his arms, very willing and desirous of letting all this go for now. “That sounds appealing.”
“I’m glad you think so,” he said softly before he kissed her. And then he kissed her again, and a flood of emotions spread through her that told her quite clearly that nothing trivial at all was going on between them.
Copyright © 2019 by Evelyn Klebert
Jacob Wyss is caught in a rut, in fact on the verge of being engulfed by it. After an excruciating and disillusioning divorce, his life as an artist in a sleepy-college town at the foot of the Appalachian mountains has become quiet, routine, and maddening in its predictability. One wintry day, his deep restlessness drives him out in precarious conditions to a largely empty bookstore nearly devoid of another living soul, nearly.
Aimee Marston isn’t like everyone else. On the surface, she lives a sedate life working as a feature writer for a small local newspaper in addition to several other editorial jobs to help make ends meet. But just beneath, her existence is largely not her own. She is a sensitive, an empathetic psychic, guided by her calling to use her gifts to help others. Unfortunately, as a result, her secretiveness has made her defensive, protective of herself, and prevented her from having much of a life of her own.
A psychic call for help sends Aimee out on a freezing January morning where her destiny and Jacob’s collide sending both their lives spiraling onto an unexpected and often disturbing track. Two lonely souls connect, not by accident, but by design. Theirs is the intersection of two spiritual paths, two lovers who must struggle to overcome the phantoms of a past life, as well as the challenges of their own inner demons to carve out an extraordinary future together.