Can Yuletide magic help a sexy ghost who says he's not dead?
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EXCERPT from The Holiday Spirit:
A line from one of Kerri's own novels sprang to mind: People, people all around, and not a soul to see me... What was it like to be Galen McAllister? Knowing that he wasn't dead and helpless to do anything about it. Trapped in a bizarre limbo for nearly a year and, for all he knew, it was never going to end.
Ghosts could communicate with each other if they wanted to ... but he had never realized he had that option. Only the strongest of souls could withstand that kind of isolation, could stand up to the ongoing fear and uncertainty.
I'd be terrified, she thought. Completely and totally terrified. Her eyes teared up at the thought and her hand slid across the table towards his. Kerri wanted so much to connect with him in some tangible way, but whether it was to comfort him or to comfort herself in that moment, she couldn't say. It wasn't possible of course. Or so she thought until he pushed his hand forward, palm down, so that his fingertips met hers-
Warmth flooded through her hand, like soft rays from the early morning sun in her summer garden, sweet and gentle. The sensation traveled partway up her arm before gradually receding until only her fingertips were warm where they appeared to touch Galen's.
She smiled and left them there.
"So why do you do it?" he asked. "Why visit with ghosts? I can't imagine that life-coaching the dead pays very well."
"It's not a job, silly," she said. "It's called respecting the gift I've been given. They need my help, and I have a responsibility to do what I can. That's what I learned from my family, and I believe it. You know how everyone talks about following your passion? Well, I feel strongly about the work that I do with spirits-it's very rewarding-and I also love writing. How many people get to have two passions they can follow at the same time?"
Galen nodded, but she could tell by the thoughtful furrow in his brow (as best as she could see it under his hood) that he wasn't finished asking questions.
"If you feel so strongly, why were you hesitant to tell me about being a ghost consultant?"
"A ghost consultant." Kerri laughed a little. "I like that. I'll have to put it on my business cards."
"Jesus, you have business cards for this too?"
"Of course not, I'm just teasing you. I do have cards, but only for my career as a writer. Ghosts hardly need business cards. They have a grapevine that makes the Internet look like a cave painting. That's how they find me."
"Okay, back to my question: why didn't you want to tell me? You talked about ghosts when you first met me, but then you put me off twice when I asked about Everett's secretarial duties."
Kerri sighed. "I talked to you quite freely about ghosts because I thought you were one! For Pete's sake, I don't go around advertising my ability. Honestly, would you have believed me before this happened to you?"
"No, not at first. But I'd like to think I'd have tried. I know I would at least have respected that you believed it. By the way, your dinner is getting cold."
She poked a fork into her food and discovered he was right, but resolved to eat it anyway. She just didn't have the energy to get out of the chair and ferry the Chicken Broccoli Alfredo back to the microwave. But Galen scooped up the dish and did it for her. She watched as he pressed buttons and a half beat later, the numbers appeared and the microwave started. How much had he practiced in order to perfect his unique abilities?
"Thank you," she said. "I have to admit that I'm really tired. And I should have asked if it would bother you if I eat in front of you."
"It would bother me more if you didn't eat, especially after I just slaved over a hot microwave for thirty seconds." He winked at her. "Don't worry about me. I can't smell the food, so it's a lot like looking at a television commercial."
"I don't know. Those things sure make me hungry. Especially the ads that come on late at night."
"Fast food joints know that your resistance is down after dark. Everything looks more appealing then."
Maybe I need to keep that in mind, she thought. Because Galen certainly looked appealing, in more ways than one.
|Waldo the Pug plays an important role in The Holiday Spirit!|