Haunted Page 64


She frowned suddenly.


’’Adam, why were you so anxious that we come here?’’ Darcy asked him. ’’It was as if you knew that there was something going on here...but you hadn\ been here in years, either.’’


Adam hesitated, then looked at Matt. ’’My actual gift isn\ like Darcy\s,’’ he said quietly. ’’But I knew that such gifts existed, I\d seen them far too many times to ignore them. I have the ability to discover and channel such gifts. In fact,’’ he admitted, smiling ruefully at Darcy, ’’one of my greatest heartbreaks has been the fact that although I know there is something beyond, and that so many of those powers are locked in our minds, I cannot touch my own son, while he and Darcy...sometimes it seems that they can converse as if Josh were still alive. But right before I sent you that letter, Matt, I had a dream about your grandfather. We were playing chess on the porch, just as we had done so many times, and he was talking about the house, telling me that it had been wronged. And as we were talking...a woman drifted by me. In mist. And I asked your grandfather if he had seen her, and he told me that so much that was so wrong had occurred there, and that she needed help. The house needed help, and so did you, Matt. Anyway, when I awoke, I felt as if I had really talked to him again, and I knew that something was going on here. I didn\ , of course, know that it was a recent tragedy that had occurred, I just knew that I had been summoned.’’ He looked back at Darcy. ’’The business I had in London could have been put off, actually, has been put off. But I wanted you to come here first. I wanted your impressions. Then, it seemed as if Matt just might be right, too, what with the things going on, and so, I was worried about bringing you here. That\s why I decided you needed a dog, because the dog would always know when a living being was causing the trouble.’’


’’Oola did run after Carter, growling and snarling. And that\s why he hurt her. She gave me warning, Adam. She\s wonderful, and I love her,’’ Darcy said. She smiled then. ’’And you had a dream, huh? And you talked to your old friend in it.’’


Adam flushed. ’’I don\ think that I have what you have, Darcy. Not at all. But it\s good to know that my instincts kick in as well.’’


’’This is terrible,’’ Penny said. ’’I don\ think I can sleep a wink, but I\m exhausted.’’


’’I am not going back out to that caretaker\s cottage by myself, not tonight,’’ Lavinia said firmly.


’’Don\ worry we\ve plenty of room in the house.’’


Matt smiled, looking at Darcy. ’’The Lee Room is available.’’


’’I will not be sleeping in the Lee Room!’’ Lavinia said indignantly, and they all smiled.


’’If you\ e really uneasy tonight, you can bunk in with me,’’ Penny told her.


’’I may just be doing that,’’ Lavinia said.


’’Maybe we should all try to get some sleep,’’ Matt said. ’’Let\s pack up, and call it a night.’’


Darcy had insisted earlier that she was fine, but now every bone in her body seemed to hurt. Matt looked a little rough around the edges as well, but he jumped into a brief shower himself, and when he came out, Darcy discovered that he\d filled the tub for her with hot water and an aloe and oil bath that was guaranteed to ease sore muscles and be kind to tender, scraped, and bruised flesh. Darcy sank into the tub, troubling over one thought that had nagged at her during the day.


Josh.


He had been with her....


And he had disappeared. She couldn\ understand why he would have left her under such circumstances.


’’Have I lost you?’’ she whispered out loud.


She didn\ get a reply. Then she smiled. Josh had always been so polite. He didn\ make an appearance when she was in a shower or bath, or changing clothing.


She rose and slipped into one of the massive Melody House robes. Exiting the bathroom, she found that Matt wasn\ in his bedroom, or his office.


He had walked outside, and was standing on the balcony.


She thought that this must all be very hard on him. Carter had been a friend for years. Matt had allowed Carter free access to his holdings. Carter had used his house to commit murder.


She walked out on the balcony, slipping her arms around him.


’’It\s all solved now, isn\ it?’’ he said, ’’or at least on its way to being all solved.’’ He caught her chin and tilted it upward. ’’You were planning on leaving, weren\ you?’’


She gazed into his eyes and flushed. ’’Being with you is incredible, but...I can\ change what I am, Matt. If I wanted to, I couldn\ . I tried at first.’’


’’The psychic and the small-town sheriff,’’ he murmured. ’’Hm. It could work.’’


’’Matt, I\m here now. We weathered a lot together. But...I can\ change what I am. And being what I am, I love working for Adam.’’


’’We can make it,’’ he said softly.


’’You say that now, but ’’


’’I\m not the only one who says it,’’ he told her.


’’Oh?’’ She arched a brow to him. ’’Did...Lavinia suggest that I was right for you? Or Adam?’’


He laughed. ’’Lavinia did prove that she is, at heart, decent. Quite decent. But, no, I\d never trust her suggestions as to my relationships. And Adam, well, of course, I have tremendous respect for him, but no, Adam hasn\ said a word to me. He probably figures this is something we have to work out ourselves.’’


’’Can it be worked out?’’


’’Darcy, you were the last thing I wanted when you walked into the Wayside Inn that day. But you\ e the only thing I know I want for the rest of my life. I love you. Everything about you. And I think that you love me, too.’’


’’Yes,’’ she whispered. ’’But, Matt, you don\ believe in the possibility, even, that there can be something outside of logic and reason and scientific explanation. How could we survive, with our thoughts being so entirely different?’’


’’Maybe I\ve changed. And I know we can make it.’’


’’All right who exactly told you that we can make it, and how have you changed?’’


He smiled. ’’Josh.’’


’’Josh!’’


’’I\ve been lying, Darcy. To myself, as well as you. Today, I knew it. The first time I suspected it was the day you fell through the boards at the library. I was on my way to lunch then somehow I was on my way to the library. Today...I was having a good time. A really good time. It\s fun for us to play soldier we don\ really have to lose, and soldiers don\ really die. Then Randy Newton called me with the information about missing persons last seen in this area. When he gave me names and I knew them as girls Carter had dated, I had to find you. Right away. I had no idea where you might have gone. But there was a voice in my head guiding me. And I followed it.’’


He smoothed her hair back, cupping her head, bending down to kiss her lips very lightly.


’’Whatever it takes, I know we can make it. Trust me. Josh told me so.’’


’’How do you know it\s Josh?’’


’’Because we just had a great little talk out here, man to man, on the balcony.’’


She cocked her head, looking at him doubtfully. ’’Where is he now?’’


’’Gone.’’


’’Gone?’’


’’Well, for the evening. He said that he never hangs around to intrude on your private life.’’


Darcy inhaled sharply. She eyed him, still skeptical.


’’However,’’ Matt continued, ’’he\s promised that he will attend the wedding. In fact, he said that he\d best be the first one invited.’’


’’Our wedding, huh?’’


’’If you\ll have me, of course.’’


She was silent for a minute, her blood racing through her veins, pounding to her mind. Could it really work? Could she really have this man, forever? And could it be that he really accepted her for all that she was, and had he really learned that the world went beyond all that could be seen by the naked eye?


’’I love you, Darcy. And I\ll be there for you. Always. I\ll never doubt you, ever again.’’


’’Yes.’’


’’Yes?’’


’’Yes, absolutely. I\ll marry you. Anytime, anywhere. As long as Josh is invited of course.’’


He swept her up, and carried her back inside. And despite bruises and scratches and what should have been sore muscles, they indulged in the most sensual and passionate hours Darcy had ever experienced.


It was later, much, much later, when Matt slept himself and Darcy tiptoed out on the balcony.


She smiled, hugging her robe to her.


’’Thanks, Josh,’’ she said softly.


And there, on the balcony, she felt his warmth surround her.


And life, she knew, was very, very good.



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