Authors: Lisa Graves
Tags: #Romance, #Fiction, #Paranormal
by Lisa Graves
Copyright 2010 by Lisa Weight
Cover art copyright 2011 by Darren Weight
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from Lisa Weight.
This book is dedicated to all of you who
strive for truth, answers, and mystery.
3 7 11 13 17
It may be a little cliche, but the first time I saw Lilly was magical. Stars twinkling, slow motion, can’t breathe kind-of stuff. When I found her the second time, after many, many years of searching, it took all of my self control to not pull her close, hold her tight in my arms, and never let her go. But she didn’t know me then. I would have to be patient. Love is like that sometimes. It can change your life.
One person can change your life.
Chapter 1. Sparks
I’m not scared!”
Let’s go. It’s not far,” I said.
Elliott and I walked into the woods that edged the neighborhood. A crow cried out as it flew overhead. A chill ran down my spine.
We came upon the two trees that marked the hidden path to my park. I could sense his apprehension. It felt as though there was electricity in the air, like sparks dancing across steel wool. All of the other trees in the neighborhood were predominately maples. The two trees that marked the passage were very old and ancient looking oaks.
Elliott looked worried by the way the trees seemed to grab for us. I was used to their ominous presence. To my surprise, he took hold of my hand. We stood hidden in shadow at the base of the path. Electricity pulsed through me in reaction to his touch. Elliott felt magnetic somehow. I shivered. And he smiled at my reaction.
Is this dangerous?” he asked, trying to put a mocking tone in his voice.
No. I go there all the time. At night even,” I said reassuringly.
Then how come you said, ‘people think it’s haunted’?”
You’ll just have to see,” I teased.
Elliott let me lead him down the dimly lit trail. The trees were so big and dense that they blocked out most of the sunlight. I loved it. The path was a hundred yards of an overgrown trail. Here and there, a squirrel or field mouse would cross in front of us as we continued on without speaking. The only sound was the crunch of twigs and leaves beneath our feet. Elliott seemed a lot like me. The quiet part at least.
My body reveled in reaction to his hand holding mine the entire distance of the pathway. For the first time ever, I wished the journey was longer to my refuge.
I had been to the hidden park more than a hundred times before, but today there was something different in the air. Maybe it was me. It was probably Elliott. Silently, we walked to the edge of the darkness. To the edge of the clearing.
Together, with our hands still clasped tight, we stepped into the light. My eyes shied away from the abrupt brightness of the sun, as I quickly looked to see what Elliott’s response was to
His eyes seemed to question my sanity as he spoke. “It’s a cemetery?”
Not the whole thing,” I replied as I looked affectionately at the wildflower meadow that was unevenly scattered with headstones.
I don’t think this looks like a park, Lilly. Where’s the jungle gym?”
Not all parks have playgrounds,” I reverted back in a mocking tone. “Besides, I like it.”
Our hands were still clutched tight together. My body had an obvious physical attraction to Elliott. Not sexual, though he was good looking. It felt more magnetic. My body craved his
. It felt like true happiness just to be near him. My thumb brushed against his knuckle, as we walked towards the center of the clearing.
I think I understand why you like this place. It’s peaceful. For a cemetery,” Elliott said with complete sincerity. He shook his head as though something about the place was funny. I was too shy to ask about it.
I smiled with my eyes as we reached the middle of the meadow, wondering to myself if this wasn’t somehow a dream. Elliott’s eyes smiled back. I feigned fainting. I fell to the soft ground, and being still attached at the hands, I took Elliott down with me. We both lay on our backs, there, under the sun, watching the shapes in the clouds stroll across the baby blue sky. Quiet filled the air. The scent of lavender all around us.
What are you thinking?” he asked me. True curiosity riddled his words, as well as a hint of an accent.
About what’s real or isn’t real.”
This. . . Here. . . Now. I haven’t had a day this fabulous... ever.” I blushed at my unexpected honesty, and I realized that I was biting my lip. I silently scolded myself for my veracity. I needed to stop. My eyes nervously made their way to his. The confusion on his face was perplexing.
What does that have to do with reality?” Elliott said.
More than you know.”
My mind was suddenly reeling through my thoughts and memories so fast, I was amazed I was keeping up. My semi-photographic memory was temporarily out of control as various images flashed through my mind. Elliott’s thumb brushed my hand and stopped my reeling thoughts on a random phrase that was previously dormant in my vault of memories.
I shut my eyes in order to see.
I shut my eyes in order to see,” I muttered under my breath as I instinctively shut my eyes on the sun.
All of a sudden, all of my mixed thoughts and the confusing flash images clicked. They made sense. It was as if the world was trying to tell me something all along. My mind was trying to tell me.
It wanted free.
My sudden epiphany fascinated me, and to my surprise, I had momentarily forgotten where I was. I opened my eyes to an intense and curious stare.
What just happened? Are you okay?”
Yes,” I answered warily. “Why?”
Elliott seemed unsure of something as he said, “You zoned out -- but more...it was like...you...” he trailed off in thought.
Uhh,” was all I could bring myself to respond. If he thought I was some crazy mind power freak, Elliott might not talk to me anymore. He might not see me anymore. And even though we’d just met, I wanted, no needed, to be near him.
I’m tired,” I finally responded. It wasn’t even a lie.
Evaluating my expression, Elliott said, “maybe we should get you home,” as he stood up and pulled me to my feet.
All of the blood rushed to my head, and I started to sway and fall back towards the ground. Elliott held me up as I regained control over my body. However, his closeness wasn’t helping my clarity.
We walked together, hand in hand, back towards my house. My embarrassment made it feel like forever to get back to the main road. The seconds dragged. Elliott was quiet.
Obviously contemplating my sanity, or lack of
, I thought. The sound of the blue jays’ cries seemed to boom in comparison to our silence. But I didn’t know what to say.
Elliott walked me up to my door. The unclenching of our hands physically hurt. I felt a sense of loss without his touch, and I turned to face the door in case Elliott could somehow see how deeply I was affected by him.
What was wrong with me?
Without a sound, he turned and walked away. However, I couldn’t resist a quick glance over my shoulder as I walked into my house. Our eyes met. He was watching me, too. Elliott winked at me as I shut the door.
I ran up the stairs to my room.
As I entered my domain, I realized that a long-legged, blond haired girl was laying on my bed. Charlotte. Charlotte was one of my two best friends, who happened to live down the street. She often let herself into my room through the window. Charlotte was perky, happy, and annoying. Sometimes I couldn’t figure out why we were friends. I guess the saying was true about opposites attracting.
Hey Harlet,” I sang. “What ya doing?”
Drawing. Your stupid cat keeps moving. Can’t Theory hold still while she steals your soda crackers?” Charlotte asked, obviously perturbed.
I looked at my grey, chunky fluff-head of a cat that was munching on the open package of soda crackers on my desk.
Apparently cats don’t make good drawing models. But I just met one.”
What?” Charlotte asked, now assessing my unusually happy mood.