Authors: Heidi Angell
Tags: #paranormal romance, #chicago, #detective book, #psychic abilites, #dance ballerina dance
Grant wrapped his arms around her as
she felt everyone in the diner turn toward her. She was absolutely
mortified, but it did little to override the anger coursing through
her veins. This was ridiculous!! How would she ever survive in
Should we go?” Grant
asked tensely. “Is there something wrong?”
Clear shook her head. “No… I mean
obviously there is for this person, but there is no clear intent or
thoughts… just a lot of rage.” Clear pinched her fingers over the
bridge of her nose. This anger building up inside was starting to
give her a headache.
Are you sure you are ok?
I mean… I can get the food to go if it would be easier.” He glanced
around and was about to hail the waitress, when the family sitting
by the cook got up to leave. Clear felt the anger grow immensely
and put her head down hard on the table to keep from leaping to her
feet and screaming.
Grant’s hand went to her back and she
barely suppressed a groan as the family walked by her. The moment
the door closed the intensity began to decrease. Clear lifted her
head and looked out the window. She shook involuntarily. Who in
that family could be so angry? The mother was carrying the little
girl and the father walked ahead to open the door. They seemed so
normal. As the mother shifted the little girl, she looked up and
met Clear’s eyes. The anger and hatred welled up in Clear again and
she almost burst into tears. The mother put the girl in the car and
then she and the father got in and started the car.
Clear could feel the tears leaking out
of her eyes, despite her effort to suppress it.
What? Is there something
wrong with that family? Is he going to do something?” Grant tensed
as the car pulled to the exit onto the highway. Now that there was
more distance, Clear’s emotions were no longer completely hay-wire.
She looked at Grant in surprise.
Why did you think it was
the dad?” she queried.
Grant blushed. “Well… it typically
is.” Clear cocked her eyebrow at him.
What? Typically crimes of
passion or rage are committed by men. It is a statistical
Why do you think that is,
you suppose?” Clear wondered out loud.
Because most women are
cold-hearted…” Grant muttered, then looked up and ahemmed. “Uh…
well, psychologists say that it is because women feel more
comfortable expressing their feelings and displaying their
emotions. They also typically have a stronger network to share
those emotions. Men tend to bottle things up and do not feel
comfortable sharing their feelings, especially negative feelings,
Clear shook her head. “It wasn’t the
dad, and like I said before there were no images associated with
Then how do you know it
wasn’t the dad?” Grant grumbled.
Clear was still wondering about his
cold-hearted comment and off-handedly replied. “Because I am the
psychic. It was the little girl.”
Grant scoffed, “No way, she was
asleep… besides little girls aren’t.. I mean they don’t… You looked
like you were ready to murder someone!” he stammered toward the
I felt like it too. But
that is the problem with kids. They haven’t experienced enough in
life and they don’t know how to mediate their feelings. Everything
is black and white at that age. Either they love you or they hate
you.. and it can change in less than five minutes. The only ones
who are worse than toddlers are teenagers, but they have all those
hormones….” Clear trailed off as she realized Grant was guffawing
at her. It made her feel distinctly uncomfortable.
Grant’s mouth slammed shut. “Nothing…
it’s just you talk… like… I don’t know, someone who’s raised a
dozen kids… or a psychiatrist.”
Clear felt herself blush. She shook
her head, “No, it’s just easy for adults to forget once they grow
up. If everyone could feel what I feel from kids, they would
remember from their own childhood and would be so much more
understanding.” She could feel herself blushing even more and was
grateful that the food came at that moment so she could duck her
head down and pretend to inspect it.
Clear started shoving food in her face
so that he wouldn’t ask any more questions. At moments it was
easier for her to talk about these aspects of herself, because she
had been doing it for so long now with Anne, but then she would
remember who she was talking to (NOT Anne) and what he had done the
last time she had shared something precious with him. As soon as
she thought about it, she wanted to cry again. She closed her eyes
and took a deep breath through her nose.
Pretty good, huh?” Grant
smiled at her as she opened her eyes.
She nodded shoving food in
her mouth again. ‘
Whatever, let him think
what he wants
.’ She would much rather he
think that was what was in her head than have him really know what
she thought and how she felt. Right now she felt more alone than
she had felt in a long time. She suspected that any of the lonely
looking people in this place were supplanting and heightening those
feelings, but at the core she knew they were also her feelings. She
had underestimated how strong her feelings still were for Grant and
she now realized that she hadn’t gotten closure and she hadn’t had
a support group to vent to and had kept all these emotions bottled
up, or shoved to the side.
She supposed she could have talked to
Anne about them, but at the same time she didn’t really feel
comfortable talking to Anne about it. What had happened that night
had been one of the most intimate experiences in her life and she
and Anne had only recently re-established their friendship. Because
she hadn’t had the closure, she was still fighting this stupid
She mentally squared her shoulders.
She was not going to fall apart and she was not going to let Grant
know one thing about any of her feelings. Right now she really
needed to focus on Grant’s daughter and helping him find her. She
took a sip of her drink to rinse the food down.
Well, at least this
experience has taught us something,” Clear suddenly announced.
Grant looked at her slightly confused. She shrugged. “At least we
know it still works.” She tapped the side of her head and nodded
out the window to where the car had pulled out who knows how long
Grant looked out the window then
looked at her. As the light of understanding lit his eyes, he began
to smile. “And that is a good thing, right?”
She smiled back at him and
nodded, then looked out the window, once again dreading the
possibility of being in Chicago. It worked alright, but with that
many people how long would
be able to work?
After they finished eating, Grant
asked the waitress if she knew of a nearby hotel. She gave them
directions and they rode in silence. Pulling into the parking lot,
Grant glanced at Clear. “You want to come in, or wait
Clear shook her head. “I’ll just wait
right here, if that’s ok?”
Grant nodded. “Be right
Clear watched him walking in and
couldn’t help but notice how the light reflected off his soft
curls. He walked up to the counter and there was an exchange with
the clerk. He glanced out the window at Clear and then held his
hand up to the clerk in the traditionally understood, just a minute
sign. He jogged out and Clear quickly rolled down the
Uh… they only have one
Clear swallowed. “Um… no
Grant raised his eyebrows. “If you’re
sure? We could try the next place.”
You aren’t gonna make it
too much further. It’s no big deal.” She nodded trying to look more
confident and unconcerned than she felt. ‘
One room? Crap!
Grant jogged back in to get the room
and Clear took deep breaths. It wouldn’t be too bad, she told
herself. It wasn’t like they would be sharing a bed. There would be
a bathroom to change in. She had pajamas. No biggie. As long as he
had pajamas. Unbidden, images of his strong arms reflecting in the
soft glow from the light let in by the shades came to her mind.
God, she hoped he had pajamas!
She jumped out of the truck and
started grabbing her bags, ready to get this over with. She could
stand it one night. She had to. This wouldn’t be a problem in
Chicago, so one night was no big deal. She could do
Grant walked out of the hotel lobby
and glanced at her in surprise. “Uh.. did you want a hand with
that? You don’t have to bring it all, you know,” he smiled
Clear could feel herself blushing and
hoped that he couldn’t see it in the dark. “I.. well, I didn’t have
a lot of time to pack and I’m not really sure what is in which bag.
Stupid really, but I can carry it. Thanks.” She pulled back as he
reached for one of her bags.
Oh.. ok.” He leaned in
the trunk and grabbed his own bag then headed for their room. Clear
followed as quickly as she could, wishing she had taken more time
to pack more carefully. She had felt such an urgent need to go
before she chickened out, though.
Grant unlocked the door to their room
and pushed it open. Clear trundled through and dropped her bags in
a huff then looked up. There was only one bed.
Oh.” she gasped, looking
around. There was one bed and a high-back, soft chair. A small
table was off to the side and an old television dominated the wall
in front of the bed. “Um…” She didn’t know what to say. She glanced
at Grant quickly and registered the surprise on his face as well.
“I need to use the bathroom,” she announced, giving herself some
time to think. She grabbed the bag that she was pretty sure had her
pajamas and toothpaste in them and lumbered into the only other
doorway, praying it was the bathroom. She closed the door tight and
slumped to the floor, rummaging through her bag to see what she had
with her. How were they going to do this? There was no way she was
crawling into bed with him again!
She pulled her clothes out of the bag
and changed into pajama pants and a tank, then threw her hoodie on
over it. Stalling for time, she pulled her toothbrush and
toothpaste out and began to brush. Rinsing, she still had no idea
what to do, but figured she couldn’t stall any longer. She shoved
her belongings back into the bag and took two deep breaths before
pulling the door open.
Sorry I took so long…”
She looked around the room for Grant and then saw him on the floor.
He nodded to the blankets and pillow
he had set up. “I found these in the closet.”
But…” Clear sputtered,
feeling very bad about him driving all day and then laying out on
the floor. “Isn’t that… uncomfortable?”
Grant patted the hideous shag carpet.
“Lots of extra fluff.”
Clear shook her head. “Look I’ll sleep
on the floor. You can have the bed. I mean, you drove all day and
all I did was sleep.”
I’m fine.” Grant sighed.
“Snug as a bug in a rug.”
But you will not be fine
in the morning and you have to drive all day,” Clear pointed
Only a couple of
Don’t be ridiculous!”
Clear snapped, pointing fiercely at the bed.
A gentleman wouldn’t let
a lady sleep on the floor,” Grant insisted, setting his jaw
Clear let out a very unladylike guffaw
before clamping her mouth shut on all the thoughts racing through
her head, like the fact that a gentleman would have called after
the last night they had spent together. She instead spun on her
heel and slammed her bag into the chair.
Clear….” When she spun
around he was already standing. “Look, I don’t want to fight.
Please,” his hands were out at his side. “I… I need your help. I
know after everything… well, I know this is hard on both of us. I
am simply trying to make it.. less… difficult. Please, let’s not
Clear nodded that she understood. She
wanted to cry and couldn’t understand that. It felt like he had
regrets too, but she wasn’t sure what he regretted. Not calling
her, or having slept with her in the first place? She desperately
wanted answers, but was afraid of the answers too. All of a sudden
she felt so weary.
I don’t want to fight
either. At your age you can’t possibly sleep comfortably on the
floor. Why are we acting like children? It’s a king-sized bed. We
can both sleep in it.” She bit her lip, hoping he would refuse but
feeling immediately guilty at the thought. He gave her that
detective once over. Cold and professional. She almost felt like
squirming under that gaze.
Alright, if you’re sure
it won’t bother you.” He climbed into bed on the far side. She
looked up in surprise realizing he hadn’t changed from earlier.
Well. The more clothes the better. She turned the light off and
crept carefully to the edge of the bed, hating the unfamiliarity of
it all. Her knee bumped the edge of the bed and she exhaled loudly
then quickly slipped under the blankets and clung to the edge of
the bed. She could hear Grant’s breathing and even though it was
steady and smooth, it made her feel completely wired. She wasn’t
going to sleep a wink.