Thursday, October 28th
The Collins home, evening
“The windows are secure…and now to get the cars into the garage,” Caleb Collins told his son Damien as the two continued to batten down the hatches in preparation for the oncoming storm. “Thank God that blue moon was last night, or we would have never been able to get anything done.”
Damien wasn’t listening to his father. He was staring out the kitchen window with a faraway look on his handsome face, thinking of Pearl Tyler and the day they spent together on the Lawrence’s farm.
“Damien,” Caleb called to him. He approached him and waved his hand in front of his face. “Damien Jared, please come back to planet Earth.”
Damien blinked his eyes and looked at his father. “You say something Dad?”
Caleb shook his head. “You really have it bad for Pearl. She must be one hell of a woman to put you under like this.”
Damien grinned widely. “I’ve never felt like this before Dad.”
“I’m concerned though. It was only yesterday Pearl told you she didn’t want you coming around. I think you need to respect her feelings,” Caleb soberly replied.
“She was just upset because Quinn and I had a fight. Things are okay between us now. She’s warming up to me Dad. I think it’ll only be a matter of time before the two of us get even closer,” Damien said brightly.
Caleb patted his son on the shoulder. “I just don’t want you getting your heart broken. Please promise me you’ll take things slow. Remember, it’s only been a little over a week since you two met.”
“Oh come on Dad, where’s your sense of romance at?” his son playfully scoffed. But Caleb was serious. “Damien, you know you just can’t pursue a relationship so breezily knowing what you are. You have to find someone who is willing to sacrifice their own life and their own sense of reality to be with you, to put up with your changes every full moon—“
“You don’t think Pearl could do that?” Damien asked.
“I think with her it’s going to take a long time,” Caleb admitted. “She does have her unborn child to think about. You have to respect that.” He patted Damien’s shoulder again. “Come on; let’s get those cars into the garage. We can finish our heart-to-heart later.”
The Lawrence Farm
Pearl had excused herself from Gene, Iva, Sadie and their visitor, Micah Johnson, so she could take a shower. It had been a long day and she wanted to get relaxed so she could have a good night’s sleep.
Feeling refreshed, she entered her basement bedroom from the other side of the cellar, where the downstairs shower was. She closed the door and walked to the dresser which sat next to the vanity table. She opened up a drawer and took out a long white cotton nightgown and laid it on the rocking chair and then sat down at the vanity, picking up her hairbrush. As she brushed her long red hair she could hear thunder rumble in the distance. It probably wouldn’t be long before the heavy rain began. Pearl wished there would be less stormy weather as she hated being cooped up inside all day.
Once she was done brushing her hair, she stood up and undid her robe, revealing her naked pregnant body. She gazed intently at her reflection in the mirror. Stretch marks had formed on her swollen stomach and she was sure her breasts had gotten a bit bigger but aside from that her figure looked the same. Satisfied, she retrieved the nightgown and slipped it over head. It was sleeveless with thick straps that lay on her pale shoulders.
Pearl sat on her bed and stretched. Just as she was about to lay back on the pillows to get back to reading The Hound of the Baskervilles, she decided to walk over to the window to take a glance at the stormy sky. When she pulled back the curtains, she saw Quinn Nightshade standing right outside and she was startled for a moment. She had told Damien Collins over the phone she was worried about him not attempting to see her and here he was.
Quinn got a worried look on his face as he noticed Pearl’s hesitation but his frown turned to a smile when he saw her undoing the latch and pulling the windows open. He climbed in.
“I was wondering when you were going to try and see me,” Pearl said quietly.
Quinn didn’t answer. He was mesmerized by the sight of her. Her hair was like a shiny halo of red, thanks to the brushing. An outline of her breasts teasingly peeked out from underneath the white nightgown.
“Quinn,” Pearl said, getting a bit uneasy at the look on his face.
Finally he spoke. “You’re so lovely,” he half-whispered. “And you smell heavenly. Is that lavender?”
Pearl nodded. “I just finished a shower.”
He smiled again. “I should have come earlier.”
Pearl groaned. “My shower was hot. You need a cold one.”
Quinn moved closer. “I didn’t think you would let me in for a minute. I mean, you did tell me yesterday that you didn’t want to see me anymore.” He looked down at the carpet. “I was devastated.”
Pearl folded her arms across her chest. “So devastated that you tried to kill Damien last night?”
Quinn’s head snapped back up. “How did you know about that…you couldn’t have…unless he told you. He was here today, wasn’t he?” His face filled with sadness.
“Yes. He broke into the stable and stayed there until he changed back after the moon went down. I found him early this morning.” Pearl explained.
Quinn snorted. “How convenient that he wound up here, knowing full well he’d be able to see you.”
“He’s a lot smarter than you give him credit for. After all, he did stop you from killing him.” Pearl stared at Quinn, waiting for a sarcastic answer to that comeback but to her surprise, she didn’t get one. Her would-be suitor covered his face with his hands as if in defeat and she was taken aback to say the least.
When he removed his hands, he looked like he was about to cry. “Christ, I’ve made a mess of everything,” he said, his voice shaking. “I came here to tell you about what I did last night hoping you would forgive me. But Damien beat me to it and now there’s no way in hell I’ll ever have a chance of being with you.”
He gazed at her so intensely Pearl felt like a laser was searing through her body. “He was here with you today, wasn’t he?”
She nodded and his face fell again. “I couldn’t make him leave after I found him in the stable. He was too vulnerable. He has it a lot rougher than you Quinn. You don’t have to face changing into something inhuman every month with the fear of being hunted down. You don’t have to live in a place so far from the rest of the world, afraid someone will discover your other identity. You must understand.”
“Then that means you’ve made your decision,” Quinn replied, crestfallen.
Pearl shook her head. “Damien and I have grown close. But despite that, I have to admit…I do have feelings for you Quinn.” She gave him a gentle look. “I know Damien and everyone else wants me to stay away from you, and I told you I wanted you to stay away from me…but I just can’t do that. Not now.”
Instantly Quinn’s mood perked up. He took Pearl’s hands in his and pulled her closer. “Since I came here to pour my heart out to you I might as well tell you I paid a visit to your ex-husband today—“
“I know that too,” Pearl said.
Quinn couldn’t help but laugh. “It seems I can never be the first one to tell you what I’ve done.”
Pearl smiled. “It’s okay.”
He stroked her hair with his right hand. It was softer than the last time he touched it and it felt comforting to him. “There’s another reason why I came here tonight Pearl.”
She raised her eyebrows. “What’s that?” she pensively asked him.
“I wanted to tell you I love you.” He studied her face for a reaction. Pearl’s eyes widened a little.
“First Damien and now you… I should really feel extremely flattered by all this attention…”
“But you don’t,” Quinn gently interrupted.
“Like I told Damien, it’s too much too soon. I have my daughter to think about, and how I’m going to get back to trying to have a normal life once she’s born. I can’t get caught up in a relationship right now—that’s the last thing I need,” Pearl responded.
“I can give you and your daughter a good life Pearl,” Quinn insisted. “You two wouldn’t want for anything.”
“I need time Quinn,” Pearl said firmly. “If you love me like you say, you’ll give that to me.”
Quinn looked past her and spotted the radio, which was softly playing big band music. He broke away from her and walked towards the nightstand. He picked the radio up and began turning the tuning knob.
“What are you doing?” Pearl wanted to know. “That’s a pretty good station. It helps me relax.”
Quinn found another station that came in clearly. It was playing a nighttime dedication program.
“This one goes out to Samantha from Ben…he says he loves you and you are his soul mate,” the DJ breathily spoke. Then the song started to play and the spacey synths of Waiting for a Girl Like You by Foreigner began.
Quinn stretched out his arms. “Dance with me Pearl.”
Pearl shook her head. “Quinn, I don’t know—“
He gently reached for her hands and pulled her to his chest, wrapping his arms around her. He peered deeply into her green eyes. “Ben loves Samantha, I love you, and all is right with the world tonight.” He began to slowly waltz her around. Pearl didn’t want to stand there like a bump on a log, so she placed her hands on his waist and allowed him to lead.
“It’s been a long time since I slow danced,” she remarked. “And you’re a pretty good dancer.”
Quinn didn’t reply. He held her close, getting lost in the scent of lavender that breezed by every now and then. There was silence between the two as the song continued to play.
I’ve been waiting for a girl like you to come into my life
I’ve been waiting for a girl like you, a love that will survive
I’ve been waiting for someone new to make me feel alive
Yeah, waiting for a girl like you to come into my life…
Pearl looked out the window. The wind continued to blow, making the trees seem as they were dancing along with she and Quinn. The clouds swirled around in the dark October sky.
“Quinn, it’s going to start raining pretty hard tonight. You should probably get home. I don’t want you getting caught in this storm,” she said with a concerned tone.
“I don’t care about the storm. I’m staying here with you tonight,” Quinn replied huskily.
“No Quinn,” Pearl began, but he interrupted her.
“Damien had you today, I get you tonight. It’s only fair,” he said.
“I don’t want to be treated like a toy,” Pearl chided him.
“That’s not how I’m going to treat you,” Quinn murmured. He pulled her even closer and before she knew it he was kissing her, even more intense and passionate than yesterday in the driveway. She began to tremble and she could feel the temperature of her skin rise. She wasn’t supposed to be reacting to him this way, but his kiss was too intoxicating to resist.
Finally, he stopped. Both of them were breathing heavily. He cocked his head and grinned at her. “You didn’t try to pull away from me.”
“I—I didn’t want to,” she stammered. “Even though I’m supposed to, I couldn’t.”
He gently caressed her cheek. “I’m glad.” His hands rested on her shoulders and he began to massage them. Pearl closed her eyes. She felt twinges of guilt for enjoying his touch and tried to block them out of her mind.
He pushed down the straps of her nightgown, revealing pale bare shoulders. He nuzzled her neck for a few seconds before beginning to tenderly kiss it. She responded by wrapping her arms back around his waist.
His soft warm kisses became a little rougher and Pearl felt something sharp nibbling at her neck. She realized what it was and pushed him away. He grinned at her and she could see his fangs. They weren’t frightening to her anymore, just amusing.
“You better not be trying to bite me,” Pearl warned him.
“I wasn’t, I promise. I was only being playful,” Quinn replied. He took her back in his arms and held her tightly. “Are you going to let me stay here tonight?”
Pearl wrangled herself out of his embrace and shook her head. “I can’t.”
Quinn’s expression changed from longing to sadness. “But I want to be with you so much—“
“Gene and Iva have a visitor upstairs. His car broke down and I think they’re going to let him stay here until the storm passes. If it wasn’t for him, I’d let you stay a while,” Pearl quietly explained. “You can come back after this nasty weather goes away.”
Quinn’s face perked up a little. “Promise?”
“You can come by after the weather clears. I have a doctor’s appointment late Friday morning but you can come by later that afternoon too. I’m going to have a sonogram,” she told him. “Sadie’s going to take me.”
Quinn pulled Pearl to him again. “Not seeing you tomorrow is going to be agony.”
Pearl chuckled. “You’re so dramatic. You’d make a great soap opera actor.”
“I don’t think a soap opera can compare to what’s going on between us right now my dear.” He kissed her again. “I love you.” He broke free from her and sighed. “Do I really have to leave?”
Pearl slowly nodded and he sighed again. “I’ll give you a call tomorrow. Wait—I’m going to give you my cell phone number. I want you to have it in case something happens.”
Pearl went to retrieve her cell phone from the nightstand dresser. She flipped it open and pressed the button to bring up her contacts. “Give it to me.”
He recited it to her and she punched it in. “Okay, done.”
“Good, now I feel better.” He walked towards her and once again wrapped his arms around her. “Goodnight my sweet Pearl. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
“Goodnight Quinn. “Pleasant dreams.”
“Oh they most definitely will be.” He smiled and kissed her again.
Pearl walked with him to the windows and he climbed out, leaving her alone. As she watched him go, she got a chill. She couldn’t believe what just happened between them. The forceful and frightening monster that held her captive just over a week ago was gone, replaced by a sorrowful, affectionate soul. It was like being with an entirely different man. Her mind and heart started to race.
“I shouldn’t be having these feelings but I can’t push them aside. What am I going to do?” she wondered aloud.
Quinn was grinning from ear to ear as he practically skipped to his car that was parked behind a row of pine trees on the side of the farmhouse. His brother’s advice to come clean to Pearl and act more human worked. He was sure that if not for Gene and Iva playing Good Samaritan to another stranger, Pearl would have allowed him to stay the night…and maybe more than just kisses would have happened between them.
He got into his car and shut the door, turning on the radio. The station that he and Pearl listened to moments before was on, now playing Moondance by Van Morrison. He leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes, reliving his kiss with Pearl. His body started to quake a little as he remembered how she looked in her nightgown.
Suddenly, he felt a presence beside him. His brown eyes snapped open and he saw the glowing apparition of Megan Manning, his dead girlfriend, sitting in the passenger seat. Her beautiful face was twisted into a mask of fury.
“What do you think you’re doing here Quinn?” she demanded. “Are you trying to harass Pearl again? I told you what would happen if you didn’t leave her alone!”
“Oh Megan, Megan, poor pathetic dead Megan,” Quinn taunted. “You can’t stand to see me move on. Just for the record, what happened between Pearl and I tonight was not harassment. She enjoyed every minute of it. Ask her.”
“You’re lying,” she angrily retorted. “I’ve told her what a monster you are.”
Quinn smirked at his dead ex-lover. “She doesn’t believe you, or otherwise she wouldn’t have invited me into her bedroom.” He leaned back in the seat again and grinned. “If it weren’t for a visitor Gene and Iva are entertaining, Pearl would have let me stay the night—and we would have made love.”
Megan let out a cruel laugh. “Your imagination is going into hyperdrive. She’s pregnant. She would never let you near her, and especially in her.”
Quinn sat up and shot a dark look at her. “Okay Sherlock, why don’t you go ask her yourself. She’ll tell you that we danced and we kissed—several times.” He smiled again. “Your plan to keep Pearl and I apart isn’t working, face it. Why don’t you return to your grave where you belong?”
“I’m not just here to keep you away from Pearl, sweetheart,” she hissed sarcastically. “I have unfinished business with you.” She gave him a taunting gaze. “Do you remember the night I died?”
Quinn was taken aback at her last question. “You just didn’t die Megan, you were murdered. Slayed by that church freak Walter Eldridge, and I killed him to avenge you.”
Megan shook her head. “He didn’t murder me Quinn, at least not like you think.”
“I saw what he did to you!” he argued. He stabbed you through the heart!”
“Only because I asked him to!”
There was silence. Quinn could only stare at her. Megan smirked at him before continuing. “Yes Quinn, that’s right. I asked Walter Eldridge to kill me. Your revenge was for nothing.”
Quinn shook his head vehemently. “No. You’re lying.”
“I’m not lying. My death wasn’t murder, but a mercy killing. He didn’t want to at first, but I pleaded with him to do it.”
Quinn grabbed the sides of his head with both hands, as if trying to block out Megan’s shocking confession. “Why? Why the hell would you want him to kill you?”
She stared at him with utter disgust. “Because I hated what I had become—what you made me become. I was sick of being a bloodthirsty monster…and sick of you.”
“I don’t believe any of this. We loved each other. You enjoyed being with me Megan, I know you did,” Quinn insisted.
“By the time I begged Walter to end my life, I was repulsed by you. I no longer loved you. Death was the only way to be free of you, to never see your face ever again. I know you Quinn. You would have never let me go of my own free will. You don’t know how to love. All you know how to do is possess. You didn’t love me and you don’t love Pearl. You want to do to her what you did to me and I’m not going to allow that. I promised Iva and Sadie I would stop you, and that’s what I’m going to do!”
Quinn sharply turned his head towards her. “Iva and Sadie?” Then he realized what had happened and a sick feeling started to stir in his stomach. “Jesus…they brought you back.”
“At first I didn’t want to return. I’m dead and you were no longer my problem. But when Iva told me about Pearl and how you were planning to go after her, I changed my mind. I allowed them to resurrect me. Then I realized I could finally tell you what happened the night I died, and I could finally redeem myself for ever getting involved with you in the first place.” Megan shot him an evil look. “I hope knowing how much I hated you will haunt you to your grave, and that you will end up miserable and alone, like you deserve to be.”
“Go away,” Quinn replied, his voice shaking with a combination of fear and quiet rage. “Go back to your grave where you belong.”
“I’m not frightened of you anymore Quinn,” Megan said forcefully. “And I’ll tell Pearl everything. Once she finds out the truth, she’ll never want you to touch her again.” She began to laugh spitefully.
Megan’s laughter bored into Quinn’s skull like a pulsing drill and he grabbed his temples. “LEAVE ME ALONE!” he screamed.
Suddenly, she was gone and Quinn could hear was the car radio. Shaking, he turned up the volume and started the car. He had to get out of here before he went completely mad, and he knew exactly where to go…
Pearl sat at the kitchen table sipping a cup of tea and staring out the window above the sink. It hadn’t started raining yet but the wind was still blowing and every now and then thunder rumbled.
She could still taste Quinn’s kisses, she could still feel his touch and although she tried to make herself feel guilty for allowing it—and liking it—she couldn’t. She had admitted to him that if weren’t for Micah Johnson’s sudden arrival, he could have stayed and she wondered how far things would have gone.
Pearl glanced up at the ceiling. “Why me?” she asked out loud. “What is so special about me that not one, but two men are competing for me?”
“Why are you shouting at the air?” a voice piped up from behind her.
Pearl whirled around to see Sadie Todd enter the kitchen. Her face reddened a bit. “Oh, it’s just been a taxing night, that’s all. Actually, it’s been a taxing couple of nights.”
Sadie sat down beside her. “Let me guess—Quinn and Damien.”
Pearl nodded. “I have never seen two men more determined to become my boyfriend, unless you count my ex-husband after we first met. I’m not used to all this attention. I’m used to sitting in the corner while everyone else is out on the dance floor, you know?”
Sadie chuckled at Pearl’s analogy. “Now you’re the prom queen that has all the boys lusting after you.”
“The pregnant prom queen,” Pearl replied, starting to laugh. She looked down at her belly and frowned. “Quinn was here tonight.”
Sadie’s face paled. “I thought you didn’t want to see him anymore…you let him in?”
“I hesitated just for a second but decided I should, mostly because if I didn’t, he’d go after Damien again and I don’t want that.”
Sadie leaned in. “Something happened between you two,” she deduced, lowering her voice.
Pearl nodded again. “He told me he loved me.”
Sadie’s eyes widened. “Pearl, please tell me you two didn’t—“
“No, we didn’t. But we did dance and he did kiss me. Several times.”
“And you actually liked it?”
Pearl looked down at her belly again. “Yes.”
Sadie let out a whistle. “Boy, he must really have this charm I don’t see.”
“He wanted to stay, but I told him no because of Micah.”
At the mention of his name, Sadie smiled dreamily. “Mmm, is he handsome. While you were downstairs playing Dracula’s bride with Quinn, I spent a few minutes talking to him. He’s so sweet.”
Pearl grinned. “It looks like you’ve been bitten by the love bug.”
“It’s not easy trying to have a relationship in this backwater town. Look at what I have to choose from. Werewolves, half-breed vampires, or my uncle, and that’s out of the question,” Sadie said unhappily. “That’s why I want to move away; maybe I’d have a better chance at actually having a decent social life. And Micah’s not even going to be staying long. As soon as his car is fixed, he’s on his way to Boston.”
“That’s why Quinn and Damien are so determined to be with me. They’re lonely living in Haven. I know Damien and his family has to stay here, but Quinn can go anywhere he wants,” Pearl said.
She sighed and rubbed her belly. “I hate to say this, but I feel like such a slut for leading them on and allowing both of them to kiss me. I really need to be alone and concentrate on my baby.”
“Have you told them?” Sadie asked.
“I have, but they both feel they can take care of me and my baby. I’m not ready to jump into another relationship so soon after my divorce. It’s not the right time. Maybe after my daughter is a few months old, I can focus on dating again, but not right now. Still, I have to admit, the attention is a bit nice. Quinn and Damien are lookers.”
“Pearl, you’re not a slut, you’re confused. As soon as you got here, they started pursuing you and they’ve made your mind a mess,” Sadie sympathetically replied. “I’d probably react the same way.”
Pearl stood up and stretched. “Thanks for being supportive, I appreciate it Sadie. I’m going to go to bed. I made some tea, you should have a cup.”
“I think I will.” Sadie smiled at her. “Have a good night’s sleep Pearl.”
Pearl smiled back. “I will. Good night.” She turned and headed for the kitchen door that led into the basement. Sadie watched her go, but her head was filled with images of the good-looking stranger that was still in the den with Gene and Iva.
The Collins home, a little later
Damien lay on his bed, eyes closed, listening to his iPod, trying to get lost in the music but thoughts of Pearl interrupted his concentration. If it wasn’t for this approaching storm he would drive to the Lawrence farm to see her.
He was so caught up in his daydreams he didn’t hear his sister Ingrid come in and call to him. It was only when he felt a tap on his shoulder that he opened his eyes and sat up, removing his ear buds. “Hey sis,” he said.
“That must be one hell of a song you’re listening to,” Ingrid teased. “Let me guess—it’s something by Muse.”
“You know me too well,” he said, grinning.
“I also know you well enough to know that you’ve probably been dreaming of a certain redhead,” she commented dryly.
Damien sighed and leaned back on the bed. “I can’t believe I feel this way about someone I’ve just met over a week ago. I feel like Romeo who’s found his Juliet.”
Ingrid lay down beside her brother and smiled. “We hardly ever get visitors here. This town is not the place to live in if you want a social life or a relationship.” A slight frown formed on her pretty face. “Unfortunately in our case, we really don’t have a choice.”
“That’s the part I hate Ingrid,” Damien sullenly replied, sitting back up. “I’m tired of being lonely, of having to hide in the woods because we can’t live with normal people. Mum and Dad have it easy because they have each other. Who do we have Ingrid? No one. Not a bloody damn soul!” He picked up his iPod and threw it on the floor in a fit of anger and frustration.
Ingrid reached over and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. “I know it’s rough. But what’s the alternative? Chewing on silver bullets and dying? No thanks—I’d rather be alive and single than dead.”
Damien laughed bitterly. “You sure have a way with words little sister.”
Ingrid hopped off the bed and retrieved Damien’s iPod. She put it on the bed then looked at her older brother pointedly. “You need to go to Pearl. Damien. Now.”
“You know I would if it wasn’t for this storm—“he began.
Ingrid folded her arms across her chest. “A storm wouldn’t stop Quinn Nightshade. He probably already went to the Lawrence’s,” she interrupted matter-of-factly.
Damien stood up; his handsome face turned dark like the storm clouds the late autumn sky. “Oh, don’t remind me. The thought of that creepy bastard putting his hands all over her makes me sick,” he spat.
“Then what are you waiting for? Go!” Ingrid said, giving him a nudge towards the door. “I’ll cover for you with Mum and Dad.”
He threw his long, lean arms around his sister. “You’re the best, you know that? I love you.”
Ingrid chuckled as she returned the hug. “I love you too, and yes, I am the best.” She released herself and ran a hand through his spiky brown hair. “Now get going tiger—I mean wolf!”
Damien grinned and headed for the door, with Ingrid following.
Somewhere on Route 26
The music was blaring as Quinn sped down the dark highway, hands gripped on the steering wheel as tight as a vice. Megan’s hateful words were still ringing like unharmonious chimes in his head.
He knew exactly where he had to go and what he had to do. Otherwise, he would go completely insane and this wasn’t the time for madness. Not now, when he had so much to live for.
The scornful voice of Megan inside his brain was replaced by Pearl’s soft tone. “I have to admit…I do have feelings for you Quinn…I know Damien and everyone else wants me to stay away from you, and I told you I wanted you to stay away from me…but I just can’t do that. Not now…”
Quinn relaxed his hold on the steering wheel and he slowed his Corvette down a little. He hoped this little trip he was taking would be all worth it.
Just then, a gentle rain began to fall on his windshield.
Damien slowed his truck down as he approached the road by the Lawrence’s farm. The driveway was up on his left. He noticed the lights on the very bottom of the house were out. Pearl must be asleep, he thought to himself. I shouldn’t wake her. She needs her rest.
Then a sudden idea popped into his mind. An idea that would mean taking a road trip out of Haven, despite the rain that was falling steadily down from the black sky. But it was something that had to be done—or he may just lose Pearl forever.
Damien continued to drive past the farm, and headed for Route 26….
Meanwhile, inside the farmhouse, Iva and Gene were in the den with their houseguest, Micah Johnson. Iva had made some hot tea for the three of them. Sadie and Pearl had gone to bed so they were the only ones up. The rain could be heard falling on the roof, creating a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere.
Micah took a long sip of tea, letting the warm liquid heat his throat. “Thank you,” he said to Gene and Iva. “You’ve been very kind.”
Gene sat back in his chair and smiled at the young man. “So, you said you were on your way to Boston when your car died. Do you have family there?”
Micah nodded. “My grandmother lives there. She and I were going to attend a convention.”
“Oh, what kind?” Iva asked.
Micah grinned sheepishly and looked down at the floor. You would probably think it was silly.”
“Oh come on, you can tell us. I’m sure it’s not that silly,” Iva gently prodded.
“Is it one of those things where you dress up like Batman and walk around looking at comic books?” Gene wanted to know.
Micah couldn’t help but laugh. “It’s actually a convention for psychics and paranormal researchers—PsiCon.”
On hearing the word “psychics,” both Gene and Iva’s eyes widened. “See, I told you it was silly,” Micah said.
Iva shook her head. “Not at all. Are you psychic?”
He nodded. “I’ve helped the police back in my hometown solve some missing persons cases. Nothing very major, mostly elderly who went off.”
Iva leaned forward with excitement. “It just so happens that I’m psychic too. But I haven’t helped the police, I keep to myself.”
Micah smiled again but there was a bit of sadness on his face. “Sometimes I wish I wasn’t psychic. My family, apart from my grandmother, has disowned me because of my abilities.”
“That’s terrible!” Iva exclaimed.
“I was born into a very strict religious family. Both my parents are evangelical Christians. They gave me, my brother and my sister each a Biblical name—-Jeremiah, Ruth, and me, Micah. The church was our life twenty-four seven. It wasn’t until I was seven years old that I was told why our family was like this,” Micah explained.
Gene was intrigued. “Go on.”
“My mother’s mother—my grandmother—the one who lives in Boston—not only is a psychic, but practiced voodoo. My mother was taught the voodoo rituals but when she graduated high school, she became a born-again Christian and left home. She went to a Bible college in Baton Rouge, Louisiana—she was born in New Orleans—and met a student there originally from London. This was the man who would become my father. He had some very strange and outdated ideas about how women should act.”
“What kind of ideas?” Iva asked.
“Well, that women shouldn’t wear pants, keep their hair long, be submissive—that sort of rubbish,” Micah answered bitterly. And she ate it up. She was totally in love with him. She quit school and married him and it wasn’t long before us kids came. We didn’t like all the religious stuff, but we learned to live with it. Then I turned seven and everything changed.”
“What happened?” Iva inquired. “Was that when you discovered you were psychic?”
Micah nodded slowly. I inherited my grandmother’s psychic abilities. Of course, when my parents discovered this, they went ballistic. They sent me to live with her as “punishment” and banished me out of their lives. But instead of me being miserable, I had a wonderful life growing up with her. She taught me to trust and accept my power. Even after I moved out and went to New York City, we still stayed in touch.”
“You haven’t spoken to your parents or brother or sister in all that time?”
“My parents won’t allow Jeremiah or Ruth to talk to me. I think they want to reach out, but after all these years, they’re still afraid. Jerry is twenty-one, Ruth is nineteen, so they’re old enough to contact me, but my father is a very domineering and frightening man. He could scare the pants of Charles Manson,” Micah replied sadly.
“How awful for you,” Iva lamented.
“Despite that, I think I’m better off for it. I’m allowed to be independent and live my own life. And what I really would love is to get my car fixed and be on my way to Boston. I guess I’ll have to wait until this storm blows over.” Micah chuckled. After being in New England for so long, I still can’t get used to these nor’easters.”
Iva stood up and collected the tea cups. “Me neither. It doesn’t bother Gene though.”
“True that, but it’s the blizzards I can’t stand. I’d rather have the rain than the snow,” he said.
Micah stood up too, yawning. “Well, I guess I better get some sleep.”
“You can have the bedroom down the hall,” Iva told him cheerfully.
“Thank you Mrs. Lawrence, I appreciate it. Goodnight.” He smiled at her and Gene and made his way out of the den. Then he stopped and turned back to face them. “I have one more question.”
“Shoot,” Gene said.
“Your niece Sadie…is she psychic too?”
“Yes,” Iva answered.
All Micah could do was grin. “Goodnight again,” he told the couple as he walked away.
Gene and Iva looked at each other, both amused—and worried.
The Little Harmony Inn
A knocking on his hotel room door jarred Duncan Tyler’s attention away from the movie he was watching. His stomach felt like lead. There were only a handful of people who knew he was staying here and the majority of them had an axe to grind.
The knocking came again, more forceful this time. Duncan slowly stood with a guarded look on his face and went to the door. He undid the bolt and when he saw who the guest was, he was not shocked but still a little surprised.
“Well, well, I didn’t think you would actually show up here,” he said, trying to sound nonchalant. “This isn’t a good time—now or never. So goodbye.”
Duncan tried to shut the door but the mystery visitor reached behind their pants pocket and pulled out a lead pipe. His eyes widened in terror.
“My God…what in the hell do you think you’re doing? I’m going to call the police!” He tried to shut the door but the lead pipe slammed down hard on his hand. Duncan cried out and clutched his hand in severe pain.
The attacker barged their way into the hotel room, raised the pipe menacingly and began to beat Duncan senseless on the chest and head. After a few nasty blows he fell to the ground in a heap. Despite him being helpless and unable to defend himself, the attacker continued to hit him with the pipe as if releasing a rage that had been contained within them for years.
As the blood spattered like red paint drops, the rain fell with a vengeance, the wind howled like a horde of demons and thunder and lightning boomed and cracked in the black Maine sky, forming a perfect soundtrack to the deadly rampage taking place inside…
Look for a sneak peek of what’s to come in Season Three on Monday, August 8th!