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The door slammed shut again. A clean lemon smell crept through the air, jolting Allie into a heightened sense of awareness. And then it hit her. It wasn’t lemons at all. It was something else. Something comforting and warmly familiar. It was the smell of Jean Nate, the only cologne Buela had ever worn. Allie closed her eyes and tried to concentrate, but the smell was now gone.
“Did you smell that?” she asked.
“Smell what?” Phoebe said, staring at the closed door in disbelief.
“What is it with you and lemons? We have a ghost to concentrate on here.” Phoebe walked over to the door and placed her palm against the old wood then swayed back and forth like she was in a trance. After about a minute, she turned to face them with a wide smile on her face. “He’s here! He’s really here. And…for some reason, he doesn’t object to your presence at the séance.”
“How convenient,” Tom said.
“The ghost told you he didn’t object to us?” Allie said.
“Not in so many words, but I was able to feel it. Because as I’ve said, the ghost and I are—”
“Simpatico,” Allie finished.
Allie itched to wipe the smug expression off Phoebe’s face but she needed to be in the old bat’s good graces. Phoebe began to list off all the supplies they’d need for the séance.
“And of course we’ll tape it,” Phoebe finished. “I’ll put Roger in charge. He’s good at that sort of thing. Oh, and it’s imperative the table be sturdy. We can’t have one of those flimsy card tables with the wobbly legs.”
“No wobbly legs,” Allie said. “Anything else?”
“Just one more thing. After I leave here the building must be closed for the twenty four hour period before the séance. Absolutely no one must enter. The atmosphere must be as pure as possible. Any lingering negative vibrations and the ghost might not respond to Madame Gloria.” She seared them both one last time with her bug eyes before making a grand exit from the building.
“I don’t get it,” Allie said, “why doesn’t she like me?”
“She’s a kook. And she’s threatened by you.”
“Sure, you honed in on her little ghost business.”
“You have to admit the door thing was creepy. And the smell—”
“A random burst of air shut the door. The windows are all boarded up, so any lingering smells are going to be exaggerated. That’s all it was, Allie.”
“You really believe that?”
“Yeah, I do.”
She sighed. “Well, thanks for getting Phoebe to agree to let us take part in the séance.”
“Did you really think I was going to let her do her thing in here without us?”
“Poor Phoebe has no idea what’s she up against,” Allie said. “Insurance regulations, demolition deadlines, and a budget.”
She hoped he might smile at that but he didn’t. “So, are we going to pretend our previous conversation never happened?”
Yes, please. “I don’t want to fight with you, Tom.”
“I don’t want to fight with you, either.”
“Then, yeah, can we pretend it never happened? Can we start over as just…friends?”
He stared at her a moment, then shrugged. “Sure, we can be great pals.” Before she could say anything to that, he added, “It’s been a long morning, let’s get out of here.” He made a quick inspection, going room to room, making sure they didn’t leave anything behind. He was securing the padlock to the front door when Allie stopped him by placing her hand on his arm.
“You really didn’t feel anything? Or smell anything unusual? Because if we’re going to be friends then we have to be honest with one another.”
“I’m sorry, Allie, but all I smell is musty old building.”
She wished she could say he was lying. But unlike before, this time Tom was telling the truth.
Page Count: 345 pages
Publisher: TKA Distribution (April 28, 2015)
Allie Grant doesn’t believe in second chances. She does, however, believe in the power of a permanent paycheck. So when a tipster reports that the soon-to-be demolished senior center in her hometown is haunted, Allie hightails it to Whispering Bay to get the scoop that could secure her dream job at Florida! magazine. What she finds, though, is far scarier than any ghost. Cue her ex-boyfriend, sexy construction foreman Tom Donalan.
When Tom catches Allie poking around his construction site, he quickly realizes his former high school flame is just as feisty as ever. And, heaven help him, her irresistible, mile-high legs still take his breath away. But Tom isn’t about to delay the building’s demolition because of a silly ghost story.
With neither of the stubborn exes backing down from their opposing positions, sparks fly. And, underneath the surface, the fire of their old attraction burns as hot as ever. When strange things start happening with increasing frequency around town, even a tough skeptic like Tom is tested. The question is, can Allie and Tom stop fighting long enough to get to the bottom of Whispering Bay’s ghost problem—and the more important matter of mending their broken hearts?
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