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Spirit Voices, Book One
Jody has been a conduit for ghosts her entire life. Not only do they come to her for help, but at times she experiences what they feel when they die. This gift or curse comes at a high personal cost—especially when a child is involved. There’s not a man alive who is willing to compete with troubled spirits.
Jared, a wealthy and determined high-powered P.I., has lived without love his entire life. In business if he wants something, he goes after it with a vengeance and is usually not denied. His life experiences have taught him that believing and trusting in others is a dead end street.
But on one magical night Jared meets Jody, and they soon find themselves on the brink of falling in love. But will the spirits surrounding Jody relinquish their hold on her in order for Jared to stake his claim or will their love disappear in an ethereal puff of smoke.
Page Count: 296
Word Count: 77865
“Of course, I’ll do that for you. Why don’t you start at the beginning and tell us why this is so important to you?”
Answering him with a slight nod, she leaned back into the cushions. Her eyes closed to help her gather the strength needed to tell Fiona’s tragic story.
“I find myself in an unusual position.” To calm herself, she reached out for the hands of her closest friends. Fiona’s story was a difficult one, but she knew Nathan and Terry would understand. Since they were aware of her history, they’d recognize how traumatic this problem had been for her. More than anything, she needed their strength right now. “I’m afraid a spirit has attached herself to me.”
Terry’s eyes widened in surprise, and, as usual, Nathan wanted to get to the heart of the problem. “What? That’s something new, isn’t it? Are you in danger?”
Jared dropped the pen he’d found and quickly stood. With a deep frown creasing his face, he held a hand out in front of him to halt all conversation. “Excuse me. What did you say?”
The familiar reaction had Jody’s heart sinking. She had to admit she did feel the tiniest bit bad for him. He’d had no clue the direction this discussion would take. Forcing a smile on her face, she knew it wouldn’t be long before he ran in the other direction. He’d end up bailing on her just like everyone else she’d been interested in had done.
She could pinpoint the exact moment his mind turned suspicious. His gaze penetrated as he visually examined every inch of her. When his expression softened and the warmth returned to his demeanor, she knew he’d probably devised some logical explanation for what she’d just said. At least that had been the pattern in the past with the men she’d been interested in. Maybe he attributed her comment to exhaustion. Maybe he just thought he’d misunderstood her. She’d have to speak concisely so her words wouldn’t be misinterpreted.
“I woke up last night to find a distraught four-year-old girl in bed with me.” No sugarcoating. She’d be straight up about her abilities, and he’d walk out. She hadn’t had time to get attached to him yet, so nothing gained. But for some reason, her heart sure felt like something had been lost.
“I don’t know when she died, but she’s determined to find her parents and talk to them.”
The color drained from Jared’s face.
Everyone could read his reaction just as clearly as if he’d shouted it at the top of his lungs.
“Are you telling me you’re a psychic?”
Jody didn’t miss the venom dripping from his last word. Somewhere from deep within her, she found the strength needed to face off with him. Allowing her anger and, yes, disappointment to shine through her eyes just as he had done, she stated as clearly as she could, “No. Psychic is a pretty broad term. I converse with spirits. I guess you’d call me a medium.”
Jared’s eyes narrowed to slits. She could see the wheels turning in his brain trying to figure out if she was a mental case or maybe just a charlatan. If she was reading his harsh expression correctly, she’d have to go with charlatan.
Fury raged within her. Lack of sleep and utter exhaustion had her wanting to lash out for being judged once again. However, before she could challenge Jared, Fiona sparked her annoyance.
Without giving Jared the opportunity to say anything, she jumped to her feet. Her mind registered that her quick movement had startled him when he took a step away from her. What seemed, to all in the room but her, to be a void space next to Jared, captured her full attention. Feeling as though she were about to lose her mind, her hands slid protectively over her cheeks as she bellowed at the top of her lungs, “Dammit, Fiona, stop that! Your interference is making it difficult to concentrate. I’m trying to help you. The least you could do is sit still for ten minutes!”
She hated losing her temper, but her nerves were being stretched to the limits. The little girl had been dancing around Jared as if he were a Maypole. In her current exhausted state, Fiona’s shenanigans would make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for her to focus on the importance of this meeting.
Chastised, Fiona trudged over to the empty chair and sat down. “Sorry.”