Soul Mate (The Mating Series) (4 page)

BOOK: Soul Mate (The Mating Series)
13.96Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

I didn’t even notice when we pulled up to my apartment. “Wait here
,” Jimmy said. He rounded the car and opened the passenger door for me.

“Thank you
,” I said.

“It’s not going to happen tonight
,” Jimmy said.

“What’s not going to happen tonight?” 
Did Jimmy pick up my thoughts?

“She’s not going to die,” Jimmy answered.

“Oh.” I sighed in relief. I did nothing to stop it, and it disturbed me. 

Jimmy held the entrance door
open.  As I passed, he put his hand on the small of my back. I warmed to his touch. He guided me up to the stairs in a romantic gesture. I liked it.

“Look, I’m exhausted
,” Jimmy said. “I hope you aren’t offended if I don’t come in.”

,” I said. “I’m pretty tired too.”

“This isn’t how I meant for th
e night to end,” Jimmy said. “I’ll call you, later, okay?”

“Sure,” I said, unlocking my deadbolt.

“Cassie?” I turned. Jimmy pulled me close in an embrace. It felt good in Jimmy’s arms. He smelled wonderful, clean and sexy. Jimmy brushed softly against my cheek. “I’m not finished with what I started before, but not tonight.” I shook my head in agreement. Jimmy kissed me. It was soft and romantic. My body perked up. Jimmy pulled back smiling. “I really have to go,” he said.

“I know.” My lips pulsed from his kiss. I wanted

,” Jimmy said, and then sprinted down the stairs. He stopped half-way down, and turned to look up at me. My face grew hot looking at him. Jimmy’s face beamed. His expression mirrored my happiness. Jimmy darted down the stairs and out the door. I heard Jimmy’s car start outside. I waited until I saw his head lights pass before I forced my self inside.

I entered the dark apartment
. I expected to find Mom sitting on the couch, but she wasn’t there. I went to the kitchen looking for her. Mom wasn’t there either. The beer Jimmy never drank had been emptied, and the bottle sat on counter. The popcorn and broken bowl had been picked up too. Mom couldn’t stand a mess.

moved inanimate objects, but not in same way as the living. She moved objects with kinetic energy. It’s how she materialized. Jimmy explained when Mom materialized she pulled condensation and particles to her energy. He said that it took a lot for a spirit to do. Mom, however, seemed to do it with no effort at all. Mom said she thought about it and it happened. Moving objects put a strain on mom and rarely moved things. After she moved an object her form faded or disappeared altogether. Cleaning up the popcorn mess must have worn her out. Mom was gone for the night.

I went to my room physically and emotionally beat. I didn’t even take
off my clothes. I kicked off my shoes and dropped on the bed. I closed my eyes and drifted into a deep slumber.









































Jimmy didn’t call on Sunday.
I stayed around the house all day, just in case. He didn’t actually say he’d call on Sunday, but I hoped. I worried that he changed his mind about us or worse, had another vision.

Monday morning started like every other day. I listened to the news while I
dressed. I heard the typical stuff: A gas station had been robbed on the near east side, a car accident on I-70 had the right lane shut down, and the mayor would speak at press conference in the afternoon. Nothing caught my attention, which settled my nerves.

I drove to work, happy the traffic was light and
arrived a few minutes early. When I pushed through the front door, the smell of coffee and bacon assaulted me. My mouth watered. I usually skipped breakfast, but it smelled good. I turned towards the kitchen instead of my office. I passed Vanessa Belkin, or Nessie as we called. She leaned on the gray reception desk. The second floor served as her apartment so she was always the first at the desk. She wore a big red and white stripped t-shirt and skin tight, red cotton pants.

Nessie’s appearance frighten
ed any unsuspecting new comer. She was a large woman. Her dyed hair, an unnatural burgundy color, made her pale skin washed out. She kept it cropped short and flipped in all different directions. Scars webbed across the left side of her face. Her head sloped on the side with the scars.  Nessie’s eye blinded and laid dead in the socket. A near fatal assault caused Nessie’s alarming appearance. A man tried to bash her head in and leave her for dead.

had once been like the residents at Mary House. She sold her body to support an addiction, but Nessie had been clean and sober for many years. Her blind eye and scars served as a reminder of that past life. She wore her scars as like a badge of honor. She told the story to anyone who listened.

Nessie’s unattractive appearance gave her few options for employment. 
She tried in vain to get a job and live on her own. Mary Lazarus insisted she stay at the facility. Nessie didn’t want to leave Mary House, so Mary put her on the payroll and made her a member of the staff. She was the most valued staff member. Mary House couldn’t survive without Nessie. She related to the women on an entirely different level than other staff members.

“There you are
,” she said, as I walked through the foyer. “Some dude named Jimmy just called for you.”

I halted in my tracks.
“Really?” I couldn’t hide a smile.

“New man?” Nessie asked
, giving me a lopsided smile.

“Humph, they all start off good, but they’re all jerks.” Nessie had no respect for men since one tried to kill her.
Nessie held up a plump finger. “They all after one thing.” I understood Nessie’s distrust of men and normally, I would agree. I never had a meaningful relationship, until Jimmy. He was different. Jimmy always treated me with respect and never made advances or acted inappropriately.

forgot breakfast and went to my broom closet sized office. Mary House couldn’t afford much office space for staff. It needed as much room as possible for the residents.  My office heaped, from floor to ceiling, with papers, reference books and junk. A slob by nature, I liked my little rats nest. My apartment would look just as cluttered, if it wasn’t for Mom’s constant hovering, literally. I used my office as a rebellion against Mom’s need for tidiness.

moved some papers to find my office phone. I dialed half of Jimmy’s number when my purse rang.
My cell phone
! I fished it out, glanced at the screen, and saw the familiar number. “Hello.” I answered.

,” Jimmy said. “How are you?”

,” I said.

“I couldn’t wait to talk to you.”

“I thought maybe you’d call yesterday.”

“I wanted to, but I slept until noon. Then I had several readings in the afternoon
and evening. By the time I closed the office, it was ten o’clock. I figured you were in bed.”

went to bed early on work nights, but last night I couldn’t sleep. I hoped Jimmy would call. I didn’t want to seem desperate. “I was in bed,” I lied.

I wanted to talk to you today before you got busy,” Jimmy said. “I would like to take you out on a real date.”

“That sounds great
,” I said. We rarely went out. Every Saturday we usually rented a movie and ate take out. We called it movie night “How about Saturday?” I asked. Jimmy and I kept it casual. We never expected each other to cancel plans for movie night. If one of us had plans, we would wait until the following Saturday to see each other.

“I don’t want to wait a week to see you again
,” Jimmy said. I let out a silent scream of excitement. Jimmy rarely rearranged his schedule to spend time with me. I never asked him too.
Jimmy really likes me.
“How about Wednesday?” Jimmy asked.

“All right
,” I said, trying to sound indifferent.

o you want to meet after work?”


“Listen, Cassie, I can’t stop thinking about you.”

I did the happy dance around my desk. “I’ve been thinking about you too
,” I said, still dancing.

“Miss Cassie?” a voice said from behind. I stiffened.

“Hold on, Jimmy,” I said. I turned to find Jane Tedeski, a small waif of a girl with pale blonde hair and sunken eyes, standing at my door.

If a
woman successfully completed her sentence, her case was dismissed. She would be given the option stay at Mary House. If a woman chose to stay, she continued her treatment and counseling, received life skills, and vocational training, with the hopes that when it was time for her to leave Mary House, she could find a good job and support herself. Jane took the option to stay.

Jane fidgeted, nervously.
She functioned at a lower capacity, due to a head injury. She had trouble staying focused. The other residents called her “Crazy Jane.” She started to speak again.

held up my finger, in a wait gesture. “Can I call you back, Jimmy?” 

Babe,” he said.
He called me Babe!
Giddiness washed over me.

I pressed the end button on my phone. “Sorry, Jane,” I said, “did you need something?”

“There’s two cops here to see you.”

“What do they want?” I asked, as if I didn’t know.

“Dunno, they just asked for Mary Lazarus, and Nessie told ‘em she’s gone. So they asked for whoever’s in charge.” Jane shrugged. “Nessie says that’s you.”

“I guess
,” I said. The residents at Mary House considered me second in command. I didn’t have an official title, and didn’t want to be in charge.

“Nessie put them in class
room A and told me to get you.”

“Thank you, Jane
,” I said, fighting back the nausea. “I’ll be there in a minute.”

“You okay?” Jane asked.

“Yeah,” I said. I went from dancing around my office to feeling green.
Talk about mood swings

“I go tell ‘em you’re coming.” Jane said and left my office.

Classroom A was a small room draped on 1980’s mauve and green. A table in the center crowded the room. I inhaled and entered the classroom. I found two men, one sat, arms folded and knee propped on the table, and the other watched out the window, back turned. The appearance of the man seated screamed “good ol’ boy.” He looked like a 1950’s football coach with his short sleeve, white shirt and white socks, with dark dress pants and black shoes. His dark hair buzz cut to accent his extremely large head and neck. He reminded me of Dick Butkus. “I’m Detective Billy Skinner,” He said with a twang.
. I thought, placing the accent. The other man kept his back to me. He fixated on something outside the window.

“We need to talk to s
omeone about an investigation,” Detective Skinner said. I nodded. “Are you the person in charge?”

“Mary Lazarus is the administrator, but she’s out of town.” I said “
I’m handling things in her absence.”

“And you are?”
Detective Skinner questioned.

Cassandra Williams.” I answered, awaiting the inevitable news of Skye’s death.

The other man turned to me.
I examined his smooth caramel skin. “I’m Detective King.” He said. “We’re working a homicide investigation. We have reason to believe you may know the victim.” He looked as though he might be bi-racial, but I couldn’t tell for sure. Detective King had the most striking amber eyes. His long dark lashes fluttered like butterflies as he spoke. “Please sit down, Ms. Williams.” I found myself studying him. I pulled out a chair and sat across from Detective Skinner.

“Skye.” I whispered to myself.

“Excuse me?” Detective Skinner said.

Was the victim a red head?” I asked, not really wanting to know. Detective Skinner stared at me. An odd expression creased his forehead. He wondered how I knew.

Skinner pulled out a glossy picture and dropped in front of me. I glanced at it for a second before the other detective, Detective King, snatched it up. He put it in a manila folder. He shot Skinner a sharp look.

BOOK: Soul Mate (The Mating Series)
13.96Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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