Death Lies Between Us
Jody A. Kessler
Disgruntled with his position in the afterlife and conflicted by his feelings toward his new client, Nathaniel Evans forgoes the rules and saves nineteen year old Juliana Crowson from being hopelessly stuck in Forge Creek. This alters Juliana’s destiny and she finds herself in a series of near death accidents.
In the mountains of Colorado, Nathaniel comforts Juliana as she struggles to understand her paranormal abilities while coping with her brother’s drug addiction. When an ill-tempered Native American Shaman teaches her the difference between ghosts and place memories, she decides she wants nothing to do with the supernatural world. Too bad she doesn’t know that Nathaniel is part of it.
Will fate bring these two together, or has Nathaniel made the biggest mistake of his afterlife?
“Juliana?” I don’t respond. I can’t face anyone.
“Can I sit with you?”
I hug my knees into my chest with my face buried in my folded arms. I mumble into the pit of my lap. “Are you here to end my misery?”
It’s an odd answer but then again so was the question. “Then, please leave.”
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have come, but neither can I go.”
I turn my face, taking in the crisp air and digest his unusual answers. There are so many things that have happened tonight that don’t make any sense. Why would one more confusing sentiment make any difference?
Loneliness wraps around me, holding me in a cool embrace. I break its grip by saying, “It goes on the list, you know?” I speak into the dark. No movement or sound gives away his location but I can feel him close by. The low thumping of Blue Nouveau’s drums is the only sound breaking the stillness of the forest.
The caress of his voice brushes my ear. “Which list are you referring to?”
“Our list — things that are inexplicable.”
“Which deficiency of mankind are we adding tonight?”
“Lying to someone you love.” My voice is flat but the tear leaking from my eye gives away my true feelings.
“We can put that one on the top of the list,” he says.
A gentle hand surprises me as it wraps gently around my swollen ankle and finds a comfortable hold. The warmth penetrates through the sore muscles like a mild current of electricity.
He turns to stand in front of me, silent as a shadow. His hand lifts out of the dark. His fingertips brush the underside of my chin gently tipping my face up to his. How does he move and make no sound? His fingers move to my temple, brushing away a hair then trailing down to the edge of my jaw where they halt. He watches my face and looks into my eyes. I feel a surge of loneliness from somewhere deep inside him. I don’t understand it or have time to dwell on it but it makes me want to hold onto him. His gaze lowers to my mouth.
He’s so close. I didn’t see it before, but he glows. The slightest iridescent shimmer encapsulates him, so totally different than the way Chris’s aura looked. He smells good too, like I remembered, and more. It’s so familiar, but I can’t say where from. The ozone smell of clean air after a storm and hints of cinnamon and honey swirled in cream. It’s intoxicating. Even the feel of him standing near me is like a caress passing over my skin. I can’t believe myself. I’m going to let this vague stranger kiss me, and I want him to.
Jody A. Kessler enjoys writing paranormal novels and is a member of Pikes Peak Writers. She is a yoga instructor, Reiki Master, and a graduate from the Colorado Institute of Massage Therapy. When she took an extended leave from her massage practice to stay at home with her newborn she returned to her first true passion —writing. She spends most of her time being a mother, writing, and teaching yoga, but also likes going to concerts, hiking, practicing herbal medicine, and reading anything that catches her interest. Jody lives in the mountains of Colorado with her family.
She welcomes visitors to her website www.jodyakessler.com